Is Tom Brady still a top-five quarterback?


Thanks to the folks at ESPN, the slowest month on the NFL calendar has been partially filled by the latest twist to the ongoing question of how long Tom Brady will continue to play quarterback, for the Patriots or someone else.

As framed, the question is whether Brady continues to be one of the best five quarterbacks in the NFL.

It depends in large part on the other quarterbacks in the discussion.  In no particular order, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers are regarded by many as the best three quarterbacks currently in the league.  Veterans with viable claims of varying degrees include, in no particular order, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethslisberger, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, and Matt Ryan.  (Two years after his second Super Bowl win, the jury suddenly is out on Eli Manning.)  Young players deemed to be approaching the league’s elite are Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, and maybe Robert Griffin III.

So where is Brady?  The question of whether he’s currently one of the best five overlooks the more important question of whether he’s the same guy who won three Super Bowls in the first five years of his NFL career.  While the chicken-and-egg notion that he lacks the same weapons as other star quarterbacks gives Brady a pass for some, Brady won those Super Bowls without Randy Moss and Wes Welker.

Stats and accomplishments (or lack thereof) aside, the truth remains that Welker’s notorious “drop” in Super Bowl XLVI came on a pass that wasn’t delivered accurately.  Throw it between the “8” and the “3” and Brady has a claim nearly on par with Joe Montana for the title of best ever.  The ball wasn’t as accurate as, say, a pass from Montana to Jerry Rice would have been.

Then there’s the reality that, in the 2013 AFC title game, the Broncos opted to take away LeGarrette Blount and to force Brady to beat them through the air.  If Brady truly is a top-five quarterback, would anyone opt to neutralize a journeyman tailback in a single-elimination and to dare the top-five quarterback to deliver timely, accurate passes in a single-elimination setting?

Brady didn’t, on multiple occasions.  Which contributes to the idea that he isn’t as good as he used to be.

Even if he’s still in the top five, Brady inevitably won’t be, if he plays (as he reportedly intends) until he’s 43.  The real question becomes how low he’ll tolerate sliding on the overall quarterback pecking order in order to keep playing.  In theory, he could play until he’s 50 and still be better than some of the quarterbacks who will start games this year.  But does he want to play so badly that he’s willing to play badly, in comparison to how he used to play?

While pondering that one, let us know whether you think he’s still in the top five.

143 responses to “Is Tom Brady still a top-five quarterback?

  1. 20th best pass completion percentage last season.
    Tom still had some good wins but he also had more stinkers than usual.

  2. Tom Brady is slipping a little bit. Tom Brady probably isn’t the best QB in the league anymore. But if you think there’s five quarterbacks in the league better than Brady you’re smoking something.

  3. 1. Peyton
    1a. Rodgers
    3. Brees
    4. Luck
    5. Brady

    So, yes he is still top 5, just not in the discussion for #1. The discussion for #1 is limited to Peyton and Rodgers.

  4. C’mon man!

    I hate NE. I hate Tom Brady! I hate the tuck rule, I hate spygate and I abhor the holding the NE O-line gets away with every frigging pass play.

    That being said, Tom Brady is a top 5 QB.

    PS Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, and Mathew Stafford couldn’t hold Philip Rivers Jock strap.

    And let’s wait another year before we anoint Nick Foles, eh?!

  5. Ridiculous poll. I don’t care what the stats say, he’s 1A/1B with PM.

    And let’s put the Eli Manning debate to bed once and for all. OK, last year he stunk. Most QBs would if surrounded with his supporting cast.

    Here’s the tell tale. Ask any Seahawks’ fan the ONE QB that they did not want to see make the playoffs last year and if they’re being honest with themselves, they’d say Eli.

    If fantasy football is the new barometer for measuring greatness, then ok…Eli is bottom quarter. But, if greatness is measured in what everyone will remember in 20 years, I think he’ll be ahead of such contemporaries as Romo, Rivers and Cutler (Cutler is really in this convo?)

  6. As long as you’re listing the likes of Cutler, Romo, and Stafford, why not throw Alex Smith a bone? By the way, the answer is yes, Brady is still top 5.

  7. If he has another down year then you can make the case. His offensive weapons were atrocious last year. I could see him bounce back with 35 touchdowns this season.

  8. That you think Flacco has viable claim to elite is laughable, that you are comparing him to Brady as being better makes this article a farce.

    Regardless of what numbers you compare, given a choice of taking Brady vs one of the “viable’s”, it would be a landslide in Brady’s favor.

  9. .

    In a poll 100% of Patriots fans, when asked their opinion of Tom Brady, repeated Bill Belichick’s assessment : “There’s no quarterback I’d rather have than Tom Brady. ”

    Who cares what people in Green Bay, Denver, or Atlanta think of Tom Brady? You have your own teams to worry about.



  10. Tom Brady is most definitely a top 5 QB.

    1. Brees
    2. Peyton
    3. Rogers
    4. Brady
    5. Ben/Eli

  11. By the way…that’s some dumb logic measuring the greatness of a QB off of one pass (for the record, the ball was more catchable than not).

    Is Favre not great because his last pass as a Packer in the NFCCG vs. NY was an INT?

