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Super Bowl LI

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
There is no more debate, there is no more arguing because there simply isn't not an excuse anymore.

Tom Brady. The motherfuckin' GOAT and if you disagree, well, I hope you enjoyed watching your first NFL game.
I don't agree that it's not even up for debate. That's ridiculous. Is Brady the most accomplished QB in NFL history? Yes. Is he the greatest to ever play the game? He's certainly in the discussion, but I don't think that question is as cut and dried as you want it to be. There are a handful of other players that one could make a legitimate case for, and I would enjoy discussing it with you if I thought you were willing to listen.

"GOAT" is such a subjective thing to begin with. There are only two athletes who played a team sport that I think I would agree with being the greatest, and they are Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Tom Brady hasn't distanced himself enough from the rest of the field to be on that same level, in my opinion. But I've only watched one NFL game, so who am I to argue?
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
I agree, there's always room for debate. I just think the conversation starts with Brady now, instead of Montana, which it had for years and years. Barring a terrible injury, Brady should easily coast past most of Manning's regular season records and he's already the most accomplished playoff QB of all-time. Would anyone be surprised if he added a few rings to his other hand before he retires?
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
It's tough in football to pick the best at this and the best at that since its such a team game

But last night? That was all Tom Brady, all the time. Edelman's catch was stupid good but Brady was a man on a mission. He's the best QB I've ever seen in my life and this coming from one of those "haters." He could not be stopped by anyone. I don't even know what else to say, his performance was other worldly.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
But last night? That was all Tom Brady, all the time. Edelman's catch was stupid good but Brady was a man on a mission. He's the best QB I've ever seen in my life and this coming from one of those "haters." He could not be stopped by anyone. I don't even know what else to say, his performance was other worldly.
His receivers were also running free the entire second half and his offensive line was giving him all day to throw despite the defense not even having to respect the run. I mean, he dropped back to pass over 60 times and his line protected him without committing a single holding penalty. His defense held the top scoring offense in the league to just seven second half points and 21 for the game.

I'm not saying Brady didn't play a great game. He did, but it was a total team effort and they don't win that game without every single unit elevating their play the way they did. I'm not convinced that the Patriots don't win with Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, or Drew Brees at the helm. Hell, Ryan arguably played a more efficient game than Brady did. He just wasn't on the field as long and didn't have any protection on two critical plays—the fumble and the sack which pushed them out of field goal range. I just think in football more than any other sport, a player is largely the product of the team around him.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
It's strange to see the "he had a good team around him" argument with Brady considering all the nobodies and never-will-be's that he won titles with. That was always the hole in the Peyton vs. Brady debate is that Peyton ALWAYS had big league weapons to work with. Brady had rookies, no names, and burnouts. Did he carry the team all by himself for 15 years? Of course not, no single player will ever do that in the NFL, it's not logical. Michael Jordan and Gretzky were also not surrounded by trash, they had a fair bit of help along the way, like all of the greats do (Brady included).

Brady has five titles, four MVPs and countless other postseason records and seasonal accomplishments. There are no other quarterbacks he can be fairly compared to. The mere fact that Tom Brady has been to the playoffs 14 out of 17 years as a QB is one of the most improbable statistics in all of sports. He's already a first ballot Hall of Famer and now his team holds the record for the greatest comeback victory in NFL history.

What people still do not see with Brady is the work ethic and the drive. Having the privilege of seeing his entire career, I can safely say that there is no other quarterback and very few players I've seen with the relentless drive for success and flawless work ethic that he has. It's painfully cliche but it's the damn truth. The dude doesn't have an off switch and he's going to have to be dragged off the field and into retirement when the time comes. Brees, Rodgers, or Ryan in that situation? I'll take Brady every time. All of them are great quarterbacks, but Tom is the pick in any high pressure situation.

