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’s Super Bowl trivia extravaganza will test your NFL fan cred & get you pumped for gametime


Image: Getty ImagesAtlanta FalconsAtlanta led 28-3 midway through the third quarter during Super Bowl LI. Then, well, you know what happened. The Patriots wound up winning the game 34-28 and completing one of the most surprising comebacks in Super Bowl history. 18 years before the humiliating loss, a Falcons star embarrassed himself the night before his team played The Big Game. Atlanta’s Pro Bowl safety, Eugene Robinson, was arrested for solicitation of prostitution less than 24 hours before Super Bowl XXXIII. The Falcons lost that one too, 34-19.Carolina PanthersCarolina’s first chance to win a title came in a 2004 classic against a young Tom Brady and the Patriots. With just over a minute left in the fourth quarter, Panthers receiver Ricky Proehl caught a 12-yard touchdown from Jake Delhomme to tie the game up. But right before time expired the GOAT — no, not that one — Adam Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal to seal the game.And in 2016, a year before the Falcons choked in epic fashion, the Panthers had another opportunity to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Except… they ran into Peyton Manning and a historically great Broncos defense. Cam Newton, who won MVP that season, was shut down and Denver ended up winning 24-10.Arizona CardinalsThe Cardinals won a championship in 1947, 20 years before Super Bowl I kicked off, as the Chicago Cardinals. The only Super Bowl the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals appeared in was XLIII (2009), against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With just over two minutes left in the game, Larry Fitzgerald scored a 64-yard touchdown to give Arizona a three-point lead. But the Steelers marched down the field and Santonio Holmes tiptoed in for a game winning catch. Tennessee TitansWhen the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Oilers in 1997 then changed their name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999, playoff success followed suit.The Titans played in their one and only Super Bowl on January 30, 2000 and came up juuuuuuust a wee-bit short. In the final play of the game, Titans QB Steve McNair threw a quick slant to Kevin Dyson who was tackled a yard short of the end zone. The game saving tackle gave Kurt Warner’s Rams a 23-16 win.Buffalo BillsThere are two teams in the NFL who have been to four Super Bowls without winning one. The Bills are one of ‘em.In the early 90’s Jim Kelly’s squad lost four straight Super Bowls. Los Angeles ChargersThe San Diego Chargers won an AFL title in the 1963 season and played a few more championship games in the early to mid ‘60s. But the team didn’t compete for a Super Bowl until January 29, 1995. That day, Jerry Rice and Steve Young overwhelmed the Chargers. Young threw for 6 touchdowns — 3 of them to Rice — on his way to winning the Big Game 49-26.Minnesota VikingsRemember when I said there are two teams in the NFL who have been to four Super Bowls without winning one? The Bills are one of ’em, the Vikings are the other.Minnesota lost its first Super Bowl in 1970 against the Chiefs. As the decade went on, the Vikings had a somewhat of a Super Bowl appearance streak, losing in ’74, ’75, and ’77 to Shula’s Dolphins, Noll’s Steelers, and Madden’s Raiders respectively.Cincinnati BengalsThe Bengals went to two Super Bowls in the 80s. In ’82 Cincinnati fell to Joe Montana and the 49ers. In ‘89 the Bengals and their MVP QB, Boomer Esiason, went up against Montana and the 49ers again, and lost again, 20-16 in a last-minute thriller that saw Montana drive his team the length of the field for a game-winning TD. And of course, we’ve already covered the Lions, Browns, Jags and Texans. .

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