Settling the Quarterback Debate, Tom Brady Still the Best QB in the NFL

By Tyler Ash
Tom Brady
David Butler – USA TODAY Sports

A few days after the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, ESPN analyst Merril Hoge asserted that Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco was the best quarterback in the league. While Flacco belongs in the conversation for the top quarterback in the NFL, along with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning, there is simply only one “Tom Terrific” in the NFL.

Tom Brady’s regular season résumé speaks for itself.  In 11 years under center for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady has led the Patriots to 10 playoff appearances, winning the AFC East crown in each of those seasons.  The two-time MVP has tossed 334 touchdown passes, fifth most in NFL history.

Brady holds the record for most touchdown passes in a season, firing a whopping 50 in the 2007 season as he lead the Patriots to a perfect 16-0 regular season record, the only time in league history a team has won all 16 of its regular season contests. Tom Brady has an outstanding 136-39 record in the regular season, as he posts the best winning percentage (.777) in league history. Brady has thrown for 44,806 yards, ninth most in NFL history.

Not only does Tom Brady dominate the regular season, he also is extraordinarily clutch in the postseason. In 10 playoff appearances, Brady has led the Patriots to seven conference championships. Brady has won all but two of his AFC Championship appearances, leading the Patriots to five Super Bowls, winning three of them.

Brady was the Super Bowl MVP for two of the three Patriots Super Bowl victories, orchestrating game-winning drives in the final minute in each of those games. Patriots fans are used to see Brady operate successfully in the waning moments of the game as he has led the team to 26 fourth quarter comebacks and 37 game-winning drives, including the regular season and the playoffs.

Although the Patriots lost in the conference title game this season, Brady was able to pass Joe Mantana for most playoff wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history.

While Brady does have some steep competition for the honor of leagues’ best quarterback, the other elite candidates just cannot compare to what Brady has achieved in his career.

Aaron Rodgers is still a young quarterback and will be star for years to come but for now he is a ways behind Brady accomplishments in the regular season and postseason.  Drew Brees has thrown for more passing yards than Brady, but Brees does not have close to the success that Brady does in the playoffs. Eli Manning and the New York Giants have beaten the Patriots in each of the last two times they have faced off in the Super Bowl, but still Eli has not achieved anything near the feats Brady has in the regular season.

More importantly, Brady still has won more Super Bowl ring than Eli. Peyton Manning will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, but his sub .500 record in the playoffs ends any comparison of him being better than Brady. Joe Flacco has outplayed Brady in consecutive AFC Championship games (despite losing the AFC title in 2011), but still has a long way to catch Brady’s playoff successes.

Tom Brady has been an elite quarterback since taking over for the injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001. With one more Super Bowl win, Brady could arguably be the best quarterback in NFL history.

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