Top 5 Reasons Why Tom Brady is NFL’s Top QB
Top 5 Reasons Why Tom Brady is NFL’s Top QB
New England Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady will be a first ballot hall of famer upon his retirement. Comparing him the all starting quarterbacks in NFL history he is currently first in quarterback rating (97.0), first in touchdown/interception ratio (329/119), fifth in touchdowns (329), first in interceptions (119), and third in completion percentage (63.9%). In the two categories he doesn’t lead, he’s just a short distance from the all-time leader.
In addition to his career accomplishments, he had arguably two of the best single seasons in NFL history in 2007 and 2010 when he won his pair of Most Valuable Player awards including being the only NFL player to ever be named unanimous MVP. From a team prospective, since taking over for Drew Bledsoe in 2001, Brady has won five AFC championships and three Super Bowls. The only year’s he hasn’t won the AFC East division title was in his second season of 2002 and 2008 when he was injured at the beginning of the first game of the season.
His career accomplishments, both personally and team, put him in a category with the likes of Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Peyton Manning but this slideshow will look at why Brady has those accomplishments. While his statistics are impressive that’s not what makes him the best quarterback in the NFL. It’s what he brings to the offense when he plays that makes him the best. So what are the attributes that make him the best quarterback in NFL?
The following slides will show the top five reasons why Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL.
Ability to Change Offensive Tempo
One of Tom Brady’s greatest assets is the ability to change the Patriots offensive tempo. With Brady under center, the Patriots can switch between the no huddle offense and a slowed down tempo mid-drive. This option for the Patriots gives them the ability to surprise and confuse defenses which has been a key to the Patriots offensive success this season with injuries keeping out several key offensive weapons.
At the beginning of this season the Patriots effectiveness on offense was the ability to create mismatches. The use of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez gave Brady easy targets as linebackers couldn’t keep up with them and defensive backs are too small to cover them. So the Patriots began using a hurry-up offense to help free receivers. Brady’s ability to use both a hurry-up and slowed down offense has given the Patriots the ability keep defenses off balance and offset their key losses.
Thrives Under Pressure
One of the key attributes of a great quarterback is the ability to thrive under pressure. Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history when the game is on the line. In his almost twelve seasons as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, Brady has led his team to 26 fourth quarter comebacks and 37 game winning drives. No quarterback in the game is better at this skill than Brady.
The best example of Brady’s ability to thrive under pressure is that he led his team on game winning drives in three separate Super Bowls. In Super Bowl XXXVI he led his team downfield to beat the St. Louis Rams with a game winning field goal. Two years later in Super Bowl XXXVIII he again led his team downfield to beat the Carolina Panthers with a game winning field goal. The next year in Super Bowl XXXIX Brady once again led his team downfield against the Philadelphia Eagles for a game winning drive.
Even though the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants, Brady orchestrated late drives in each game that gave the Patriots the lead and an opportunity to win those games. In all, Brady has led the Patriots on five game winning drives in the postseason and three of those were fourth quarter comebacks.
The most important attribute of a NFL quarterback is the ability to lead. When talking about quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the first thing teammates and coaches mention is the fact that they are leaders. Brady has complete control of the Patriots offense at all times. Both coaches and players respect what Brady says when it comes to the offense because he is in charge of the group at all times.
Over the past twelve years, several members of the Patriots offense have changed but Brady’s presence has been constant. And his presence has led the Patriots to having the top scoring offense year-in and year-out. At the beginning of the 2006 season, the Patriots leading receiver Deion Branch was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. During the 2010 season, the Patriots leading receiver Randy Moss was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Following the 2011 season, the Patriots lost their two best offensive linemen and the only three returning linemen have been out for the majority of the 2012 season. Despite these losses, Brady has kept the Patriots as consistently the top offense in the NFL.
Knowledge of Offense
It takes a certain type of player to exist in the New England Patriots offense. Not because of the type of offense the team runs but because Tom Brady is the quarterback. Brady rules the Patriots offense with an iron fist. He knows where each player is supposed to be on each play and when they should be there. This is why the Patriots are able to break down even the stingiest defenses.
There are examples of Brady’s reign on the Patriots offense each year since 2001 but the best example is in 2011. Following the departure of Randy Moss, the Patriots signed perennial Pro Bowler Chad Johnson. But Johnson struggled for his new team recording just 15 receptions. The reason for this was that in Cincinnati Johnson improvised many of his routes to get open. In New England, that doesn’t fly because Brady wants each receiver to be in a certain place at a specific time and if that happens, he makes them successful.
Other receivers such as Deion Branch and Wes Welker have had successful years in New England and have been unable to replicate those season elsewhere because they played with Brady. In the Patriots strict offense, if you do what you’re supposed to do, where you’re supposed to do it, and when you’re supposed to do it, you’ll be successful because Brady will find you. It’s the mantra echoed by head coach Bill Belichick and year after year rings true because Brady knows the Patriots offense better than anyone else.
Quest for Perfection
Tom Brady has many great attributes that make him the best quarterback in the NFL. But no attribute is more important to his success than his quest for perfection. While Brady isn’t and will never be a perfect quarterback, it’s his attention to small details that leads that quest and makes him the best.
Some athletes are fine with being as good as they are but those are the players that never reach their potential. The greatest athletes are the ones that are never happy no matter what they accomplish. They continue working and improving until the day they retire. Brady has won five AFC championships, three Super Bowls, and two MVP awards and is still not satisfied.
Every offseason Brady goes to work on his technique to improve his performance from the last season. Many considered his performance in 2010 to be the best performance by a quarterback in the history of the NFL but still Brady wanted to do better. It’s that work on the practice field that makes him and every player on the Patriots offense better and that is what has led him to where he is today.