Rings don’t make Tom Brady the NFL GOAT, just as they don’t make Bill Russell the NBA GOAT


Tom Brady is still four rings short of Bill Russell’s 11.Illustration: APTom Brady’s minions are at it again.With Brady securing his seventh Super Bowl ring on Sunday after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dismantled the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, they are out in full force trying to convince others that Brady is the Greatest Of All Time.Their reasoning is just simple math.Brady has the most Super Bowl rings so he is the best ever. Case closed.They could not be more wrong.If it were just a ring total, Bill Russell would be the best ever in the NBA.With the Celtics, Russell won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons.By far, Russell won more than any player that ever played in the league.Yet, few consider him the G.O.A.T. Most consider Michael Jordan, who was a perfect 6-0 in NBA Finals and won all six MVPs in the process.And it’s fair because there has to be context and nitpicking when you want to crown someone the greatest.The same goes for Brady.Sure, Brady is a great player and, arguably, the most accomplished quarterback in the NFL. Most would concede that as fact.G/O Media may get a commissionBut the greatest?No way, no how.Some could argue Brady has turned into the NFL’s Robert Horry who won seven rings in his NBA career. And honestly, a case could be made that Horry was more clutch. His nickname was “Big Shot Bob.”Brady always seems to get all the credit, while others put in the work.Anybody who watched the Super Bowl knows the story of the game was the Bucs defense, not Brady who threw for just 201 yards and three TDs.The Bucs’ entire defense should have split the MVP trophy for holding Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense to NO TDs in the 31-9 victory.We’ve seen this movie before. In two of Brady’s seven Super Bowl victories, the Messiah, as some see him, threw a grand total of one touchdown. Yep.The Bucs’ entire defense should have split the MVP trophy for holding Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense to NO TDs in the 31-9 victory.In the Patriots’ 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, Brady completed just 16 passes for 145 yards and a TD.Somehow, Brady was named MVP. The real winner should have been the Patriots’ defense, which stopped the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf offense.In 2019, the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3, in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. Again, it was the defense which enabled Brady to win his sixth ring. In that game, Brady had NO touchdowns, an INT and a fumble. The MVP went to receiver Julian Edelman despite not catching a touchdown. Sure, New England won both games, but Brady hardly had anything to do with them.Joe Montana’s resume, on the other hand, is similar to Jordan’s. Both are just about flawless. That’s what makes many believe they are the GOATs in their sports.Montana was 4-0 in the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers, throwing 11 TDs and NO PICKS. He won the SB MVP three times — first player to accomplish that. He won two championships with Jerry Rice and two without.Montana has the SB record for most passes (122) without an interception and the all-time highest passer rating at 127.8.That’s the stuff of a person you consider the greatest to ever do it.Not a player like Brady that often was along for the ride.And don’t forget, Brady has lost three Super Bowls. He was beaten twice by Eli Manning and the New York Giants, including in 2008.That’s when Brady’s 18-0 undefeated Pats squad managed just 14 points and lost.And don’t forget when Brady lost to Eagles backup QB Nicks Foles in the Super Bowl in 2018, Brady coughed up the ball on a fumble late that helped secure Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl victory.We get it. The NFL is a quarterback league. The last eight league MVPs have all been quarterbacks. The QB gets too much blame for losing and too much credit for winning.The latter, has really been the story of Brady’s career.Forget the defense, forget the kick game, forget the running game, it’s all about Brady.But in reality, Brady wouldn’t have so many rings without them. .

