Why Tom Brady Is the Greatest NFL Quarterback of All Time, Period

Tom Brady signals to his teammates.
Tom Brady signals to his teammates. | Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a spot reserved for Tom Brady. That’s a given. The 39-year-old quarterback was set to go down as one of the all-time greats to ever play the game well before he guided the New England Patriots to the biggest comeback win in Super Bowl history over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. Brady’s triumph simply served as icing on the cake when it comes to his legacy in the National Football League.

With five Super Bowl rings, seven AFC championships, four Super Bowl MVP awards, and two NFL MVP awards already on his resume, it’s time to look at Brady’s argument for being the best quarterback in NFL history. To do this, we compiled Brady’s career regular-season, playoff, and Super Bowl stats, including his all-time rankings. Here is a look at what we came up with. Breathe easy; none of it involves PSI measurements.

Regular season

Quarterback Tom Brady looks for his target.
Quarterback Tom Brady looks for his target. | Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Tom Brady’s regular-season numbers will impress any NFL fan. Although the 39-year-old doesn’t lead the way in every single category, he ranks near the top for nearly all of them. And if Brady plays as long as he is planning to (he is on record saying that he would like to play until he’s 45), he will completely re-write the NFL’s regular season passing record book.

Passing yards

  • Brady: 61,582 (fourth all time)
  • Leader: Peyton Manning – 71,940

Pass completions

  • Brady: 5,244 (fourth all time)
  • Leader: Brett Favre – 6,300

Touchdown passes

  • Brady: 456 (fourth all time)
  • Leader: Peyton Manning – 539

Regular season continued…

Tom Brady will go down as the best ever.
Tom Brady will go down as the best ever. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Passer rating

  • Brady: 97.2 (third all time)
  • Leader: Aaron Rodgers – 104.1

Completion percentage

  • Brady: 63.8 (14th all time)
  • Leader: Drew Brees – 66.6


  • Brady: 183 (third all time)
  • Leader (tie): Brett Favre and Peyton Manning – 186

MVP awards

  • Brady: 2
  • Leader: Peyton Manning – 5

Pro Bowl appearances

  • Brady: 12
  • Leader (tie): Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews, Merlin Olsen – 14


Tom Brady celebrates his success.
Tom Brady celebrates his success. | Jim Rogash/Getty Images

From a statistical perspective, Brady is already the greatest postseason quarterback in NFL history. And it’s not even close. If the Patriots continue their run of dominance in the AFC until he retires, Brady will put these records so far out of reach that they will fall into the unbreakable category.

Passing yards

  • Brady: 8,628
  • Leader: Brady

Pass completions

  • Brady: 788
  • Leader: Brady

Touchdown passes

  • Brady: 61
  • Leader: Brady

Playoffs continued…

Tom Brady is the best postseason quarterback in NFL history.
Tom Brady is the best postseason quarterback in NFL history. | Rob Carr/Getty Images

Passer rating

  • Brady: 88.7
  • Leader: Bart Starr – 104.8

Completion percentage

  • Brady: 62.39
  • Leader: Matt Schaub, Teddy Bridgewater – 70.8


  • Brady: 24
  • Leader: Brady

Winning percentage (minimum 10 starts)

  • Brady: .727
  • Leader: Bart Starr – .900

Super Bowl

Tom Brady celebrates one of his many Super Bowl wins.
Tom Brady celebrates one of his many Super Bowl wins. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Like his playoff records, Brady’s Super Bowl superlatives will likely stand the test of time. He now holds the records for most Super Bowl wins, most Super Bowl appearances, most Super Bowl MVP awards, and practically ever major passing statistic.


  • Brady: 7
  • Leader: Brady


  • Brady: 5
  • Leader: Brady

MVP awards

  • Brady: 4
  • Leader: Brady

Super Bowl continued…

There will never be another Tom Brady.
There will never be another Tom Brady. | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Completions (career)

  • Brady: 207
  • Leader: Brady

Completions (single game)

  • Brady: 43
  • Leader: Brady

Completion percentage

  • Brady: 64.1 (fourth all time)
  • Leader: Troy Aikman – 70.0

Passing yards (career)

  • Brady: 2,071
  • Leader: Brady

Passing yards (single game)

  • Brady: 466
  • Leader: Brady

Touchdown passes

  • Brady: 15
  • Leader: Brady
Tom Brady leads his team.
Tom Brady leads his team. | Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Brady’s case as the best quarterback of all time got a serious boost with his performance in Super Bowl XLIX. The argument grew even more with his MVP-caliber performance during the 2015 regular season. And it hit a peak with his performance against the Falcons in Super Bowl 51.

He now holds nearly every major Super Bowl passing record in addition to the record for most Super Bowl appearances by a quarterback. More importantly, Brady surpassed Joe Montana, the quarterback many consider to be the best to ever play the game, for the most Super Bowl wins and most Super Bowl MVP awards.

Brady also holds multiple playoff quarterback records and is in the top five in nearly every career regular-season passing category. He has hinted that he has “a lot of football left” to play in his career, meaning that he is highly likely to improve his standing in every category. If he truly does play another five to seven seasons, Brady will almost surely hold every regular-season passing record, every postseason passing record, and every Super Bowl passing record.

Furthermore, we firmly believe that Brady has yet to win his final Super Bowl title. Brady likely has enough gas left in his tank to turn in at least two or three more elite-level seasons. If that truly happens, it will be extremely hard for even his biggest critics to argue against him as the best ever.

Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.