I know what you’re thinking, “That’s crazy Tom Brady’s won his 6th Super Bowl! How can he not be the goat?” Well, allow me to break it down for you. Firstly, there is no GOAT in Football. How can we even begin to compare Brady to Jerry Rice or LT? What criteria can we use to judge a QB vs a WR at the peaks of their positions? A single player only exercises so much control over a football game. This isn’t basketball. Tom’s not hustling back to play defense. The second major argument is wins, wins are a team stat and are almost entirely irrelevant to the conversation of who the greatest QB of all time is. Third and finally, Tom Brady statistically does not separate himself enough from the other all time greatest QB’s to be the GOAT.

There is no Goat

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Football has no GOAT. It’s impossible to compare players across eras and across positions. Statistically Jerry Rice is so far ahead of every other receiver to ever play the game that saying Brady is better than him is so insanely stupid I would recommend you seek the advice of a medical professional for whatever concussion you’re suffering from. Larry Fitzgerald recently moved into second place for total receiving yards, he is still a whopping 6000 yards behind Jerry Rice.  Jerry Rice is currently the number 1 in receiving touch downs with 197, the only active players close to him are Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Gates who both sit at number 6 with 116 Touch downs. And the second-place receiver is Randy Moss who had 156 touchdown receptions in his hall of fame career.

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Better than Tom?

The point I’m trying to make is when people crown Brady the greatest football player of all time, it’s a sign that they know nothing about football. Tom Brady is one of the three greatest QB’s to ever play the game, but the difference between those three guys is marginal. Football is a game of inches and to pretend that Tom stands head and shoulders above his competition is to ignore the reality of the game.

But what about muh rings?

The wins argument is the clearest sign that your talking to someone who only has a casual knowledge of how the NFL works. Here is the easiest argument I can make for why Super Bowl wins are irrelevant to the conversation of the greatest QB to ever play the game. Tom Brady goes 16/27 for 145 yards and 1 TD with a QB rating of 86.2 and wins the super bowl in 2001/2002. Tom Brady goes 28/48 for 505 yards, 3 TD’s 0 INTs and a QBR of 115.4 in 2017/18 and loses. If you believe in the Rings argument you have to say the first performance was better because he won the Super Bowl. If you have half a brain and realize Tom Brady played better last year than he did in 2001 and in this most recent game then you realize its not the wins that matter but the performances in those wins. Because Tom Brady’s performances in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl are some of the best arguments for why Brady is the best QB to ever play, except most people don’t make them. People just like to parrot the six rings because they are incapable of reading a stat sheet. Winning a playoff game or a super bowl comes down to a team performance, Sunday night proved that more than anything. The Patriots Defense won that game not Tom Brady, wins are a team stat. We need to start judging players on their performances not purely by the result.

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The stats tell the story

The third and final reason why Tom Brady is not the GOAT is because he is statistically not above the other all time greats, and by that I mean Peyton Manning and Joe Montana. That’s the group that Brady belongs to and you can rank them any way you want because the difference between the three is minimal, they are the GOATs of the QB world. Tom Brady is often known for his late game heroics. In his career he has had 35 fourth quarter comebacks, enough to put him in second place in NFL history. Peyton had 43 fourth quarter comebacks in his career. Manning leads Brady in passing yards by about 1400, with 125 more completions on only 7 more passing attempts in their respective careers. So statistically manning was a better passer, more efficient and equally as clutch in the fourth quarter as Brady. When it comes to TD’s Manning sits ahead of Brady still with 539 TD’s to Brady’s 517, and he’s done it more efficiently than Brady. Other statistical categories Manning leads Brady on? Yards per game and yards per attempt which makes manning’s better efficiency with completions and TDs even more impressive.

But Brady shows up in the post season right?

Where Brady shines is in playoff stats, he moves ahead of Manning here in volume. The key is to compare their averages to see if Brady’s longevity is the reason for this or does he elevate his play that much above Manning. Brady Averages 279.9 yards per game compared to Mannings 271.8 yards per game, showing us that Brady’s longevity and playing deeper into the playoffs provides for his volume yards stats more than out playing Manning. Both Manning and Brady are within 0.1% of each other in pass completion percentage as well.  So what do these stats tell us? These stats tell us that The Patriots ability to make deep runs in the playoffs are what give Brady his superior volume stats in the post season. By their averages if Peyton had the amount of playoff appearances as Brady’s their numbers would be rather similar. Clearly statistically the difference between Manning and Brady is nearly non existent and the rings argument cannot be used to differentiate between the two as their averages in the playoff and regular seasons are nearly identical

So why has Brady had more success in the postseason?