    Is Peyton no longer great because he had a terrible SB against Seattle?

    I’m sure if we looked hard enough, the great Johnny U missed a WR in the 1958 greatest game ever played.

    On top of it all…I couldn’t name ONE WR or healthy/unincarcerated TE on that team right now if you put a gun to my head.

    Tom Terrific not great? Puhlease. I’ll give you mulligan for writing this tripe since it’s June and there’s nothing else to generate traffic here.

  12. Veterans with viable claims include Joe Flacco. Maybe in Joe Flacco’s mind he does. In reality, he doesn’t.

    Was “varying degrees” meant to include no legitimate claim?

  13. All of this Brady’s done talk is nonsense, just because the Pats drafted a what’s looks to be a decent qb in the 2nd. With this being malletts last year I would call that smart. Nothin like firin Brady up to have a monster year.

  14. This is dumb. I dislike him a great deal but he’s a great player. Most teams would consider him an upgrade. If Wilson wins another though I think u have to consider him

  15. Look– I almost hate the Patriots. I think they cheated their way to AFC titles and SBs, and think that Belicheat is a good not great coach.

    But Tom Brady is STILL the best QB in the NFL.

  16. Russell Wilson proved he is a better QB than Brady last year.

    Joe Flacco proved he was a better QB 2 years ago, and then decided he was just kidding.

    Brady is not currently in the top 5, and he hasn’t been for a few years.

  17. Brady was throwing to the bad news bears last season. he didnt have a denarius thomas or a jordy Nelson. or a jimmy graham. or a gronk for that matter most of last season. even Eli had victor Cruz.

  18. Brady was throwing to the bad news bears last season. he didnt have a denarius thomas or a jordy Nelson. or a jimmy graham. or a gronk for that matter most of last season. even Eli had victor Cruz.

  19. I’m sorry… who exactly has Brady been surpassed by that’s new to the top 5? Cam Newton? Andy Dalton? Sam Bradford?

    – Sixth the league in passing yards with his worst receiving corps in 8 years.
    – 12 wins and ANOTHER divisional championship with the 26TH ranked defense supporting him.

    The argument is over folks.

  20. Jeepers, creepers!!! I’m not even a Pats fan and I say, without reservation, that at the worst, Brady is Top 2.

    Dudes like Pee Wee Capernick and the consummate game manager Russ Wilson aren’t even in the conversation.

  21. Lol at those future “elite” names…. Flacco? Stafford, Ryan? And the kids??? Why isn’t Dalton whose numbers are better than all of theirs are on this list? He’s never had a bad season like RGME. Maybe he should only be expected to throw for 110 yards per game like Wilson. Luck. He’s good, but his turnover numbers in season and post season are = to Daltons. And all Kaep got is a fast ball. Not very elite like yet. Cam. Glad he finally got a winning record. Now he only needs 2 more and 2 more playoff appearances to keep up with Dalton…. But don’t give Dalton any love. His numbers speak for themselves. Can’t take that away from him. And none of those young qb can match them.

  22. He’s dropped into that group after the top three, but until the other guys do what he’s done, he’s still in the top five. It’s too hard to rank that group.

  23. This is ridiculous. Of course he’s still top 5.

    His 2012 receiving leaders? Welker 1,354, Lloyd 911, Gronkowski 799, Hernandez 483 and Woodhead 466 yards.

    2013? Every single one but Gronk is gone. What happens? Edelman 1056 yards, Amendola 633, Gronkowski 592, Dobson (Rookie) 519, Thompkins (rookie) 466 & Vereen 427.

    He lost 5 of his top 6 receivers from 12 to 13 and the 6th one wasn’t available thru all of training camp and large parts of the season yet still completed 60.5% compared to 63% in 2012…he threw for only 500 yards less and while his TD’s dropped and INT’s rose You could hardly say it’s a sign of sharp decline. Not only that but he’s thrown the same amount or more INT’s in 9 of the seasons prior to 2013 that he was the greatest ever.

    His attempts last year? 2nd highest of his career.

  24. “I think he’ll be ahead of such contemporaries as Romo, Rivers and Cutler (Cutler is really in this convo?)”

    Yes Cutler is there, because the convo that you and ONLY are having with yourself, put him in there.

    Did you really just 2nd guess yourself on a sports thread ranting about Eli Manning when this article is only about Tom Brady……….yes you did.

  25. How is Russell Wilson not in the elite category already? I think that’s the bigger question. This Brady thing is just ridiculous. Russell is the best QB in the league. If he had the number of attempts that Peyton gets, he’d put up better numbers than Peyton. Russell Wilson needs to be in the conversation.

  26. 1. Manning
    2. Rodgers
    3. Brees
    4. Brady
    5. Roethlisberger
    6. Luck
    7. E.Manning
    8. Rivers
    9. Wilson
    10. Romo

  27. I noticed that Alex Smith wasn’t mentioned in either the 2nd or 3rd tier of QB’s listed, yet he is said to want money comparable to many of those listed. As a Chiefs fan, would someone please make his agent aware of this.

  28. Yes he is. That question is clown-shoes.

    Name another active QB that lead his team to 5 Super Bowls.

