SECOND EDIT 2/5/2017: ok. He won his fifth ring. I’m not going to disagree with anybody who says he’s the Goat. I’m not going to say it, but I won’t say you’re wrong. Congrats on another championship, Pats fans.
EDIT 2/5/2017: For those of you who are slow readers, this article was written February 2, 2015 and reflected my personal opinion at the time about Tom Brady’s status as it relates to the title “GOAT.” I stand by what I wrote at the time. For what it’s worth, Tom Brady is an amazing quarterback, and I now believe him to be one of the greatest of all time, but for several reasons, you will never see me giving him the title GOAT. There’s the cloud of cheating that hovers over the Patriots and the fact that it’s really hard to attribute all of the success of a football team (which has 22 starting players per game) to just one man. All of you make a strong case for Tom, but please stop trying to convince me. He’s a hall of fame QB, and by all accounts, a really decent person. I wish him every success, while I root against his team because I don’t like the Patriots. That’s my right. And it’s your right to keep leaving insulting comments. And it’s my right to keep screening them and deleting them before they ever see the light of day. Now let’s have a clean game tonight with no injuries and congratulations to the winners!
ORIGINAL POST AS OF 2/2/15: So the Patriots won the Super Bowl last night. Congratulations to their players and fans. But something is bothering me today about the media coverage. I keep hearing the term GOAT in reference to Brady. GOAT is a term that sports people use to mean “Greatest Of All Time.” Two examples of people that some would consider the GOAT for their respective sports would be Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky.
But today, a day after his fourth Super Bowl victory, I keep hearing the question, “Does this win mean that Tom Brady is the best QB ever?” I’ve heard people on social media saying it, the news media, and pundits within the NFL.
The answer to that question depends on how you define the word “best” (or “greatest”). If you define best as quarterback with the most Super Bowl rings, Tom Brady is tied with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw at 4 each. So, not the best if you measure by that criterion alone.
Most MVP awards? Peyton Manning.
Most touchdown passes? Peyton Manning again (Brady comes in fifth).
Most completed passes? Brett Favre.
Most 4th quarter comebacks? Peyton Manning.
Highest passer rating? Aaron Rodgers.
I looked at the statistics available at Pro-Football Reference and couldn’t find Tom Brady listed at the top in any measurable category.
Is Tom Brady a great quarterback? Certainly. Is he among the top ten quarterbacks ever to play the game? Absolutely. But is he the greatest quarterback ever? Not even close.