Bill Belichick. Tom Brady has had the same head coach for his entire career. The greatest head coach in NFL history, someone who has rebuilt multiple Super Bowl winning rosters in the salary cap era who can hold an explosive Rams offense to 3 points and no red zone plays. Montana had Bill Walsh and played in an era before the salary cap where teams could keep their super bowl quality players together. Manning? He’s been to four super bowls with four different coaches on two different teams. As we can see from Brady and Manning’s post season stats they both put up similar numbers the reason they won or lost came down to the people around them, their defenses, special teams and supporting players. Brady has had the better team and the better coaches his entire career. How can we claim someone the GOAT when multiple super bowl wins came down to plays where Tom Brady was on the bench?

So who’s the goat?

My entire point in writing this article is not to say Manning is better than Brady or vice versa its to point out that they are too close to declare a definitive GOAT. We haven’t even gone into Montana’s stats because comparing across eras is a massive undertaking due to how passing rules have changed. But the main take away is that there is no Goat in football and there is no GOAT for QB’s. the difference between the top tier of quarterbacks is so small that to say one is definitely better than the rest is insane.

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Peter Mitchell

9 Comments

    so dumb. some people should get their privilege revoked of writing sports stories

    You forgot Marino. He had the greatest single season of any QB ever, in an era before pass interference rules were loosened.

    You gotta be kidding me. What a stupid article. Ask yourself this one question. If you have to choose one quarterback to lead a game-winning drive, would it be Brady or Manning? I think you know the answer.

    The points being made are so weak they’re actually laughable. Manning played indoors; would LOVE to have seen him spend his entire career playing in Foxboro.

    Good article, it’s even better that you didn’t completely dismiss the argument that Brady is the GOAT (he has an argument of course) and yet Pats fans still felt the need to comment on how “weak” your points are

    Man, if only a noodle armed Peyton didn’t have his best statistical seasons in Denver despite being outdoors, being colder, and being way past his real prime! If he only he were healthy in 2011 when QB production was noticeably inflated, or the past few seasons when the league has gotten even more soft with regards to QB play, further inflating production.

    I would argue having top 10 defenses/special teams – which Brady almost always had FOR BOTH – makes it easier to be in scoring position and makes it easier to not resort to forcing anything like QBs often have to when behind, but whatever they (The Brady is GOAT crowd) will never see what’s obvious to people who know what they’re talking about

    How is Brees not mentioned when talking about the greats? The dude holds every single NFL Record that is important to a quarterback. Most yards, most passing touchdowns, best completion percentage, and the most completions. The fact that he has the best completion percentage and the most completions just shows how accurate he really is. Brees also has the most 5,000 passing yard seasons in history. Just because his defense is always ranked in the bottom half of the league should not leave him out of these conversations.

    I love how this guy Frank talks about Manning in Denver. Talking about how Peyton did those things “outside in colder conditions” and not in a “dome”. But he failed to mention the offensive weapons he had fir both Denver AND Indianapolis! And this article is such garbage. Talks about Manning vs Brady in the postseason!? Are you serious?! Saying they are almost identical?? Peyton had those stats playing in much less games than Brady! Try having Peyton play 40 sum’od ganes and see what his stats would be, and talking about how Belichick is the reason fir his success!? Lmao i dont see him throwing the ball in tight windows, or even tackling. The writer just nit picks at what he thinks he can use for an argument, but Brady has done so much more with so much less. Not even close. Dont even say Gronk, he was hurt alot and when he wasnt Hurt Brady was a beast and still won with out him! And Randy Moss? Oh the year he actually had a TRUE #1 receiver who was actually old for NFL? Yea and he demolished the league, Brady is #1 blows everyone else out the water.

    This article has a lot of good reasons why we should NOT name anyone as the Goat! The people here who say,” This is Dumb, this is stupid, this is weak, laughable?, and other dumb stuff, they really just don’t listen and are too stuck up to listen to the reasoning of others. Brady has almost won and lost ALL of his Superbowls by a field goal! Yeah. The highest difference was 10 points! Against the LA Rams in a 13 – 3 game! Brady has decent stats but one of the worst completion percentages in the NFL. Again though, Brady is a good QB, so are all the ones mentioned and some of the ones you guys mentioned. I am 13 years old, and I came with the reasearch to show my FACTS. You guys just talked trash and didn’t really have good reasons

    Dumb article and even worse sports analyst/writer. Find a new career my man.

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