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Deadspin Over/Under Bet of the Week: Dreamy Super Bowl takes center stage


Will we see a shoot-out in Tampa between Brady and Mahomes?Illustration: Eric Barrow (Getty Images)Super Bowl LVKansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersOver/Under: 56 | Kickoff: 6:30 p.m ET | TV: CBSA lot of things in life don’t live up to the hype. But this? This virtual passing-of-the-torch spectacle between maybe the two men who will ultimately be remembered as the two best to ever do it?Well, you’d simply be a fool not to trust the present glamour and all the past glory in delivering a sure showdown for the ages.As such, that means to look toward the scoreboard hosting plenty of activity all evening long. I mean, how could you not?There’s Tom Brady. Just the name itself elicits almost goosebumps at this point. He’s 43 years old, yet here he is once again in his 10th Super Bowl, chasing a seventh ring. Brady remarkably already holds the record for both.Adding extra spiciness to this particular journey to Super Sunday is that it has come in his first year outside of New England. A trip going all the way with the Bucs also required snapping the NFC’s longest playoff dry spell (13 years).G/O Media may get a commissionNot only that, Brady is clearly still playing at a high level, as evident in the 102.2 passer rating he registered this season. Furthermore, his offense hung up 30.8 points per game, ranking Tampa third. To put the significance of this in perspective, a Brady-led offense had not averaged 30 points each week since the 2012 Patriots.Probably the most powerful component of Brady’s allure is his excellence in big games. There’s nothing quite like playing in a Super Bowl, thus making it crucial to consider one’s track record. Brady has played in more of them (nine) than anyone else in history, and his success throughout that lengthy sample size is astounding.In those nine championship affairs, Brady notched a 95.6 passer rating, but has been even sharper in the more recent ones. The man’s thrown for a whopping 350 yards on average over his last six Super Bowls, after all. But just as important as anything, it’s basically automatic that he’ll throw a lot, which is a tendency he’s displayed on this big stage.Specifically, Brady has averaged 43.6 pass attempts (45.6 if you take out his first one back in ‘01). And that’s even when he’s often been the winning quarterback. In other words, no matter how this game plays out — whether it be the Buccaneers down and having to play in catch-up mode, or simply trying to hold off and outscore the Chiefs — Tampa Bay will be taking to the air plenty. As it is, they are one of the NFL’s pass-happier teams.That’s critical to note in terms of game flow and cranking out a healthy amount of scoring — because we know that’s what KC will do, as we’ve grown accustomed to.Patrick Mahomes being right up there with Brady when his career is all said and done is no exaggeration. Yes, he’s only about to complete his third campaign as a starting QB1 but think about it: Mahomes really should be shooting for his third title here.Ironically, Mahomes met Brady at the conclusion of his first year as a starter in the NFC Championship Game. If not for an ill-advised Dee Ford defensive offsides penalty with a minute left in that game (which wiped out a game-sealing interception that it had nothing to do with), KC would’ve advanced — and we can say they’d have rolled over the Rams.Mahomes shined last year in his first Super Bowl conquest and will look to pull off the first championship repeat feat since — who else? — Brady and the Patriots almost two full decades ago.Comparisons to Michael Jordan began to grow rampant this week thanks to owner Clark Hunt, but as I first highlighted earlier during the season, the thoughts are no doubt legit. Like Mike, Mahomes’ own brand of “Airness” has been glaringly special right from the onset of his career. Hyperlink:What I love about Mahomes is that he never disappoints. There are no bigger spots to deliver than postseason ones and just look at what the former Red Raider has done in seven lifetime playoff dates: 65.5 percent passing, 17 touchdowns compared to only two interceptions, and, really, a mesmerizing 109.8 passer rating.Most importantly when it comes to over/unders is the points Mahomes has been able to dial up from this output. You couldn’t really ask for more, as the Chiefs are absurdly plating 34.1 points in postseason contests with Mahomes as the signal-caller — and this includes the 22-point outing in the Divisional Round when he was limited to only about a half.While it’s true that Kansas City’s banged-up offensive line could play a negative role for the superstar, I don’t think it will be that severe. Mahomes, remember, was the only quarterback in the league to finish with a positive EPA (Expected Points Added) while dealing with pressure, something that he also accomplished as the only QB to do so just a season ago.These clubs were cemented first and second, respectively, in the NFL in passing yards per game. Both throw a lot within the identity of their offenses, and why wouldn’t they continue to do so given the legends they have working behind center?Normally I wouldn’t advise buying two points, which creates unfriendly -150 odds, but being the last game of the year and having the chance to secure a main key number like 54 (think 34-20/30-24) on this type of matchup, I’m going for it.The Play: OVER 54 (-150)The Record: 10-9-1, -0.4 unitLast Game: Bills-Chiefs Over 54 (WIN)*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unitExtra PropsTom Brady Over/Under 39.5 Pass AttemptsJust like I went through above, Brady has showcased a habit for throwing and throwing frequently when playing in the Big Game. No matter the game outcome, the former Patriot should sail beyond that.The Pick: OVER 39.5 (-110)Buccaneers First Offensive Play: Pass or RunOK, I’ve gone on and on about Brady’s consistency in Super Bowls. Another wrinkle is that his offenses have almost always come out to start the game with a pass. That’s exactly what happened in his first eight Super Bowls before the Pats ran a running play in his most recent one. Given that this could be Brady’s last, I say he sets the tone on the first play, seeking a sizable chunk through the air. Bruce Arians provides him that freedom as well.The Pick: PASS (+105) .

