Tom Brady: The best, or part of the system?

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Robert Burack
Sports Editor/Webmaster

After one of the most memorable Super Bowls in recent memory, the storylines and “hot takes” are in full swing. The one question that is blowing up sports media today may not stop anytime soon: Is Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all-time?
The answer is simple: No, no, no!
Brady now has a ring for his thumb and he is clearly a great player. However, he fell into what now looks to be the greatest system ever.
Let’s break down Brady’s record five Super Bowl victories.
In the first one his team – yes, he actually has a team – won 20-17 over the St. Louis Rams. While everyone is quick to credit Brady for this victory, it was actually his defense that was the leading factor.
After all, his coach, Bill Belichick, is known as the best defensive coach ever. In the game, the so-called “G.O.A.T.” failed to even eclipse 200-yards.
There is a case to be made that Brady’s most memorable play in this game was a spike; he spiked the ball with seven seconds left, to set up a game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal.
Now, on to Brady’s second Super Bowl. This time around, Brady put up much better numbers. But so did everyone!
In an offensive-based game, Brady was extremely fortunate to get help from his entire team, including 137-yards rushing from his backs.
This game, like the first, was won on an Adam Vinatieri field goal.
In his third Super Bowl, Brady wasn’t even the Super Bowl MVP. It was in WR Deion Branch.
What does all this mean?
Much like Vinatieri and Branch, he was just another good player on a great team. Take nothing away from Brady, but those first three rings were a complete team effort.
This begs the question: What quarterback couldn’t do this?
Now, on to Brady’s fourth Super Bowl, which he only reached after losing two Super Bowls in the interim. (In one of these lost games, his high-powered offense put up 14 points total).
Everyone here knows the story. If it wasn’t for what most would call the dumbest play call in Super Bowl history, the Seahawks would have handed Brady his third Super Bowl loss.
Just recently, though Brady won his fifth ring, his team was down 28-3. All the hype is about how he came back from being down 25.
What about being down 25 in the biggest game of the year? What about failing to score a touchdown in the first half? What about his pick-6 that put them down 21-0?
Fox Sports radio host Clay Travis referred to Atlanta blowing the game, calling it, “the biggest choke job in sports history.”
If not for the Falcons failing to avoid negative plays later in the game, they would be champions. A later holding call put Atlanta out of field goal range.
Tom Brady is one of the greatest to ever play, but he also is one of the luckiest. If it wasn’t for a play call and a hold, he would have had four Super Bowl losses.
Another thing to look at is what Brady’s team does in his absence. In the year Brady was forced to miss the entire season, the team went 11-5.
For those who do not know, 11-5 would have made the playoffs in the vast majority of years. When Brady’s arch rival Peyton Manning was out for the year, Manning’s team went 2-14.
This year, Brady was suspended for the first four game of the season. Their record in that time was 3-1. They also used two different quarterbacks.
Both teams played far better than most would have when put in that situation. In fact, Jimmy Garoppolo was so impressive that ESPN is reporting the Cleveland Browns may trade the first overall pick for him.
Matt Cassel – who replaced Brady and went 11-5 – also cashed in and became a starter in Kansas City. His record there was 19-28.
Brady isn’t so great without the system.
Despite Brady’s ability one area, he does not match up against the other all-time greats. His arm fails in comparison in other quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Dan Marino, John Elway, Dan Fouts, and Drew Brees. None of them, however, had this system.
Based on pure talent, Aaron Rodgers blows all of the completion off the field. He also holds the highest passer rating in NFL history at 104.1
Coming into the NFC Championship Game, Rodgers took one of the worst defensive teams in the league, with a running back that is not even a running back 60 minutes away from the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady will go down as one of the best to ever lace them up, but before deciding he’s number one, imagine him and other all-time quarterbacks trading places…
Picture Manning with Belichick, Rodgers with Belichick, and Brady with a bad defense…

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