FOXBORO MA - JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16 2011 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
In those three playoff games, Brady has completed 81 of 135 passes for 719 yards, with five touchdowns and four interceptions. Terrible numbers? No. But don’t you want a future Hall of Famer, all-time great player to do better than 240 yards a game, with almost as many picks as touchdowns, in three straight losses?
Brady’s career is often measured against that of Peyton Manning: Part of the fun of being a sports fan is arguing about who the best is, and we want to state definitively which one of them is the best quarterback of his generation. Those who side with Manning cite his superior statistics, while those who pick Brady point out his better postseason record.
But if you think Brady is the best quarterback of this era because of what he’s done in the playoffs, then you have to grapple with the fact that what he’s done in the playoffs hasn’t been all that good lately.
Listen, anyone who pointed to Brady's 'superior post-season record' as a true indicator that Brady was 'better than Manning' was a moron. Just as anyone who says Brady's 'clutch reputation' has been damaged because of Sunday's playoff loss to the Jets is also someone whose intellect is not firmly wrapped around the coil of reality.
Brady and Manning are the two best of their generation; perhaps the two best ever. Anyone who disagrees is either a delusional fan of another team, a total schmuck, or Jason Cole. But both Brady and Manning are not defined by 'playoff wins' because QBs do not win games. As we have often SCREAMED at this blog, NFL football is not golf, major league baseball, or the NBA.
In this league, teams win, not individuals.
Last night, Tom Brady was 29-45 for 299 yards and 2 TD with one INT. The one INT was meaningless because the Jets didn't capitalize on it, and Brady really should have had 3 TDs if not for Alge Crumpler dropping that gimme TD in the first half.
But, because the Pats lost, that means Brady lost. Because, obviously, Brady controls all three phases of the Patriots team.
Of course, it wasn't Tom Brady that allowed 120 yards rushing, including 76 yards and a TD from Shonn Green. It wasn't Tom Brady that allowed 7.8 yards per pass play. It wasn't Tom Brady that allowed the Jets to go 4-for-5 in the redzone and nearly 50% on third down.
No. All of that stuff was allowed by the supposedly 'great' Patriots defense, coached by the 'genius' known as Bill Belichick.
Consider, for a moment, in the Wild Card round a Colts missing their starting DT, their starting WILL backer, and with three-fourths of their secondary on IR held the Jets offense in check better than a Pats defense featuring Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, and the (good God, this is just a friggin embarrassment) Pro Bowl bound Brandon Meriweather.
Mark Sanchez threw at will on the Patriots VERY over-rated defense (25th in yards, 9th in points), and both LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Green imposed their will on the game by running the ball right at the Patriots front.
Yet, despite all this, it was Tom Brady who 'lost' the game?
Last week, Doug Farrar of Yahoo's Shutdown Corner pleaded with media and fans to 'do away with quarterback wins.' We echo that plea. Football is a team game, and anyone who cites a QB's 'record' as a way to measure their ability is someone who should be ignored or treated as an ignorant troll when it comes to analyzing the game of football. Example of such a troll? ESPN's resident Patriots apologist and overall nitwit Bill Simmons:
Peyton Manning's playoff record slipping to 9-10. Nine and ten! Granted, a few weren't his fault (the losses to the '05 Steelers and '07 Chargers, to name two), but isn't it fascinating that (A) Indianapolis was favored in seven of those losses; (B) Manning's playoff record in games decided by six points or less is 1-6; (C) Tom Brady won 10 straight playoff games before losing his first; (D) of any quarterback with eight or more playoff wins, only Manning and Dan Marino have losing records; and (E) the combined playoff record of Joe Montana, Brady, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw is 78-28?
Again Simmons, quarterbacks do not win football games. Because if 'QB wins' are the measurement we now go by to determine whether someone is 'good' or not, then the oh-so-certain 2010 NFL MVP known as Tom Brady (0-3 in his last three post-season games) must 'suck' right now, right? I mean, 0-3 is 0-3. One of those games was a Super Bowl loss. In fact, in all three loses, the Patriots were favored to win going in. Two of them were at Foxboro. Guess that means, by Bill's own standards, Tom Brady's a now choker who gets a pass whenever he plays poorly in the playoff game because he's a 'media darling,' or some such nonsense/
Simmons also picked the Seahawks to beat the Bears. Yeah, he's kind of a flip-flopping idiot when it comes to providing intelligent football analysis.
Last season, you didn't see such bold anti-Manning talk from Simmons. Now that his Patriots and Tom Brady have 'choked' in the 2011 playoffs, we suspect the weak-willed intellectual coward will crawl back into whatever hole ESPN has dug for him.
Meanwhile, for the rest of the intelligent world, we don't need friggin playoff 'wins' to tell us which QB is good and which is bad. A QBs overall body of work, coupled with how he changed the game of football during his playing career, is enough to measure greatness.