Semi-OT: Tom Brady greatest ever discussion

Submitted by EZMIKEP on December 12th, 2010 at 6:13 PM

This has been discussed a lot over the years but I think Tom Brady's play this year should bring it back into legit discussion. I always hear that Peyton is the best QB in the NFL and that Tom is 1.B - but I see it completely different and this season is another reason why. 

Tom is performing surgery on the best defenses in the NFL. Without Randy Moss. Who really only gave Brady one season before he stopped being Moss half the time. Peyton has always had receivers and always played in a dome. Brady has had 4 Superbowl appearances with only one of those where he had great receivers to help him, and it was a juggernaut. 

Now he is surrounded by youth and a bunch of hard working but not elite in talent counterparts. Look at the results. He is obliterating the best defenses in the league. 

It didn't take long after Brady got his knee mashed up and everyone was putting Peyton back on the top of the list and people were calling Brady a system QB etc etc.. Also there were those that said he would never be the same ala Carson Palmer. Yet after a little over a year he looks just like 2007 Tom Brady. All while Peyton has looked frustrated by his lack of talent to play with because of injuries. 

I think Peyton is one of the greatest, but I think Tom is 1.A while Peyton is 1.B -- I even think Tom has done enough to be put in the discussion with Joe Montana. 

Another note is this is a young team. A team with a ton of draft picks and very good young talent on an emerging defense. Belichick blew it all up and started most of it over so he could do it all over again. He thought long term and I think its going to pay off big. IMO this team is about to be the team to beat for the next 5 years in the AFC. 


oriental andrew

December 12th, 2010 at 7:42 PM ^

You mean all THREE Mannings.  Archie - 0, Peyton - 1, Eli - 1. 

As it stands, Brady is clearly the #1 QB of his era, surpassing Peyton Manning, who has been struggling incredibly this season and has struggled in the playoffs relative to Brady and the Pats. 


December 12th, 2010 at 6:22 PM ^

On another note, if you were Brady, how much longer would you want to keep playing?  He obviously is still playing at a very high level, but given the way NFL players' bodies take so much punishment, should he think about calling it a career soon?  He's done it all and is probably financially set for life. 


December 12th, 2010 at 6:42 PM ^

I know he still loves the game.  I'm talking about what he should do from a physical health standpoint.   Those hits accumulate, and what's scary is that a lot of ex-NFL players' physical ailments don't appear until several years after they've retired.  I just hope the guy isn't using crutches to get out of bed 10 years from now.

Wes Mantooth

December 12th, 2010 at 9:20 PM ^

Agreed, Brady isn't going anywhere any time soon.  He plays because of how much he loves the game and how much he loves to compete.  He's said that a few times in the past and you can see it from the way he carries himself on the field. 

He also isn't in it only for the money.  His salary in 2009 was only $8 mill compared to $12 mill for Peyton, $20 mill for Eli, and $22 mill for Jay Cutler.  He could negotiate a much higher salary if he wanted, but he wants the Pats to be able to go after the players they need to back him up.  I'm more concerned of him pulling a Favre and playing too long rather than pulling the plug early...


December 12th, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

I honestly believe if Tom wins one more Super Bowl (let alone multiple), you have to put him just ahead of Joe Montana for the greatest NFL QB of all time.  Tom has never had a HOF receiver (Moss debatable), whereas Montana had Rice, John Taylor, and Roger Craig.  If, and I mean IF, he can win another Super Bowl; he's the greatest of all time.  


Who could have honestly predicted this Brady's senior year when he was splitting time with Henson?


December 12th, 2010 at 7:30 PM ^

As a 7/8 year old kid who had just started following Michigan football, I thought that Brady was the greatest QB ever. I was ecstatic when he was somehow still available for the Lions to draft him in the first round of the 2000 draft. I couldn't believe it when he slipped to the 6th round.


December 12th, 2010 at 8:26 PM ^

Haha, I did the exact same thing.  I remember every game my dad and I went to when Brady played.  Almost everytime we left my dad complained, "that guy sucks.  He is never going to make it in the NFL."  I love bringing that up to my dad everytime the Pats are on TV.


December 12th, 2010 at 6:28 PM ^

 I mean, I never would argue those points.  I heart Tom Brady.  But I think even people who are Manning fans would have to agree.

No consistent elite offensive talent behind him.  In the NFL of today, with the results he's put up, that makes him easily one of the best of all time.  


