There will be a lot of click-bait noise today about how New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is “the best ever”, but it’s a typical product of the modern sports-journalism hype machine. Brady is amazing, of course, but even a topical analysis demonstrates he’s not even close to being the best QB of the Super Bowl era.
I wrote about this for CBS last week before Super Bowl LI, and nothing has changed the facts since then. Yes, Brady just engineered the biggest comeback in SB history, but he was part of the reason his team was down 25 points in the first place. Do firefighters get credit for starting their own fires and then putting them out? Of course not. That is basically what Brady did by throwing a pick-six pass that dropped his team into a 21-0 hole in the second quarter.
What shallow “experts” is doing is making the old “Emmitt is better than Barry” argument, and that’s been a loser for a long time now. No one thinks Emmitt Smith is the best running back ever, despite his top place on the all-time rushing leaders list. Barry Sanders may not have as many yards, but he was a much better player, contextually speaking. The same goes for Brady versus Montana: There’s just no comparison between the two when it comes to Super Bowl performance.
No one was ever better on the big stage than Montana, as his SB QB rating (127.8) indicates. Brady’s SB QB rating (95.3) is pathetic in comparison, and that’s an updated figure after his MVP effort against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Sure, Brady has been there a few more times, but that’s a result of things beyond any QB’s control (i.e., team management, coaching stability, health, etc.). Again, even Gale Sayers is considered a better RB than Smith, despite playing for only a handful of years.
This case is closed for any intelligent sports fan: New England sycophants and desperate journalists chasing Internet clicks can argue quantity over quality until they’re red/white/blue in the face, but it’s a losing proposition. Simply put, Montana was perfect in SB play; Brady has been far from that.