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The Patriots won Tampa Bay a Super Bowl


Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady teamed up for two touchdowns.Image: APSeven.It’s the number of how many deadly sins there are, the numeral on Colin Kaepernick’s jersey, days in a week, and how many whole days Toni Braxton once went without hearing from her lover.Seven is also how many Super Bowl rings Tom Brady has now, which is one more than the Patriots and Steelers have as entire franchises. Seven is also two fewer than the nine points the Chiefs scored on Sunday night, as Todd Bowles’ defense led Tampa Bay to a 31-9 victory.If you’re a Kansas City fan or hate the Patriots and Tom Brady, then Sunday night was a tough one for you. The guy that people love to hate and who used to play for that team that everyone despises, won another Super Bowl with the help of his old teammates from Foxboro, as 21 of the Bucs’ 31 points were scored by former Patriots.Brady finished 21-for-29 for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns, as he won his record fifth Super Bowl MVP.Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa, caught 6 balls for 67 yards and scored two touchdowns, as Brady and Gronk set the record for most postseason touchdowns between a quarterback and receiver at 14. G/O Media may get a commissionAntonio Brown, the alleged domestic abuser, hauled in 5 passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.But besides Sunday night being gut-wrenching for Bill Belichick, it was also a reminder of how fans love to anoint athletes like Mahomes too quickly as the next G.O.A.T. while the current G.O.A.T. is proving he still has a lot left in the tank. After ending last season by throwing a pick-six in his final game as a Patriot, Brady watched last year’s Super Bowl from the stands. He was pissed.While everyone was excited by what Patrick Mahomes did in last year’s Super Bowl, it was as if they forgot that it was also the first Super Bowl Brady wasn’t playing in, in four years. You have to remember, Brady has been here before. There was Russell Wilson, and Matt Ryan, and Jared Goff, and now Mahomes. Facing, and beating, the young and “up-and-coming” next great quarterback is what he does best. But people have selective amnesia. Over the next few days, you will rightfully hear a ton about Brady and the outstanding scheme that Todd Bowles put together in shutting down the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. But what most people will try to skip over is just how horrific Mahomes was on Sunday night. When you sign a contract worth half a billion dollars, you deserve to catch hell after going 26-for-49 for 270 yards with 2 interceptions and 3 sacks. Mahomes and the Chiefs were trying to make history as being the first repeat champion since the 2004 and 2005 Patriots. You should already know who the last quarterback was to pull off that feat. “Yeah, we’re coming back,” declared Brady on the podium after the game. I believe him, and you should, too. Because even if you hate Tom Brady and his former Patriots teammates, by now you should have learned your lesson. Being a non-believer in White Jesus has never worked out for anyone. .

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