    Name another active QB playing more than six years that is in the Conference Championship 50 % of his carrer.

    I can probably count on one hand a QB with 10+ years stating to never have a losing season.

    Also thae argument about Rice and welker is laughable. You could throw a slop ball to Rice and he gets it because he covers so much more area with speed and wingspan. Vanilla midget Welker works in tight windows because when he is given room to get the ball he can’t do it; why don’t you think hoodie would never let him fly.

    The Blount argument is a joke too. Do you stop the guy on fire in the playoffs running the ball or do you stop Danny Amendola, Julian Edellman, and Austin Collie???? I think you stop the big guy who can run the rock and play man on plate of glass, Welker reject and pillow head.

  29. TOM BRADY has never been on Mount Rushmore because most of the people who create it dislike TOM BRADY, Dislike the Patriots and dislike Belicheck. And those who do put him on the Mount R, put him dead last. He is easily on the top next to Manning and will always will be while both are still playing. Manning is the best QB in a vacuum today, he’s got best accuracy, best throw and makes best decisions in pocket. But those aren’t the only things that make up a QB. TOM BRADY is the king of 2 minute drive comebacks…. He did it in less than a minute against the Saints this past year.Arron Rodgers is a great but not great enough to pass neither Manning nor TOM BRADY. You can’t tell me that Arron Rodgers can lead an offense with 1 minute left and back at the 20 yard line with an average O Line and B Grade receivers. The only three men who I believe can do that on any given day is Peyton Manning, TOM BRADY and Drew Brees. Sure people always say that BRADY never has good talent around him(even though it’s actually very true), it’s no excuse for him to not put up great numbers. He has done it before. But, his defense was depleted the whole season, tthe Patriot’s best defensive players say out throughout the whole season,forcing rookies into the fire. This often forced BRADY to carry the entire team to wins. Also, he had a horrible O Line that got him sacked DOUBLE the amount Manning was sacked,40+. Yes BRADY was at fault sometimes but can’t blame the guy if he can’t find an open receiver. People always say they give BRADY too much credit but this year EVERYBODY GIVES HIM TOO LITTLE CREDIT. I’m a Broncos fan and I love Manning before I love BRADY, but you have to give him the credit he deserves. If you hate him then that’s just your problem, but he doesn’t need to be a top 5 QB in the eyes of doubters to win a Super Bowl and he is definitely on the road to victory, he just needs to get past the Denver broncos which might not happen in my opinion, Manning is on top right now

  30. If you thought teams stacked against the run against Brady that’s nothing compared to the 20 men they put in the box and dare Big Ben to win the game. And he doesn’t of course ….. unless the Steeler defense hands him a 13-9 win.

  31. He is one of only 3 or 5 ALL TIME that you put on a team and it makes them instant Super Bowl contenders. So, yes – he is Top 5.

  32. Was the pass to welker perfect? Certainly not. But it was a good throw. Welker got both, I will repeat BOTH hands on the ball, turned his head, and dropped it. It was put into a spot where only welker could catch it. It was a catchable pass. It wasn’t an “easy” catch, but it was pretty simple for a professional. Every person commenting on this story could catch that pass 9 times out of 10. I don’t remember manning looking invincible in the Super Bowl last year…

  33. If he can really raise his leg up behind him like in that picture, then he sure is! I refuse to believe that’s another player stretching behind him.

  34. Stafford? Rivers? Romo? youve got to be kidding.

    Manning had the best statistical season ever last year, got to the SB.

    Last two years.
    Manning 26-6 1SB appearance (Lost)
    Brady 24-8 2 Conf. Champ games(Losses)
    Wilson 24-8 1SB win .
    Kapernick 17-6 1SB (Loss) 1 Conf. Champ loss
    Brees 18-14 1 Div round. loss

  35. Brady had the flu, with a fever, during the afc championship last year.
    He may not be 100 percent of what he was physically in the past, but if the Earth’s very existence relied on a football game…I will take Brady’s leadership, knowledge, experience, and his fighting will-to-win over any other qb.

  36. Historically, top 5 easily. Which is what most people seem to basing their opinion on. Statistically, he wasn’t in the top 15 last year. As Parcells once said, “you are what your record says you are”.

    The lack of receivers argument seems to be the most popular, but this time last year, fans were proclaiming that Amendola would easily replace or even surpass Welker, mostly because of Brady. Moreover, Edleman did surpass 1000 yards. So did Belichick make bad personnel decisions or not.

    All that being said, it is certainly a likely possibility that he has a bounce back year. Provided age or injury don’t become a factor.

  37. Absolutely Dumbfounding. Questioning whether Brady is top 5 is nuts. He’s #1 in my opinion, and will be until i’m shown otherwise.

    If the point of the NFL was to have nice stats, he’d be behind Manning, Brees and Rodgers.

    But, see, that’s the problem. The goal of the NFL is to win the Championship. That’s why Brady is #1. Period.

    BTW- If you were to give TB12 the same team Manning had last year, he does just as good ad DOESN’T get thwarted in the SB. Just Sayin’

  38. I’m no fan of Brady, but name five QBs in the league last year who had a better year than he did. You can’t.

    He’s still very accurate, and very smart with the football. The only thing that the last two conference championship losses (for the Patriots) have proven is that football is a team sport, and Brady can’t do it all himself.

