Tom Brady’s greatest of all time talk has been treated as some timeless argument that rarely receives present-day recognition. At first, it was Peyton Manning usurping all of the “best right now” talk with his succession of brilliant regular season performances in Indianapolis and Denver. Now, that conversation has moved on to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
There’s no arguing around Rodgers’ greatness. Watching him snatch victory away from the Dallas Cowboys in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter on Sunday was Brady-esque. It was that performance that continued to spark the debate that Rodgers was a better quarterback than Brady is right now.
Yet, Brady has thrown for more yards total and on average than any other signal caller in the league. Even at age 40, the New England Patriots five-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback is still on top of his game.
Were the same people vying for Rodgers saying the same thing after Brady led the Patriots back from the dead to overcome a 25-point deficit and defeat the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI? What about when Brady commanded a game-winning drive over J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney’s Houston Texans?
There is no doubt Rodgers’ regular-season win over the Cowboys created prisoner of the moment responses. Being the best isn’t about what a player does during the season. It’s about the playoffs and the Super Bowl, and there hasn’t been anyone better at performing on that stage—past or present—than Brady.
Even Rodgers admitted Brady was the greatest of all time.
“Sitting there 28-3, I think everybody watching and probably sitting at the game was thinking Atlanta’s going to get [their] ring sized up here pretty soon,” Rodgers told sports reporter Graham Bensinger. “From a fan’s perspective, what a great game to watch and to see Tom and his greatness on display one more time. He didn’t need to win that to prove that he’s the GOAT, but it’s just another part of his legacy there.”
It’s a legacy for Brady that continues to this day.
Even at 3-2, the Patriots are still favorites to win the AFC East and advance to the playoffs. Then Brady will have a chance to advance to his eighth Super Bowl and win his sixth. Let that thought sink in for a moment.
Rodgers can claim the top spot once Brady chooses to retire or falls off the cliff in production. Neither appears to be happening anytime soon.