Who would you argue is better and why? Don't get smarmy with me just because I was being a bit cocky in the hours after the super bowl win :D
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Those are all good points and the primary reasons—his postseason accomplishments in particular— why most people consider Brady to be the greatest QB of all time. I don't necessarily disagree with anything you said except for one thing, and that being that he's won titles with a bunch of nobodies.

Offensively, you're not wrong. Brady has never been surrounded by superstar players at the skill positions outside of Randy Moss for two or three years and Gronk when he's healthy. But they've been able to find players who fit their system like Wes Welker or Julian Edelman or James White who are extremely versatile players that you can line up anywhere to create mismatches and get the ball to them in a number of different ways, and I think the coaching staff as well as management deserve a lot of credit for finding these types of players and using them creatively. They've also consistently had one of the best offensive lines in the league. But obviously you need a QB like Brady to bring it all together, otherwise every other team in the league would be trying to emulate their system.

Defensively is where Brady has really benefited over his peers though. To be one of the best teams in the league year in and year out you need three things: an elite QB, coaching stability, and a great defense. The Patriots have had those things for the better part of two decades now, and that explains their incredible 14 of 17 years in the playoffs. Of 16 years that Brady has been under center, their defense has ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense 13 times. They've been remarkably consistent on that side of the ball.

You asked who I would argue is better than Brady. I can't say that anyone is or has ever been better than Brady, but that was never my argument. My point was that it's definitely debatable. Joe Montana deserves consideration for sure. He won four Super Bowls (4-0) before his career was derailed by injuries at 34 years old. He also played in an era that wasn't as QB-friendly.

In today's era, I think Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are right up there. Rodgers makes plays that no other QB can make, and Brees leads the league in passing seemingly every year. They each only have one Super Bowl trophy, but as I was saying about defense, they've each played with a top 10 defense only twice in their careers. For Brady's five Super Bowl wins, his defenses were ranked 6, 1, 2, 8, and 1. The Packers haven't had a top 10 defense since they won the Super Bowl in 2010. The Saints' defense has ranked 28th or worse four of the last five years. How many more rings would these guys have if they were complimented with the consistency on defense that Brady has had?
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
But they've been able to find players who fit their system like Wes Welker or Julian Edelman or James White who are extremely versatile players that you can line up anywhere to create mismatches and get the ball to them in a number of different ways, and I think the coaching staff as well as management deserve a lot of credit for finding these types of players and using them creatively.
The Patriots knew what they got with Tom Brady after his first super bowl win and they built a system around him to compliment his play style, that lightning fast release and quick yardage. He's never been a deep threat quarterback (although that is easily debatable as Randy Moss's presence clearly showed some untapped potential from Brady in the deep yardage department). As I stated previously, nobody in any major sport has become a legend on their own, that's not arguable in my mind.

They've also consistently had one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Brady's release speed gives the illusion of a great o-line and has for quite a few years. The biggest improvement recently was bringing back Dante Scarnnechia. There has been some talent on the o-line, but seeing as Tom is consistently in the top 3 of all QBs for release time every year, it doesn't require a lot of talent.

Defensively is where Brady has really benefited over his peers though. To be one of the best teams in the league year in and year out you need three things: an elite QB, coaching stability, and a great defense. The Patriots have had those things for the better part of two decades now, and that explains their incredible 14 of 17 years in the playoffs. Of 16 years that Brady has been under center, their defense has ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense 13 times. They've been remarkably consistent on that side of the ball.
This applies to every team, every year. Defense winning games is not unique to the Patriots.

You asked who I would argue is better than Brady. I can't say that anyone is or has ever been better than Brady, but that was never my argument. My point was that it's definitely debatable.
Okay, Wade.

Joe Montana deserves consideration for sure. He won four Super Bowls (4-0) before his career was derailed by injuries at 34 years old. He also played in an era that wasn't as QB-friendly.
Tom Brady won five and I'd say five gold medals and two silvers are better than four gold. Also, Joe retired at 39. Lastly, QB friendly applies to all the other modern quarterbacks you're mentioning so I don't know how it takes anything away from Brady.