  39. Last year all the talk was that Rivers was done. That he needed fixed, a la Matt Schaub. That he was a shell of his former self. Now commenters are putting him in the top 5 over Brady?

    Dobson – Rookie. Thompkins – Rookie. Edelman – Solid. Amendola – Played 12 games. Rob Gronkowski – Played 7 games. Aaron Hernandez – For fear of my safety, let’s just say he was otherwise unavailable.(Don’t shoot me dude)

    Other than those “top” targets, other people catching passes from Brady include: Josh Boyce, James Develin, and Austin Collie… Cause you know, that’s an inspiring group right there.

    I’ll say it again. If the two rookies make any sort of strides this year, the stats look a lot different.

  40. Quarterbacks who quarterback an offense that’s never ranked in the top 10 in scoring are not — repeat — are not top-5 QBs. That eliminates Roethlisberger from any and all discussions on the subject.
    Meanwhile, (in no particular order) Brady, Brees, P. Manning and Rodgers remain the top QBs in the league, with Luck, Foles and maybe Wilson on the cusp of greatness.
    But all of this is a moot point when considering that defenses win championships. That’s been proven repeatedly over the years.

  41. This reasoning should settle the Brady/Manning debate:

    NE and Denver had similar records (12-4 vs 13-3). If you put Brady on last year’s Broncos, with those weapons, good chance Denver goes undefeated. You put Manning on the Patriots and give him the”weapons” that Brady was working with, he probably goes .500.

    Case Closed

  42. Rodgers, Manning, Brees, Brady.. If any of these guys are the QB of your team, you are a happy fan.

  43. This is a difficult question just based on the wide range of the ages of NFL QB’s.

    If I had to pick a QB to lead my team for the next ten years it would be either Luck or Wilson.

    If I had to pick a QB for five years I would go with Rodgers or Brees.

    If I had to pick just for this upcoming season it would be Rodgers, Brees, P. Manning or Brady. So I guess that puts Brady in my top five right now.

  44. Yeah he’s top 5 if all things else are equal.

    But I’m glad the patriots have gotten so arrogant that they haven’t paid any receivers to run routes for old Tommy Boy.

    They have it easy enough playing in a division where nobody is even attempting to challenge them.

    At least Brady having limited receiving options makes it a slight challenge.

  45. People who point to Brady’s completion percentage last year are not taking into account that he had a bunch of unproven receivers to work with. In my opinion, completion percentage is a very overrated statistic anyway, since even I could complete 65% of my passes if I just threw dump off passes that the defense is giving you. Even if a pass LOSES yardage, it still counts as a completion.

    While there is no exact science to determine who is the best QB or who is in the top 5, my opinion is that someone at that level is a QB who performs well in the biggest games and is able to bring his team from behind in the 4th quarter to pull out a win where a loss seemed imminent. In other words, a quarterback who performs best under pressure and when the odds are against him.

  46. Your fav team is going to the SB….all things being relatively equal, health, prior injury, targets, coaching, etc., do you want a repeat choker as the qb of your team, or Brady? He’s still enraged that he was taken in the 6th round in the 2000 draft, as he wasn’t born with a NFL silver spoon in his mouth….you just poked the bear.

  47. The thought that Brady isn’t a Top 5 QB is laughable, and to dump on him for a pass to Welker that Wes had both hands on before he dropped it is asinine. Welker knew it should’ve had it too, but I digress.

    Look at his receiving corps last year: Edelman ( Mini-Tron ), Thompkins, Boyce, Dobson ( a trio of rookies, the former undrafted ), Slater ( almost exclusively special teams ), and the concussion-machine Collie. Other than the flashes of brilliance from the corps, Edelman was the only reliable target. Gronk came back and gave the offense a much needed shot in the arm, until he took a helmet to the knee and was done for season.

    With the rookies having a season under their belt, I look for them to vastly improve over their “meh” overall performance last year. As for Brady’s longevity, Tom has gone on record saying Belichick is the only coach he wants to play for. He also smart enough to know when he can’t anymore, regardless of what his competitive spirit says.

  48. I can’t stand him, but he’s certainly Top 5 yet.

    This year may prove differently, but right now, hell yes.

    1 – Manning
    2 – Rodgers
    3 – Brees
    4 – Brady
    5 – Roethlisberger

    Wilson may or may not have the 6th spot. He’s a star in this league for sure, but remember…..Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl with a defensively led Ravens team too. And no, I’m not comparing them. And I’ve met Wilson…probably the most humble NFL player in the game outside of JJ Watt.

  49. Brady is a top five QB regardless of whether or not he won the AFC champ game and IMHO is better than Peyton. In fact, the Patriots are just an ordinary team without Brady. Without Brady, they are no better than the rest of their division. Like the rest of the AFC East they have about as many good players as Bills, Fins, Jets–so why are they so much better than Bills, Fins, Jets?

