Tom Brady will play in his seventh Super Bowl on Sunday and he’s won four of them. He has won two MVPs, three Super Bowl MVPs, is a four-time All-Pro during the NFL’s golden age of quarterbacks and has been elected to 12 Pro Bowls. No matter what happens in Super Bowl LI this weekend between his New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, Brady’s legacy as one of the greatest players in NFL history has long been secure.
Love him or hate him, Brady gets it done. It’s amazing how a guy like him went from the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, to possibly the greatest quarterback of all-time. Is there any doubt he’s the best draft pick in sports history?
The consistency the 39-year-old Brady has displayed during his 17-year career has been absolutely remarkable. He’s never thrown more than 14 interceptions in a single season. He’s topped 4,000 yards eight times and 3,500 14 times and he didn’t start a game as a rookie and missed the 2008 season with an injury. Most importantly, in his 15 seasons as the starter, the Patriots have won 10 or more games 14 times, and 12 or more 11 times. They have won 14 AFC East titles during his career, including the last eight. While wins come as a team, in today’s NFL, winning and losing falls disproportionately on each franchise’s quarterback. Brady’s all-time winning percentage? It’s 77.9, behind only Otto Graham (81.0) and Daryle Lamonica (78.4), guys who played when the forward pass was often mocked.
Want to talk about where he fits all-time? Brady is fourth in passing yards (61,582), fourth in passing touchdowns (456), third in passer rating (97.2) and tied for the second lowest interception percentage of all-time (1.8 percent).
Yeah, I know, “Deflategate” and “Spygate” will always haunt Brady’s legacy. I get it. Cheating isn’t acceptable and people dislike the Patriots because of it. I get it, I’m there with you. But regardless of what I think of Brady or Bill Belichick personally, you have to respect what they’ve been able to do on the field.
This week’s Super Bowl stories have been weak. There has been no controversy, no one has put up bulletin board material and virtually nothing of note has happened. Usually that’s when stories about the legacies of the guys involved in the game start to pop up and what they need to do to secure them. If you see any about Brady, ignore them.
Even if he fails to get his fifth ring on Sunday, we all know where Brady will wind up on the all-time quarterbacks list. He’ll be sitting at the top, whether we like it or not.