In today's era, I think Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are right up there. Rodgers makes plays that no other QB can make, and Brees leads the league in passing seemingly every year.
Stats are only stats without championships. Ask Dan Marino. This was also another Peyton v. Brady argument. Peyton always seemed to have the stats, but he never had the same post season success rate as Brady.

They each only have one Super Bowl trophy, but as I was saying about defense, they've each played with a top 10 defense only twice in their careers. For Brady's five Super Bowl wins, his defenses were ranked 6, 1, 2, 8, and 1. The Packers haven't had a top 10 defense since they won the Super Bowl in 2010. The Saints' defense has ranked 28th or worse four of the last five years. How many more rings would these guys have if they were complimented with the consistency on defense that Brady has had?
Here are the defensive rankings for the most recent winners:

2016 Patriots 1
2015 Denver 4
2014 Patriots 8
2013 Seahawks 1
2012 Ravens 12
2011 Giants 25
2010 Packers 2
2009 Saints 20
2008 Steelers 1
2007 Giants 17
2006 Colts 23

The average ranking comes out to about 11th, so it tells us what we know has been truthful for most of the NFL's history, top defenses win super bowls. How does that take away from Tom if it's an NFL commonality?
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Also, Joe retired at 39.
He missed two full seasons due to injury before playing his final two seasons with the Cheifs. He retired at 38. Of his 11 full seasons as a starter, his team made the playoffs 10 times. Very Brady-esque, no?

Stats are only stats without championships. Ask Dan Marino. This was also another Peyton v. Brady argument. Peyton always seemed to have the stats, but he never had the same post season success rate as Brady.

Here are the defensive rankings for the most recent winners:

2016 Patriots 1
2015 Denver 4
2014 Patriots 8
2013 Seahawks 1
2012 Ravens 12
2011 Giants 25
2010 Packers 2
2009 Saints 20
2008 Steelers 1
2007 Giants 17
2006 Colts 23

The average ranking comes out to about 11th, so it tells us what we know has been truthful for most of the NFL's history, top defenses win super bowls. How does that take away from Tom if it's an NFL commonality?
The argument you seem to be making here is that a QB's place in history should be measured by championships while, at the same time, acknowledging the fact that having a strong defense is an integral part of winning championships.

Tom Brady has been blessed with an elite defense most years, which has afforded him the opportunity to win as many Super Bowls as he has. Do we agree on that point? That doesn't take anything away from Tom at all because the Patriots probably don't win as many Super Bowls with a lesser QB. He is their MVP. There's no disputing that.

On the flip side of that argument, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have not had the luxury of playing alongside top defenses very often. Brees won a Super Bowl in spite of having a below average defense that year. They would likely have more chances to win Super Bowls if they were paired with elite defenses on a year in, year out basis, the same way Tom has. Do we agree there?

The main point I'm trying to make here is that you can't just measure one player against another based on the number of championships they've won and then call it a fact that one is better than the other. The "championships won" stat is never an apples to apples comparison in a team sport. Gretzky never won another Stanley Cup after he was traded from the Edmonton Oilers dream team, and he wasn't even at the midpoint of his NHL career at that time.

As I stated previously, nobody in any major sport has become a legend on their own, that's not arguable in my mind.
I actually disagree with this. Nobody wins championships without help, but players can become legends on their own. Jordan and Gretzky are legends because of their ability to do things that the game had never seen before, things that other players simply couldn't do, and they took their respective leagues by storm before ever winning a single championship. The same could be said about Lebron James. Hell, his legend was born before he even graduated from high school. Barry Sanders is a football legend despite having no team success whatsoever. The dude won one playoff game in his entire career, but he could do things on the football field that no other player was capable of.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
He missed two full seasons due to injury before playing his final two seasons with the Cheifs. He retired at 38. Of his 11 full seasons as a starter, his team made the playoffs 10 times. Very Brady-esque, no?
Sure. I never argued against Montana and Brady not being similar.