    Brady, and ONLY Brady! And Bill Belichick would be just another ordinary coach without Brady. With Brady, he looks like Shula; without Brady, he looks like that other Shula who coached the Bengals in the 90s…

  50. I am a Seahawks fan and if I had my own NFL team I would want Russell Wilson as QB. But, he is not elite yet. If he keeps winning, then yes, he’ll be elite.

    I just want to say that Superbowls are the reason teams play games and so superbowls have to be the #1 factor in choosing the top 5 quarterbacks (but not the only factor).

    1. Ben Worthlessburger
    2. Tom Brady’s turtle neck
    3. Eli Manning’s pouty face
    4. Aaron Rodgers’ November mustache
    5. Peyton Manning’s Forehead

    Over the last two seasons I’d rank Kaepernick and Wilson almost even with Wilson coming up on top with a superbowl victory. And Nick Foles had 7 touchdowns in one game but that doesn’t make him anywhere near elite at this point.

  51. Last year’s low completion percentage tells us little about Brady. The only receiver he could count on consistently being in the right place at the right all year was Edelman.

  52. I am a Ravens fan and I despise Brady as much as Suggs does. Even so, you would have to be blind and stupid not to recognize Brady as an easy top 5, perhaps top three and arguably number one. When Brady has quality receivers, he is unstoppable. Having faced Brady in numrous Division and championship matches, both won and lost, I find it more that passes are dropped as opposed to those missing the target. Brady makes his receivers, it certainly isn’t the other way around. I would take Brady over all other QB’s, all things equal, except maybe Manning. Rodgers is close, but Brady still has him. IMO, Brady is the most accurate QB in the NFL and definitely in the all time top 10. I hated to put this in writing and will deny it.

  53. Yes, rings DO lie. Obviously you agree or you’d have listed Eli…
    Rings are a team accomplishment.
    Statistics are for the truly great QBs.
    Statistics are only ignored by the QBs, and those who worship them, only because they don’t have any to talk about. Those QBs are the ones who ride the coattails of their defenses.

  54. He’s done MORE than Rodgers or Brees in the last 5 years. With the exception of a dropped Welker pass, or Gronk available in last 2 AFC title games – we might be able to say he’s done more than manning. He is top3 as far as I’m concerned.

  55. I would take Eli Manning in a heartbeat over every quarterback in the game today, with the exception of Aaron Rodgers. I know he’s had some rough seasons, but put him in the playoffs and he’s almost unbeatable. He’s engineered two late-game drives in two different Super Bowls. I still remember him in the NFCCG in San Fran with his helmet on sideways because they kept hitting him so hard. And all he did was pick himself up, dust himself off, and throw a touchdown pass on third and 15 to tie the game, sending it into overtime. The man is absolutely CLUTCH. If you don’t want I’ll take him.

  56. A friend of mine, huge Pats fan, loses his friggin’ mind anytime some talking head dares to exclude Brady from the top spot of active QB’s. He feels another SB win will make him the best ever (severe Bradshaw and Montana envy there).

    I used to enjoy the Pats losing in the playoffs because of the beatings my team has endured at the hands of Tom Brady, now I enjoy them losing because my friend’s facebook meltdowns about it are epic.

  57. Rodgers is the best QB, and I’m a Bears’ fanatic. It hurts to say that.

    He can throw as accurately as Brees; he can scramble like Wilson. He’s proven he can win a SB like Brady. He’s got good zing, though no cannon. He also has the other intangibles. We all saw what happened to the Pack when he went down. They became the Vikings.

    Brady, Brees, Peyton is in the next tier (simply because they’re not in their prime, but still awesome QBs).

    The #5 spot can go to about half a dozen other QBs.

  58. When Brady threw that pass to Welker in the Super Bowl, he was running for his life to buy enough time to avoid the Giants rush. He hit the guy in the hands. Stop talking about it. If the guy catches it you vault the QB to best ever, but since he did not catch it, it changes his value?

    This is a ridiculous question. Brady is the most feared QB in the league, particularly in big games, because despite your allegations, he is known as a money player. When you are in as many big games as Brady is, you just aren’t going to be able to win them all, especially in the age of parity. Nobody plays alone. You need a supporting cast. No QB is perfect, and the cast varies (due to free agency, age, and time for young players to develop). For my money, he is the best person to stand behind center. I don’t care who has the strongest arm, or who can throw a ball through a swinging tire 40 yards away. I care about whether the guy behind center can take what he has, and go out and beat yours. That guy is Tom Brady. If I need a QB to play against invading football playing aliens from outer space to determine the fate of the free world, it’s Tom Brady. Ability, brains, presence, command, and a raging competitive fire. It’s just not a question to me. Remember too, that his career is not yet over. The other guys are great too, but Tom gets my vote for the best.

  59. Gotta take Eli in those games against aliens and other conquerors with the free world on the line. My man was kissed by angels at birth.

  60. I’m a huge Eagles fan and honestly there isn’t a QB I’d rather have than Brady. Give him some weapons before you pass judgment. I really like Rodgers and Brees as well.. Manning? Not even close, his O is stacked year in year out, I don’t think there is a QB in history who has played softer schedules year in year out, He pads stats every year and ppl just sop it up.. lol Foles is decent and look what he did to OAK.. so unimpressed Peyton. Brady all day.