December 12th, 2010 at 8:21 PM ^

My wife has family that live in Indianapolis.  Huge Colt fans.  Listening to them during the summer months make me sound almost reasonable in regards to respective football expectations.

Just figured they were outliers.  I mean, I've never heard any civil person say "What?  You are an engineer for Ford?  Why do you guys make such crap?  I'll stick with my Beemer."  That wasn't to me, but I guess the uncle thinks saying things like that are ok.


December 12th, 2010 at 6:40 PM ^

for him to get comfortable again last year after the injury. But That is a distant memory now.

On the retirement thing, I think it all comes down to how much fire he has inside of him. Tom bradys game is made for longevity.


December 12th, 2010 at 6:42 PM ^

the only reason this is even a topic right now is because Peyton is having a down year (by his standards.)

When the Colts are healthy it will be back to Manning most likely going down as the greatest ever. Hell, the guy is essentially is a head coach on the field as he calls the majority of the plays.


December 12th, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

No, I don't. Peyton has long had far more offensive talent around him then Brady, and a better offensive line. And just look what Tom is doing this year with no identifiable offensive players and a young, 29th against the pass defense this season. Peyton has never had the dearth of talent (outside if his first 2-3 seasons) that Brady has, yet he consistently can't cash in the fact his team is usually loaded.


December 12th, 2010 at 7:01 PM ^

How many Super Bowls does Peyton have?  What's his playoff record?  I think you have to WIN to be considered the greatest of all time.  I put him behind Brady, Montana, Elway, and shoot maybe even Bradshaw just because of his success in huge games....  These guys won multiple Super Bowls and had huge  numbers.  


Bottom line is Manning has lost more big games than he's won.  


December 12th, 2010 at 7:57 PM ^

Super Bowl record alone doesn't define a quarterback, but it's part of a holistic look into figuring out the greatest QBs. 

To answer your second question, I do consider Marino great, but I don't consider him in the same class as Brady or Montana, because he never won the way those guys did.  Is that unfair?  Maybe.  But it is what it is. 

When we look back on this generation of QBs, I think Brady will stand out as better than Manning because of his ability to win in the playoffs and the Super Bowl.  Manning always had the stats, but then again, so did Marino. 


December 12th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^


Trent Dilfer also won a Superbowl, as did Mark Rypien, as did Doug Williams. A Superbowl is an important piece of the conversation, but it isn't the only part of it. Brady may well end up being the greatest ever, who knows, but if he is it will be far more reasoned and nuanced than "he won the most superbowls".

coastal blue

December 12th, 2010 at 9:07 PM ^

To me, greatness is measured in moments, not numbers. Brady far and away, from the beginning of his career till now, comes through in the clutch and when it matters more often than Manning ever has.

How many game winning drives has Brady led the Patriots on? It's been his calling card since his first season and that incredible upset of the Rams.

How many games has Peyton Manning choked away? His MVP seasons have all ended in playoff defeats, usually because of his subpar performances.

I remember last year, when everyone and their mother was calling Peyton Manning the greatest quarterback of his generation and some even calling him the greatest ever to play the game. They marvelled at his ability to "integrate his offense on the fly". How he was able to lead such an effective unit with 2 young receivers - Collie and Garcon - while completely disregarding the fact he had a top 5 wide receiver in Reggie Wayne and the game's best tight end in Dallas Clark.

Then of course, he reverted to what he normally does in big games: collapse with a terrible decision when things aren't going his way. Porter's interception of Manning was one of the biggest chokes by a "great" player I've ever seen. If Manning was truly the greatest ever, that was Jordan missing free throws to lose a title or Gretzky missing a wide open net in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. These things didn't happen. In short, the greatest ever doesn't let his team down on the biggest stage.

Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. But he is not an example of greatness.


December 13th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

The theory of "clutch" has been disproven in the grittiest of grit filled sports: baseball.  In football, there's way too many variables to even try to say who's a clutch guy.

If your O-line fails you, you take a sack and you aren't clutch.  If the defense dials up an overloaded blitz on your blind side that gets to you, you aren't clutch.  If you throw a perfect pass that your receiver drops, you aren't clutch.  If your RB falls down in the flat during a screen pass, you aren't clutch.

If your defense gives up the winning score after you just went and tied it up, you aren't clutch.

Clutch basically means that you're good and lucky.  Iowa 2009 was clutch.  Iowa 2010 was not.  What's the difference?