OPINION: Brady is most successful, but not the best

Sean Blevins headshot

Sean Blevins

The New England Patriots have dominated the NFL for two decades now, and it’s clear that their dynasty is on the back end. I am not discrediting them at all, but I do believe that a lot of their success over the past several years has been a direct result of other team’s failures combined with fluke circumstances that have helped them.

The Patriots are going for their sixth championship on Sunday against the Rams, who they beat on a last second field-goal to start their dynasty. I give Patriots coach Bill Belichick 80% of the credit for making New England’s dynasty sustainable for as long as it has been. A large key to their success is that they are probably the only organization to successfully prioritize their system over the players in it. The Steelers have arguably had more talent run through their locker room over the past 10 seasons than the Patriots, but Pittsburgh’s locker room is one filled with chaos, whereas the Patriots is filled with an aura of accountability.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are both intelligent enough to buy into the “Patriot Way,” and they’ve reaped the benefits of it. The Patriots are clearly the most well run NFL organization and the only other team in any sport that can rival their success in the front office is the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. There are several similarities in the way both teams are ran.

First off, their coaches are regarded as some of the best ever in their sport (Belichick for the Patriots and Gregg Popovich for the Spurs) and they both have full control over the daily operations of the team. They also both have at least five titles and are clinging onto to dynasties that are hurtling closer to their inevitable end.

I think Belichick deserves way more credit for the Patriot’s dynasty than Brady. If Brady was selected in the draft by any other team, he wouldn’t have had the career he’s had with the Patriots. Brady is without a doubt the most successful quarterback in NFL history. You can’t have success without a little bit of luck, and Brady just so happens to be the most fortunate player ever.

He’s had a game-winning drive in all five of the Patriots super bowl wins, with three of those wins by three points. The other two wins came in the biggest choke job in NFL history and the other came because the Seahawks decided to throw the ball on the one-yard line. Brady is always stellar when the game is on the line, there is no disputing that. But he’s not the most talented player ever, he’s just the winningest.

If it wasn’t for three bad defensive possessions against NFC teams, Brady could have been 8-0 in the Super Bowl. He has also been the beneficiary of so many coin tosses that you would think a coin only has one side — the side he’s calling for.

There is a big difference in being the best and being the most successful. Brady is still one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, but nowhere near the most talented or skilled. He still has one of the best and strongest legacies ever. I think Brady is largely a product of the greatest system ever.

The clock is ticking on Brady, and it’s clear that his throwing ability is declining quickly. The Patriots dynasty only has a couple more years before they run out of time.

Sean Blevins is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].