So what if the Patriots got beat on Sunday. So what if it was the first ever home halftime lead lost by Brady who is now 67-1 all-time. So what if he is now 5-2 in AFC Title Games. So what if it has been 8 years since he last won a Super Bowl.
When evaluating a legacy, and comparing a career, then you can’t concentrate on the moment. You have pull away and look at the big picture.
Fixating on numbers can be nauseating. It’s like trading baseline forehands in tennis. We could be here for awhile.
You can twist numbers to fit your cause. For example, Tom Brady has more playoff wins than any quarterback in history. He has 17. That is a positive.
The negative spin would be saying he started out 10-0 and is just 7-7 since.
John Elway started out his career 7-7 (0-3 in Super Bowls) and finished 7-0 (2-0 in Super Bowls). Does that mean he had a better or more productive career? Of course not. He had 3 less wins (so far) and 1 less Super Bowl win.
It doesn’t mean you can’t believe Elway wasn’t better, just that the stats over the course of time don’t directly support that.
Troy Aikman began his career as an 11-2 NFL playoff quarterback with 3 Super Bowl wins. He lost his last 3 playoff games. That doesn’t take away from his early career success, now does it?
Brady is getting older clearly and is running short on opportunities. Even if he does nothing but lose playoff games for the remainder of his time in the NFL, he’s already placed himself in the conversation for greatest quarterback ever. His winning percentage may drop, but you can’t take away his wins or Super Bowl titles. He can only add to his legacy, not subtract from it.
There is no true right answer in the conversation of who is the best ever, because there is no way to confirm something so subjective. We arrive to the conversation based on numbers, memories, experiences, and educated opinions. If Brady’s best days are behind him, that’s okay. Michael Jordan isn’t evaluated as a Wizard when talking about best NBA player ever. Willie Mays isn’t brought up as a Met when discussing best baseball player ever.
Athletes are judged at their peaks of greatness, and then how often they frequented those peaks, how long they stayed at those peaks, and how high those peaks were compared to others.
Tom Brady might look to his left and right and see other greats, but he doesn’t have to look up to see anyone.