Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came up short of making it the Super Bowl this season after losing to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 26-16 in the AFC Championship game, but NFL players want Brady as their QB with two minutes left and the Super Bowl on the line.
In an ESPN poll, NFL players voted Brady the most clutch QB in the NFL after he received 128 (40 percent) out of a possible 320 votes. Manning came in second, receiving 86 votes. (In my best Bill Lumbergh impression) Yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with you there (Points to all who recognized the “Office Space” shout out).
Super Bowl game-winning drives? Check. Brady has three. Fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives? Check and check. Brady has 31 (tied for fourth place all-time) and 42 (ranked fifth all-time) respectively in his 14-year career.
Yes, I am aware Brady and the Patriots have not won the Super Bowl since the 2004 season; but in 2007 and 2011, the Patriots were two amazing circus plays by the New York Giants, a Wes Welker drop and some Rob Gronkowski injuries away from possibly winning one or two more Super Bowls. If you want to talk about recent history, Brady had five fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives in 2013.
I’m sure the Manning lovers out there will say that he deserves the title of most clutch and that Brady wouldn’t be as “clutch” without the Hoodie himself, Bill Belichick as his head coach. That is complete and utter nonsense. Belichick may go down in history as the greatest NFL head coach ever, but all of Brady’s success cannot be attributed to Belichick.
Brady brings a lot of talent, knowledge and work ethic to the table. Manning’s playoff record is 11-11 while Brady’s is 18-8, but a debate ensues whenever Brady or Manning is brought up, and it’s a debate that cannot be won.
Number of postseason fourth-quarter comebacks for Manning? One. Number of postseason game-winning drives for Manning? One. Number of games decided by one score in Manning’s 11 playoff losses? Seven. A clutch QB wins more of those close games.
How about the two QBs who have the same number (one) of postseason game-winning drives as Manning? They are — drumroll please — Tim Tebow and Neil O’Donnell. I’m not sure that’s the company Manning wants to be in when anyone talks about his playoff legacy.
Now compare that to Brady, who is 18-8. Brady has seven post-season game-winning drives and four fourth-quarter comebacks. Those seven playoff game-winning drives are the most by any QB in NFL history. Brady being voted most clutch by NFL players (or anyone else) is not surprising. What is surprising is that NFL players chose Manning when they were asked, “if you had to start a team with one player, whom would it be?”
Given Manning’s neck surgeries and that Brady is better (sorry, he just is), and that NFL players chose Brady as the most clutch QB, how could they turn around and vote Manning as the player they want to start a team with? If you think Brady is the most clutch, that should be the guy you want to start a team with, not the guy voted the second-most clutch.
Brady is the most clutch QB and the player I would start a team with. If my life depended on a win, I’d take Brady to get that win for me. Go ahead and call me a homer. I’m okay with that.