The argument you seem to be making here is that a QB's place in history should be measured by championships while, at the same time, acknowledging the fact that having a strong defense is an integral part of winning championships.
I'm not making one argument and I'm not making that argument or else Jimmy G would be ranked as a better QB than Aaron Rodgers.

Tom Brady has been blessed with an elite defense most years, which has afforded him the opportunity to win as many Super Bowls as he has. Do we agree on that point? That doesn't take anything away from Tom at all because the Patriots probably don't win as many Super Bowls with a lesser QB. He is their MVP. There's no disputing that.
We never disagreed on this. You brought up their strong defense and made it sound like an asterisk on Brady's career. This would be like saying Manny Ramirez was lucky Pedro pitched for the Sox. Both sides still need to contribute and again, I don't know if this is the exact point you're trying to make but having a good defense should never take away from the offensive production.

On the flip side of that argument, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have not had the luxury of playing alongside top defenses very often. Brees won a Super Bowl in spite of having a below average defense that year. They would likely have more chances to win Super Bowls if they were paired with elite defenses on a year in, year out basis, the same way Tom has. Do we agree there?
I don't like playing "what if" games. As I pointed out, the greatest defense does not always win, it increases your odds. We can only play guessing games based on stats alone when talking about whether or not another QB would have had the same success in Brady's position. One of the reasons Brady is so good is he's mentally tough and as made clear by this last super bowl, does not lose his focus when under the gun (or 25 guns in that case). Could Brees have done that? No idea. We KNOW Brady can because he did it and has had super bowl comebacks before. Brees can beat a top defense (he did in 2010 against the Colts) but it's fruitless to debate whether he or Rodgers would have had the same performance because there's simply no way to know.

But again, defensive voodoo or not, the offense still needs to get the job done. The defense is a credit to the coaching staff and not a detriment to the strength of the offense.

Take the Chiefs. From 2013 to 2016, the Chiefs' defense was ranked 5th, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th. In scoring, 7th, 16th, 9th, and 13th. They didn't have an offense lead by an elite QB and it shows. Alex Smith is good, but he's no legend and as a team, they couldn't make it to the big game despite being close a few times.

The main point I'm trying to make here is that you can't just measure one player against another based on the number of championships they've won and then call it a fact that one is better than the other.
Agreed.

I actually disagree with this. Nobody wins championships without help, but players can become legends on their own. Jordan and Gretzky are legends because of their ability to do things that the game had never seen before, things that other players simply couldn't do, and they took their respective leagues by storm before ever winning a single championship.
They very same can be said about Brady. Why does it matter whether or not they won a title early in their careers?

The same could be said about Lebron James. Hell, his legend was born before he even graduated from high school. Barry Sanders is a football legend despite having no team success whatsoever. The dude won one playoff game in his entire career, but he could do things on the football field that no other player was capable of.
As you stated before, this is not apples and apples. In football, the cornerstone of the offense is the QB 99% of the time. He's the architect and the shot caller, the Executive VP of Offensive Operations on the gridiron. Basketball and hockey do not function like that, there is not one position with drastically higher importance than the rest. Those are truly team sports (as you pointed out with Gretzky) where one guy can shine but if he doesn't have talent around him, the team will not succeed. The QB is expected to be a leader and a guy the other players look up to rely on. QBs without strong leadership skills or ability to deal with adversity or a challenge never emerge from mediocrity.

My main argument for Brady as the best of all time is consistency. For nearly twenty years, he has maintained (and even slightly improved these past years) a level of play that most players dream of. He's accurate, he doesn't turn the ball over, he's got one of the fastest release times in recent history, and his ability to read a defense is scary. Even Ray Lewis has made mention of that a few times that Brady's ability to see the defense and pick it apart is unreal. Brady is a smart player who strives to prove himself every day and I love a guylike that in any sport.
 
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