I am so sick and tired of Tom Brady not getting his due. I'm not saying BAD is dissing him - I'm just picking you guys to write to in hopes that you will read this on the air!
I'm sure Mr. Brady will prove me out next week and over his career, but those of you who say he just "drives the bus" and compare him to Aikman need to look at some numbers and realize he is no Aikman - HE IS ALOT BETTER - and when he's done (barring injury), he will rightly be considered one of the game's greats alongside Montana...
Check this out:
Brady: 61.6% completion, avg 3500 yards, 24 TD, 13 INT, and has a career QB rating 87.5.
Aikman: 61.7%, avg 3000 yards, 15 TD, 11 INT, career QB rating, 81.6. I excluded Troy's 1st and last year from the yardage, TD and INT stats to further prove my point.
Montana: (as a 49er only) 63.7% comp, avg 2500 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT, QB rating 92.3
Brady's % completion is right there with both, and his QB rating is much closer to Montana than Aikman. He's averaged 500 yards a year more than Aikman, and surprising 1000 more than Montana. He has the same nearly 2 to 1 TD to INT ratio as Montana, far better than Aikman's. He has no one like Rice or Irvin to throw to, and had no Emmitt to hand the ball off to (until maybe this year).
So there are people out there saying that Aikman, who had Emmitt and Michael, is a LOCK Hall of Famer, and still say Brady needs to prove something and that he's a BUS DRIVER?!? (And please don't bring up the pass defense changes this year - his numbers this year are remarkably consistent with the 3 years before). Brady isn't the flashy athlete QB that McNabb, Vick and Culpepper are - he is simply the best.
Last but not least - Belichick and most of the guys on the Patriots were there since 2000. They had a Pro Bowl level QB (at least considered at the time) in Drew Bledsoe. They were a middle of the road team until Brady came in for an injured Bledsoe. Do you honestly think the Patriots would have even won a single SB with Bledsoe? Since he took over, Brady has been the difference maker.
You can say what you want about the watered down talent in the league now, but Tom Brady would have been great in any era.
PS - i'm a huge cowboys fan. So don't call me a Patriots homer.
Well, Steve, here is what I would say to all of that.
First, to call any of the three (Aikman, Montana, or Brady) a bus driver is a gross injustice to all of them. A bus driver in the NFL is a guy who doesn’t have to make big throws in big games. A bus driver seldom wins big games for just this reason. Gus Frerotte is a bus driver. These three are not even close.
Now, on to how they compare to each other. Simmer down on this theory that Brady is miles beyond Aikman. I am a huge Brady fan, but to not recognize Troy’s accomplishments in order to prop up Tom’s is hardly fair. True, they both have other mitigating factors that may help or hurt their numbers, but last I checked, QBs get paid the big bucks for what they can win in the month of January.
Well, take a look at this:
Tom Brady is a stellar 8-0 in career playoff starts. Very impressive. Joe Montana started 7-1, then went on to finish 16-7 with 4 Super Bowl victories. Troy Aikman began his career in the playoffs 10-1, with his one loss being the ’94 NFC Championship game in San Francisco, which was very likely his finest effort of them all.
The way I see it, Joe Montana is in an absolute class by himself. What Tom Brady is doing is a wonderful example of nearly perfect QB play over the course of 4 years. Sustain it for another 10 years, and we can begin to discuss whether he is as great or even as some have already thrown out greater than Joe Montana. Montana is the pinnacle of the position and as great is Brady is, to compare him after 4 years with the greatest to ever lace them up is just ludicrous.
So, how about Troy Aikman? It seems logical to compare the QB of the only team to win 3 Super Bowls in 4 years to the QB of the guy hoping to match that accomplishment next Sunday. In fact, in some ways, you could make the case that Aikman’s prime was only 4 years long. His excellence was found between 1992 and 1995 and closely mirrored the success of the team.
His numbers are pedestrian when you compare them statistic for statistic with other QBs in the era. Frankly, most people are shocked when they read Aikman had only 1 season where he eclipsed 20 Touchdowns.
But what makes Brady and Aikman similar is that they both played their best in the biggest games. Aikman’s QB rating in the Super Bowls of 111.9 trails only Montana, Bradshaw and Plunkett. His playoff numbers constitute the finest 16 game stretch of his career. In short, he was absolute money when the Cowboys required as much.
Look, I agree that statistics are fun to discuss. But Brady supporters cannot bust on Aikman’s numbers out of one side of their mouth, and then tell Peyton Manning supporters that numbers aren’t as important as results out of the other! That is textbook hypocrisy, and something that I just cannot recognize.
The bottom line is that in each decade, it seems that we have this debate. Last decade it was Aikman versus Marino. 25 years ago, Bob Griese had the rings and Dan Fouts had the numbers, while 35 years ago, Fran Tarkenton had the stats and Bart Starr had the championships.
And in each case, the QB with the wins had the lesser numbers, but the better supporting cast. The QB with the stats did not always have the pieces to help him do well in the post-season (provided that he even made it that far).
But to differentiate between Troy Aikman and Tom Brady is nearly impossible. Both appear to be Hall of Fame QB’s who saved their best play for January. Both will never be the fantasy football superstar, and both will have a handful of rings when it is done.
To say one is better than the other is like saying 2.1 million dollars is more than 2 million. Yes, that is technically correct, but they are both enough to buy what you need.
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