  61. Of course he is.

    I normally don’t care about any stats except wins and QB rating but I actually found one just look at that I think sums it up better than I could. Looking at the top two in total touchdowns every year back to 2007 you only find 6 names total.

    Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and Phillip Rivers.

  62. mzew233 says: Jun 3, 2014 4:20 PM

    He’s done MORE than Rodgers or Brees in the last 5 years. With the exception of a dropped Welker pass, or Gronk available in last 2 AFC title games – we might be able to say he’s done more than manning. He is top3 as far as I’m concerned.

    Tom Brady’s done MORE than win a Super Bowl in the last 5 years? Do you live in an alternate universe where his last Super Bowl win wasn’t 10 years ago?

  63. Flacco is just outside the top 5?!?
    Then don’t forget Christian Ponder, Chad Henne, and Jason Campbell. They must be borderline elite QBs too since they all had higher QB ratings than Flacco last year.


  64. I think many will agree that he’s around 5th.
    1) P. Manning
    2) Rodgers
    3) Brees
    4) Rivers
    5) Brady

  65. So P Manning is a top 3 but chokes every big playoff game? Holds record for most playoff losses? Smh

  66. Of course Brady is top-five.

    Manning’s playoff record: 11-12
    Brees playoff record: 6-5
    Brady playoff record: 18-8

    And that’s not counting Lombardi’s.

    Haters are gonna hate, however, nearly every single one of them would say “yes!” if Brady landed on their team.

    Stop supporting ESPN and their “grasping at straws to fill time” reporting.

  67. I can’t really understand why everyone thinks that Russell Wilson is such a great quarterback. Put him on Jacksonville or Tampa Bay and he’d be a turkey, just like the QBs that they have in those places. What makes Russell Wilson a winner is the team he has around him. Can anyone seriously disagree with that?

  68. tired of you guys bashing Welker for that “drop”. Welker was wide open and had to make a leaping 180 degree effort to catch that pass. Extraordinary effort with an unfortunate result.

    But if Brady had thrown the ball the correct side …

  69. @steves11 put Brady on those team you get the same result! Take away Brady’s historically great oline and what is he? While we are at it, offense did not win any NE superbowls.

  70. You need a brain to play QB … be able to make the reads and that’s what Tom Brady has to make him a top 5 QB.

  71. Remember when Cowboy fans were still arguing that Emmit Smith was still a top 5 HB in the early 2000s?

    Even thou he was outplayed by Ahman Green, Priest Holmes, and Shuan Alexander.

    Dumb people still consider Brady top 5, meanwhile – Bill is already looking for his replacement.

  72. Apparently, I can’t even comment on this article using borderline PG language without it being deleted – so ‘ll just say, this a silly premise and those who try to defend it are big poopy doo doo heads.

    Ok PFT?!?

  73. mzew233 says:
    Jun 3, 2014 4:20 PM
    He’s done MORE than Rodgers or Brees in the last 5 years. With the exception of …

    winning a Superbowl.

  74. This is just an absolute joke! Tom Brady, with Gronk hurt, had as unproductive, inexperienced, and quite simply bad a group of weapons offensively as any QB in the NFL! Yet once Gronk became healthy and played his seven gms, Tom Brady became THE MOST PRODUCTIVE QB IN THE NFL…he had the completion %, threw for the most yards, and had the highest QB rating over those 7 gms…my pt being, you give Brady just 1 elite receiver w/size (never mind the 3 elite offensive weapons w/size in Decker, J Thomas, D Thomas…never mind a guy named W Welker) and he’s the best QB in the flippin league! In fact, if you prorate what Brady did w/Gronk over the whole season, he’s extremely close to the pace Manning was on throwing TDs – he certainly would’ve had passed for more yards, higher comp % and higher QB rating – CAN YOU SAY MVP! It amazes me to see how special Brady was the 2 yrs he had an elite wideout (who happened to be a 30+ yrs old nut job until playing with Brady)…yet Belichick and his arrogance once again are counting on a broken down TE who I can’t imagine having a completely injury free season and a 5’10 former college QB! Brady is a victim of his brilliance always making things work with whoever he has….AND BELICHICK’s arrogance he can “coach anybody up”!!!

  75. he missed some throws that he would have never missed 10 years ago

    He’s had his share of problems, but he’s also lacking the protection he had 10 years ago. When he’s pressed, his accuracy changes like most guys.

  76. Brady is most certainly top 5, but when is the last big game he has won. My list 1Peyton, 2Rodgers, 3Brady, 4Brees, 5?

  77. I’m with the guy who said he hates TB, the Pats and spygate, but still think Brady is a top 5 QB. Same here. I do think he’s lost a step though.

  78. steelcitywhitty says:
    Jun 3, 2014 6:31 PM
    @steves11 put Brady on those team you get the same result! Take away Brady’s historically great oline and what is he? While we are at it, offense did not win any NE superbowls.


    There was no D played in the SB vs the panthers.

