He’s won yet another Super Bowl, but has Tom Brady secured G.O.A.T status?
At the ripe age of 41, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won his sixth Super Bowl title making him the sole NFL player to acquire six Super Bowl rings Metaphorically speaking, Brady has already etched his face in the Mount Rushmore of the NFL, but this win arguably has solidified his position as the greatest of all time.
Having his name in the G.O.A.T. conversation isn’t something Brady is fond of. In an interview with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, Brady said being called the G.O.A.T. makes him “cringe.”
Is Brady correct in not wanting to be called the greatest? It’s certainly debatable that he isn’t the most talented quarterback ever. Brady himself said, “I’m a late bloomer.” A sixth round pick who struggled in college can’t indisputably be called the G.O.A.T.
Since there is no official criteria for selecting the G.O.A.T., I will create my own. The categories are as follows: career statistics and legacy of winning.
Statistics go beyond just passer ratings and touchdowns thrown. I will also examine the all-time records broken by Brady. Before comparing Brady to other players, it must be noted that he has had nine Super Bowl appearances, which is more than any NFL franchise besides the Patriots.
That’s a jaw-dropping stat to begin with, and they don’t stop there. Some notable records he owns among quarterback’s are: the most regular season wins, most touchdown passes to different receivers, most playoff passing yards, most playoff touchdown passes, most Super Bowl touchdown passes and Super Bowl passing yards.
It’s safe to say Brady dominates in almost all playoff and Super Bowl categories. The prominent records he’s still behind in are most MVP awards, most regular season passing yards, most game-winning drives and most fourth-quarter comebacks. In all of these categories, Brady is behind Peyton Manning.
Manning is also up there with Brady in the G.O.A.T. conversation. In 2018, Fox Sports called him “the greatest football player who ever lived.” However, Manning’s far smaller number of Super Bowl appearances (four) and wins (two) gives Brady the edge.
Brady’s legacy of winning is also an aspect that is hard to match. Just last season, he passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for most wins of all time. Vinatieri is a placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts. As important as kickers are to the game of football, it would be crazy to think that Vinatieri competes with anybody in the G.O.A.T. conversation.
Manning is behind Brady in all-time wins, Brady has 207 wins while Manning has 186. It is clear that Brady has dominated the wins column; however, legacy is more than wins, it’s about dynasties. Brady has won six Super Bowls over an 18 year span, to go along with four Super Bowl MVP awards.
Colin Cowherd, host of the sports talk show “The Herd” on Fox Sports, made a comparison between Michael Jordan and Brady on his show.
“Basketball is a sport built for dynasties, football isn’t. Thirteen NBA players have 6 rings. 1 NFL player does. Last name Brady, first name Tom,” Cowherd said.
Even though his argument was meant to compare him to a player in another sport, it stands true in this regard as well. To build a legacy that lasts 18 years with six titles is unheard of in the NFL. In a game where a tipped pass or blown coverage can ruin your chances at a championship, six titles is remarkable.
Brady is the NFL’s G.O.A.T. The sixth round pick from Michigan has successfully won on the highest level of football for almost two decades, all while being the team’s best player and breaking multiple records in the process. Even at 41 years old, football fans should hope to see more of his greatness in years to come.