Round Table: Brady’s Legacy

How Tom Brady’s legacy been affected by his play in the playoff’s since the 2007 season?

Rick:  I don’t think Brady’s legacy has taken a huge hit at all because in the last two years, they have ran into red hot football teams in the playoffs. In the era of the Wild Card Super Bowl competitors, its tougher to win with home field than ever before. In that 2007 season, Brady did have a decent Super Bowl throwing for 300 yards and presumably the game winning touchdown. If not for Asante Samuel or David Tyree, Brady would have been a 19-0 QB. In 2009, Wes Welker was injured in the final game of that year. That had to take a huge wind out of the sails of the Patriots going into the Ravens’ game. This year, the Jets had revenge on their minds and flat out outplayed the Pats. Regardless of the recent failures, Brady is 15-5 as a QB in the playoffs. That still is a top QB of all-time to me. He still is a very clutch quarterback and capable of winning at least one more championship.

Stephen:  We all know the story. Sixth round draft pick, replacing Drew Bledsoe, three Super Bowl Titles, 50 touchdowns, etc. If Tom Brady retired today, he would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. With three Super Bowl rings, he is already one of the top five quarterbacks of all time. However, with his last three playoff performances — Super Bowl XLII, the Ravens game and this year’s loss to the Jets — Brady’s legacy has lost some of its shine.

For a player who began his career with an NFL record 10 straight playoff wins, he has only gone 4-4 in his last eight. Even with the three Super Bowl wins, Brady and the Pats have squandered several big opportunities to put an even bigger definitive stamp in NFL history. I think that Brady really wants and needs to win at least another Super Bowl title in order to solidify his status as perhaps the greatest quarterback in history. If he is going to leave that type of legacy behind, he has to finish his career the way he started it – with a Super Bowl win.
Jason:  It’s hard to say if the last three playoff clunkers will affect Brady’s legacy because there are so many chapters left to be written. He has three years left under contract, and he could certainly play a few more years after that. If he wins one or two more Super Bowls, I don’t think those three poor playoff games will have any affect on his legacy whatsoever (call it the John Elway effect). Montana, Bradshaw and Aikman all played at least 4-5 years following their final Super Bowl win, and all of them lost playoff games along the way. Those losses didn’t tarnish their legacies in the least. Even if Brady doesn’t win another Super Bowl, he’s still in elite company with three rings and lofty stats that will easily place him in the discussion for the best to ever play the game. Another Super Bowl title would likely cement that status.
Derek:  I’m finishing up the discussion and there’s not a whole lot more to be said.  Three Super Bowls, the single-season TD mark, the Interception-less streak, the 16-0 regular season, his win/loss record…  When everything is said and done, very few quarterbacks in history will have a resume comparable to Brady’s if he never played another down.  Nobody wins it all every year, as even Montana and Bradshaw only won the Super Bowl four times in their entire careers.  I think the three out of four start put some unreasonable expectations on Brady as he had a long career ahead of him and could have racked up six or seven potentially.  You look at 2006, 2007, and 2010 and those are three seasons where he could have easily added more titles.  On the other hand, you look at the tuck rule, and the fact that all three Super Bowls were won by a field goal, and you realize how fortunate Brady and the Patriots are to have the three championships that they did win. 
At the end of the day, both Manning and Roethlisberger have lost multiple playoff games, as well as a Super Bowl.  Neither of them, have achieved anything close to what Brady has.  When the final chapter is written, these recent playoff losses won’t really count for much and he’ll be the clear-cut dominant quaterback of his era.  If he can tack on one or two more titles in the process, then that’s just icing on the cake.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.