  79. Not a Patriots fan by any means at all. With that said throw any of these other “elite” QBs in the situation he was forced into last year and write this garbage for another QB next year. Scratching and clawing his team to the AFC championship last year I think proves he’s top 2 if not #1

  80. Brady is still top 5. But he did have a down season last year. Anyone that puts Eli on this list is a joke. He’s terrible!!!

  81. So Brady gets that offense to the AFC Championship game while Brees, Rivers, Rothlesberge and Rogers are watching it on TV and he’s worse than there are? Make sense to me????

  82. The AFC Championship game this year where Manning threw for 400 yards might be considered somewhat important…

    “lolo376 says:
    Jun 3, 2014 6:06 PM
    So P Manning is a top 3 but chokes every big playoff game? Holds record for most playoff losses? Smh”

  83. Um, Tom Brady is still Top Dog in the league. When someone else wins three SB rings AND beats every single record he has then he has been dethroned. To claim he is slipping but Peyton Manning isn’t is a joke. Brady’s TEAM isn’t what they used to be, but Brady is STILL Brady.

  84. So Brady is held accountable for the pass that hit Welker in the hands but was incomplete. Manning gets a pass for his Super Bowl game-ending interception against the Saints plus the complete debacle that was last year’s Super Bowl appearance – despite an all-star receiving corps.

    And the ‘others’ you mention who should be considered ahead of Brady? Really?

    Interesting scale you’re measuring with.

  85. clipper222 says: Jun 3, 2014 2:26 PM

    Russell Wilson proved he is a better QB than Brady last year.

    Joe Flacco proved he was a better QB 2 years ago, and then decided he was just kidding.

    Brady is not currently in the top 5, and he hasn’t been for a few years.
    Hasnt been for a few years? What an idiot.

    AFCCG’s, 34 TDs 8 INTs in 2012, 39 – 12 the year before, MVP the year before that.

    He had one off year with no TEs, No WRs and they went to a running game. They still were better than everyone but one team in their conference.


  86. Eli rules over Brady – beat him twice in the Super Bowl and that’s all that matters. When the money is on the table I’ chose Eli a thousand times over Brady. Eli delivers. Eli’s spot in the hall of fame will be two steps above Brady’s. Eli can make his speech before Brady and down go the Pats. Put your money on a winner, put it on Eli. Brady has choked in every big game after Spygate!

  87. Are there other quarterbacks who can drag last year Patriots team as far as Brady did? Manning, Brees, Rodgers? Take any quarterback and plug him in that situation and imagine how far he’d go. Manning as much as I like the man crumbled shamefully even with all his formidable arsenal. Brady gave as thrilling, improbable wins last year and earned his peers’ respect, ironically, with his worst stats. — all things considered, Brady is # 1.

  88. Brady didn’t suddenly take a turn for the worse last year; his receivers did.

    While he often does get overrated due to multiple factors like playing under one of the best coaches in NFL history, he’s still top 5.

  89. What an idiot!!! I thought the game plan for every football team is to stop what your opponent does well….the team’s strength. The passing game wasn’t the Pats’ strength last year, especially without Gronk. Did this idiot forget that up until last year teams were begging the Pats to run the ball and they would crowd the middle of the field with 5 dbs so that Brady wouldn’t throw the ball? This is the reason why the Pats drafted Ridley and Vareen in the same draft. The Pats wanted to punish teams with the run when they are in sub-package.

    Go learn football !!!

  90. You need context before commenting:

    1. Early in his career, Matt Light (LT) stopped everyone and Brady had an extra couple of seconds. Remember the constant phrase “Brady steps forward in the pocket calm, cool and collected”? That was due to Matt Light. So, when you called him “the greatest” back then, that was due to Matt Light. Peyton had an incredible offensive line back then, too.

    2. Last year, his receivers kept dropping the ball and his TEs were non-existent. So, forget last year!!

    3. Due to #1, I never thought Brady was great at the long pass. He just had more time.

    4. The Pats won in the early 2000’s because defense wins Superbowls and their defense was so cool to watch.

    5. When Matt Light started getting older, with less time, the Pats offense was 3-and-out against the Giants. The Pats still haven’t found a great pass blocker to defend Brady.

    With all that said, Brady hasn’t slipped. The team has changed and, if anything, he is smarter. Give Brady the same team he had in the early 2000’s and he could have 5 Superbowls by now.

    The only reason ANYONE says Brady has slipped is because it grabs your attention and you read their blogs or because they are Patriots-haters because they are so freakin jealous!

    Has Brady ever been the greatest? Seriously? Give him that early team or give him ANY of Peyton’s teams and he would rack up Superbowl rings. He has been in the running for “the greatest” all along, at least!

  91. Funny this article exclude Brady as a top 5 QB, when the year and the only time P. Manning won the SB they faced a Brady team that had Reche Cadwell as the #1 receiver, whom by the way cost them that game with 2 crucial drops. The guy was wide open both times. He had so wide open that the entire Pats’ side had time to tell Brady to throw the ball to him. Then, Brady threw a perfect pass, he dropped it as he was trying to catch the ball with his body as opposed with his hands. Manning and the colts had to come from behind to win that game with the help of the drops of Cadwell, and of course the officials.

    May I say this was the same year, the Pats beat the almighty chargers. Everyone was picking to win the SB. And the Pats wen to SD and beat them.

