It’s the Great Debate.
American football is the ultimate team sport, but the quarterback is the game’s most important position. As the game has evolved, offenses run through their quarterbacks, who essentially operate as coaches on the field.
Among them, Tom Brady stands alone.
If Brady and the Patriots win Super Bowl 51, it’s going to be hard to argue against crowning Brady the King of All QBs. No other quarterback has five Super Bowls, and and that would propel Brady ahead of four-time winners Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw. But championships aren’t everything, and it’s possible to rank Brady behind others based on other measurements.
Let’s take a look at the relevant numbers, and see how Brady stacks up.
Brady trails Manning by over 10,000 passing yards, meaning he would need at least three quality seasons to overtake the record. That also depends on Drew Brees, who told Ellen earlier this week, “I don’t plan on going anywhere for a while.”
Where Brady does have an edge is in passer rating. With a 97.2 career rating, Brady only trails active quarterbacks with less experience. Here’s Brady’s rating compared to other legendary quarterbacks:
Besides the statistical excellence, Brady is at the helm of the greatest dynasty in modern football. In his 15 seasons as a starter, Brady has never finished at or below .500. He has made 14 trips to the postseason, and has a playoff record of 24-9. His 33 playoff starts are more than any player ever.
We’re not even talking about three Super Bowl MVP awards, two NFL MVP awards, 12 Pro Bowls and the 2008 Comeback Player of the Year award. The dude is decorated.
It’s hard to define the exact qualities that determine G.O.A.T., but when it comes to deciding the best QB ever, the modern game has narrowed it down to two: Brady and Manning. One has the numbers, the other has rings. Vote below from our list of candidates, and if you think we left somebody off, let us know in the comments section.