Let's be clear: this article is not a rant about the Patriots. Belichick is the greatest football mind of his generation, and perhaps second only to Vince Lombardi all-time. Which is a huge factor in the Pats' success. Brady, in my opinion, has done relatively little for his team. He took a playoff team to the Super Bowl, and that's about all that can be said. Belichick, I believe, deserves all the credit for New England's dynasty. As evidence, I offer the tremendous success of Drew Bledsoe before he was injured, and of Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett during the suspension last year. Is Brady an improvement over Bledsoe? Probably. Is he better than Brissett? Undeniably. But Garoppolo, as well as all the truly great quarterbacks, has changed his franchise much more dramatically than did Brady.
I'm not some crazy conspiracy theorist, but it's hard to argue against the fact that Brady has been involved in more cheating scandals than any other quarterback in the league. His involvement with Spygate is well-chronicled, and he has actually been suspended for his involvement in Deflategate. Did this affect any of his success? If pressed, I'd say it probably didn't. Still, it is enough to taint his legacty.
How do teams beat the Patriots? They hit Brady, and he loses his cool. You know what they usually call that? A weak link. Brady's immaturity and short temper have hurt his team in many key situations. He's well-known for his seven straight AFC title game appearances. Only two teams have beaten him during that streak; the Ravens and the Broncos (who did it twice). What was their strategy? Hit Brady! Make him mad! Von Miller said so himself before the 2015 AFC Championship. I'd argue that if Peyton Manning or Drew Brees had quarterbacked the Patriots, they would have won every one of those conference championships.
So, who IS the G.O.A.T.?
There is not a doubt in my mind. The clear and objective answer is Otto Graham.
You think Brady's seven straight conference championship appearances is impressive. Graham WON seven straight LEAGUE championships-the old-timey equivalent of Super Bowls. And while his team was solid, most of the best players were defensive. The Cleveland offense was all on his shoulders. It's about time we recognize him as the player he is. He is the Wayne Gretzky, the Michael Jordan, the Babe Ruth, the Tiger Woods, you name it, of football.
If you ask me about the greatest passer of the Super Bowl era? That's a question for another day.