I’m going to kind of hijack this and use the comment section to go off on a bit of a tangent. I have little to add to the article, which was very good, but it does seem to present an opportunity to discuss Brady and I’d like to take advantage of that opportunity.
This is why I not only can’t get behind Brady as GOAT, but bristle when people want to anoint him. He’s certainly great, an all-timer who belongs in the top tier, but he also plays for the best coach of all-time.
His greatest strength is his ability to win; you don’t think Belichick deserves a ton of credit for that?
As a comparison, through their first 9 playoff games, Brady received 5 points of support from his team while Manning essentially started every game down 0–9.
To just lay down win/loss record, to elevate Brady to GOAT (rather than simply top-tier; I like “Mount Rushmore” although it doesn’t work in a literal sense as I have more than 4 in that top-tier) for winning, to knock Manning for losing games that his team lost, shows such a fundamental inability to grasp football and the concept of team sports. It’s frustrating because how do you argue with somebody who refuses to acknowledge the contribution of the other 52 players and an extensive coaching staff? (Except for WRs and TEs — unless it’s Moss or Gronkowski. I don’t mean to be shilling this hard for Manning, but Brady v Manning is such an obvious, and easy, comparison.)
For the record, I have Manning, Elway, Montana. I don’t think I can see putting Brady ahead of any of those three. Then, say, Marino. And I’ll give Unitas and Graham the benefit of the doubt; it’s impossible to compare QBs from such different eras but I think they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt. They did everything they could for the era in which they played.
Favre and Brees put up numbers that can make a compelling case, but I want to put them a tier below. They just feel like a combination of garbage-time stats and a product of playing in a different era. Maybe unfair; Brees may deserve to be in the top three but is unfairly viewed as putting up useless stats simply because he’s on such a shitty team: bad organization that can’t manage the salary cap or evaluate players (or assistant coaches; didn’t they hire Rob Ryan?), stuck fielding some all-time terrible defenses. But if he’s on a good team, they run more to try to hold leads, milk clock, and give their defense a rest — perhaps the opposite is true too; if they ran more they’d be a better team because perhaps their defense is better with less time on the field? Not sure if the stats would back me up though, that’s theory not research — and his numbers aren’t quite so eye-popping.
Kurt Warner is 2nd tier too. His ceiling matches up with any QB: I believe he’s still the only QB to throw for 40+TDs in a Super Bowl-winning season (which may be arbitrary, but I also think it’s interesting; perhaps speaks to how hard it is to air the ball out that much and win consistently, particularly into the playoffs, as the passing game is more volatile than the running game?) and he led the Rams to the Super Bowl twice and the Cards once. The freakin’ RAMS and CARDINALS! If we’re not weighing longevity, if we’re just looking at peak, he’s definitely top-tier. But longevity matters, of course.