Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is regarded by many as the greatest quarterback of all time. He’s been under center for one of the greatest dynasties in football history. But how responsible is Brady? One fan theory states that Brady may not be the most important factor in why the Patriots keep winning.
Tom Brady’s career playoff overview
Brady’s playoff record is well-known, as his success there has made him one of the most famous quarterbacks on the planet. Here are his playoff results:
- 40 games played
- Win-loss record of 30-10 (a record for most playoff victories by a quarterback)
- 73 touchdowns
- 11,179 yards passing
No quarterback in NFL history has had as many opportunities to play in the postseason as much as Brady, something Brady himself has played quite a big role in making happen.
Why Tom Brady isn’t the (only) reason the Patriots keep winning
A Twitter user pointed out that Brady hasn’t performed as well in the playoffs as his reputation may lead you to believe. In his first tweet, he compared Brady to another quarterback not known for his great play:
“Reminder, no other QB in NFL history has even won 17 playoff games. Brady has won that many playing like Ryan Fitzpatrick.”
In a second tweet, he went on to display Brady’s playoff numbers in a small sample size of games he selected:
“Drew Brees & Aaron Rodgers’ playoff LOSSES combined:379 CMP / 613 ATT / 4,238 YDS / 31 TD / 14 INT / 89.8 RATING / 0-14 RECORDTom Brady’s worst 14 playoff WINS combined:317 CMP / 528 ATT / 3,443 YDS / 13 TD / 16 INT / 74.9 RATING / 14-0 RECORDBrady = most overrated”
There are a couple of problems with the argument. Those stats are based on Brady’s “worst” playoff victories. Brady has 30 career playoff victories total. That means that there are sixteen more games to choose from that are ignored. Saying that Brady is overrated because his worst games aren’t impressive isn’t really fair. It’s the definition of “cherry-picking” to make an argument.
No other quarterback has played as many playoff games as Brady. That means that he’s bound to have a few bad games in there. He has a larger sample size than any other quarterback. Drew Brees has 15 career playoff games while Aaron Rodgers has 17.
The Twitter account making the point is a known troll, meaning he’s more than likely just trying to enrage Patriots fans.
Tom Brady is much better than Ryan Fitzpatrick, and it’s not even close. You can’t compare Fitzpatrick’s playoff performances to Brady’s because he’s never played in a postseason game.
The reason the Patriots keep winning
Brady certainly has his share of responsibility for the Patriots’ success. While his playoff performances may not all be legendary, he at least had a hand in getting the Patriots into position to win those games. There isn’t any denying that he’s helped get them there.
But if you want to pin the Patriots’ success on one person, the answer begins and ends with Bill Belichick. Belichick has more control over those playoff in-game decisions than Brady.
He’s the one with oversight over the playcalling and defensive scheming. He’s able to work with his offensive and defensive coordinators to adapt and adjust as the game goes on depending on what the other team is doing.
Brady is only involved in the passing game. Belichick’s contribution is more comprehensive. Every aspect of the offense, defense, and special teams is managed by Belichick – maybe not directly, but as the head coach, they all fall under his jurisdiction.
Belichick also has the responsibility of selecting the players the Patriots draft — including Brady. The Patriots talent evaluation process is second-to-none, and no one has more insight into that than Belichick. During a typical playoff victory, Belichick had a hand in picking every player on the field for the Patriots.
In short, there isn’t really one reason the Patriots keep winning. There are multiple contributors at multiple levels. But if you had to pick one factor that outweighed any other, it’s impossible to not pick Belichick over Brady.
Brady has had a massive impact on the franchise — it’s fair to say they would not have won six Super Bowls without his consistent play at quarterback. But Belichick’s involvement in team operations runs deeper than Brady’s.