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Who is The G.O.A.T.?

Most of us that love Sports and Hip-Hop also love debating these topics.  We all have Top 5 Emcee lists, Top 5 NBA Players, etc.  But the one convo that always seems to bring the most passion out of us fanatics is “Who is The G.O.A.T.?”  Whether it be a Boxer, Point Guard, Short Stop or Quarterback, most of us have an opinion.

Recently I have been in some heated Facebook exchanges about the Best NFL QB All-Time aka The G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time).  Many people I have encountered say that it is Tom Brady, hands down.  6 AFC Championships, 4 Super Bowl Rings, 2 MVPs and arguably the hottest NFL Wife ever. (Yes, Tom’s Wife ‘Gisele’ has been used by some to argue his football greatness) lol.

When you look at it initially, its hard to argue against the Tom’s success.  Most people my age (30-45) have not seen an NFL dynasty like the one we have witnessed in New England since 2000 (all under Tom’s watch).  Over that time Tom has not only consistently won football games, he has also put himself in the Top 5 All-Time of nearly every career statistical category that is relevant to a Quarterback’s individual performance.  Passing Yards (4th), Touchdown Passes (4th), Completions (4th) and Passer Rating (3rd).  Tom “Terrific” has been nothing short of that nickname.  First ballot Hall of Famer, no question, and at 39 years old he is still going and showing NO signs of slowing up.  Coming off of a 14-2 regular season and now on his way to a record setting 7th Super Bowl with an opportunity to win a record setting 5th Lombardi Trophy.

Unlike basketball where one man can dominate easily, football is the ultimate team game (that and soccer).  There are at least 25 starters on an NFL roster vs 5 in basketball.  The schemes, clock management by coaches, play calling and other important factors, outside of individual player’s control, have a huge bearing on the outcome of games.  While Tom has proven to be exceptional, we can’t say that he is the only reason the Patriots have been so dominate for the last 16 years.

Let’s 1st consider that he has “arguably” the Greatest NFL Head Coach and personnel/talent evaluator in football history.  The “Patriot (or Belichick) Way” of evaluating players is a nearly perfected method to measure a players value to the team and forecast production on the field (For more on this watch Cleveland Browns ’95 A Football Life).  In the New England organization it is not about the name on the back of the jersey, it is all about the name on the front, as Belichick says “Do Your Job!”.  Belichick has a way of getting the most out of his players whether it is Randy Moss and Darrelle Revis or Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker.  Regardless of talent level or personality type, Belichick gets his players to produce at an unparalleled extremely high level consistently.

Do you remember when Peyton Manning missed the 2011 season due to a neck injury?  The Colts went from 10-6 the previous season to 2-14 the season without Manning.  Remember when Brady missed the 2008 season due to a knee injury?  The Patriots went from 16-0 the previous season to 11-5 the season without Brady.  This season (2016) when Brady was suspended 4 games for “Deflategate”, the Patriots went 3-1 without Brady.  I’m not saying that Brady’s contribution to the wins is not significant, but I am saying that the system created by Belichick has been proven to still perform well even when Tom is not in the lineup.  Could The Saints win 11 games without Brees?  Could the Packers win 11 games without Rodgers or Favre?  I don’t know, but I highly doubt it.

Speaking of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre… When looking at most of the individual passing statistics that I listed above where Brady ranks in the Top 5 of each, 2-3 of these guys are above him in most of those categories:

Peyton Manning’s Ranks: Passing Yards (1st), Touchdown Passes (1st), Completions (2nd) and Passer Rating (6th).

Brett Favre’s Ranks:  Passing Yards (2nd), Touchdown Passes (2nd), Completions (1st) and Passer Rating (28th).
Drew Brees’ Ranks:  Passing Yards (3rd), Touchdown Passes (3rd), Completions (3rd) and Passer Rating (7th).
Tom Brady’s Ranks: Passing Yards (4th), Touchdown Passes (4th), Completions (4th) and Passer Rating (3rd)
Aaron Rodgers’ Ranks:  Passing Yards (23rd), Touchdown Passes (11th), Completions (22nd) and Passer Rating (1st).

(Take into account Aaron Rodgers has played about half as many seasons as Tom, Drew, Peyton and Brett, but out of the younger guys, he has the strongest momentum and success to take a shot at the throne eventually, that’s why I included him in this.) 

Other relevant individual career QB statistical category ranks below…
Yards Per Game: Brees (1st), Manning (4th), Brady (8th), Rodgers (9th) & Favre (20th)
Completion %: Brees (1st), Manning (5th), Rodgers (7th), Brady (14th), Favre (23rd) & Manning (31st)
Lowest Pass Interception %: Rodgers (1st), Brady (Tied-2nd), Brees (Tied-15th) & Favre (Tied-65th)
4th Qtr Comebacks: Manning (1st), Brady (2nd), Favre (6th), Brees (11th) & Rodgers (Tied-105)
MVP Awards: Manning (5), Favre (3), Brady (2), Rodgers (2) & Brees (0)
NFL All-Pro: Manning (7), Favre (3), Brady (2), Rodgers (2) & Brees (1)
NFL Pro Bowl: Manning (14), Brady (12), Favre (11), Brees (9) & Rodgers (6)

Although I focused on only 5 guys in the statistical rankings, there are other QBs that could make arguments for being The G.O.A.T. as well.  Those that argue Brady’s 4 Super Bowl Rings set him apart must consider Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw who also each have 4 Rings too.  There is also Warren Moon who ranks very highly in many individual statistical categories, even after his career was limited early on due to the NFL not accepting Black Quarterbacks at that time.  You have “Slingin'” Sammy Baugh who evolved the forward pass and played at a high level way before the Super Bowl Era and the modern game that exists today.  You have Steve Young who was probably the most successful dual threat QB ever.  You have Troy Aikman that won 3 Super Bowls during the Dallas Dynasty of the 1990’s.  You have John Elway that walked off the field on top after winning back to back Super Bowls.  You have Dan Marino who held nearly all the passing records before the passing rules changed and Favre, Manning and Brees stepped in.  You have Johnny Unitas, Joe Namith, Bart Starr and Roger Staubach who all played well before my time, but their individual legacies and impacts on the evolution of the game are still felt today.  The list of great QBs goes on and on, but I want to know what you think!  Please go in the comment section below and drop your opinion.  Who is The G.O.A.T.?  Is it somebody I mentioned above or possibly someone I didn’t even name?  Please let us know your thoughts!

Wilt Wallace
Mix Syndicate Sports Blogger

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