  92. SD game the same one where Brady was picked off and they had won the game except the guy didn’t fall down and Troy Brown then stripped him of the ball and the rest is history. SD won that game!

  93. SD snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, with LaDainian Tomlinson sulking on the bench all alone instead of rooting on his teammates.

    But SD did not win that game… NE did.

  94. I wish Flacco could play the cream puff AFC East and play all the tough games at home. I can only wonder how many playoff wins and Super Bowls he would have won.

    Oh…I almost forgot…throw in the Refs that make the phantom interference calls to benefit Brady

  95. I question the logic of anyone who suggests that Jay Cutler has a “viable” claim of being a top three QB, and also considers Matt Ryan a superior to Eli Manning.

    I’m a Steelers fan. So I hate the Pats. But Brady? Top three in the league, no questions asked. Let’s be serious here, guys.

  96. There is no way in Hell. Top 10? Maybe? Even that is pushing it. He’s always had amazing talent around him, that’s why he has the numbers he has but now that he doesn’t have much anymore, he is showing how mediocre he really is. I mean Matt Castle outperformed him when he got injured and threw for 400+ yards. Where is he now? He is a better than average player who always had talent around him, not a top 5 QB anymore. He may have used to be with the talent around him but there are a lot of names I would put above him as of late.

    1) Manning
    2) Rivers
    3) Brees
    4) Rodgers
    5) Either Luck or Wilson

    I am sick of all the hype about Brady, I just want him to retire already so I don’t have to hear the media worshipping him like a God when he is barely above average, just lucky to have the talent around him for all those years.He will NEVER be anywhere near Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Steve Young, John Elway, or any other one of the greats, at least in my eyes. Just because he was lucky in the past doesn’t mean he is still anywhere near a top 5 player anymore. Put him on a mediocre team and he would have NEVER put up numbers anywhere similar to what he has been able to with the patriots.

  97. And to all those people saying put Brady on any team Manning had and he would do better, are you out of your minds? Remember, he was a Colt for most of his career where his team was mediocre at best, no better than the patriots were last year. There are only a select few QBs who could even come close to replicating his stats with that team. Marino, Favre, Maybe Elway (but that might even be pushing it), and maybe Rivers (given the fact that the Chargers have just about always been at the same level as any of Manning’s teams). Brady would crumble like he did last season. A top 5 QB can put up numbers no matter how much talent is around him, not crumble when that talent is gone.

  98. It really depends on how the question is being asked, because if we’re redrafting the league right now, I doubt Brady would be one of the first five quarterbacks taken because guys who are NOT as good as Brady, such as Newton, Wilson, Kap, are younger and will be better in five years then Brady will be in five years.

    But if we’re talking “hey, you have one season to win a Super Bowl, which QB are you taking?” there is no way Brady isn’t in the top five of that conversation.

  99. Maybe top 5 all time, but his skills have definitely diminished and people choose to ignore it. Plain and simple, Brady can’t throw deep anymore and you can’t win the big one with 5 yard passes without a great defense.

    People dump on Flacco, but his ability to throw deep got him a ring.

    Brady will have a subpar year, but you all will make a dozen excuses for him.

  100. Its mind boggling to see as to why Andrew Luck is constantly on everyone’s Top 6 QB list, like what has he done to deserved said clout, that fact that he has taken over for Peyton shouldn’t be the lone reason, he’s good but i’m hesitant to call him great, just hasnt done it for me yet…Indeed…

  101. sixchr says: Jun 3, 2014 2:05 PM

    Tom Brady is slipping a little bit. Tom Brady probably isn’t the best QB in the league anymore. But if you think there’s five quarterbacks in the league better than Brady you’re smoking something.


    I’m smoking something and still know He’s top 5. Those who point out his stats last year should take a second look at his receivers. Inexperience and lack of skill killed their offense.

    Also the argument in regards to taking away Blount instead of Brady falls a bit short in my opinion. I feel that Denver was more confident that their corners would be able to shut down the Patriots receivers, which they did so quite effectively.

  102. Forget the Top 5 argument. If your team is playing the Patriots next year, and you are up by 6 or less with 2 minutes to go and the Pats have the ball – do you feel comfortable about the final score? Think about it. Until the answer is Yes, he’s up there.

  103. How can anyone ask this question after a year in which the man, with no receivers anyone would call a “weapon,” staged all those crazy late game comebacks? Remember Denver? Down 24-0. Remember New Orleans? Cleveland? Houston? The near misses in Carolina, Miami, and Cincinnati?

  104. BTW.. it is…

    Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Manning.. in that order as the 4 elites

    followed by..
    Rivers and BigBen
    w/ young guns Luck and RG3 the most likely candidates to ascend

  105. Brady isn’t even a top 10 quarterback at this point. Try to get the Seahawks or the 49ers to trade Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick for him. His career will almost certainly dwarf that of either but we’re talking about 2014 Tom Brady, not 2004 Tom Brady.

  106. Tom Brady is absolutely a top 3 QB if not top 2. Top 3 in no particular order is easily Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.
    Brady has more super bowls than any other QB in the league today.
    Phillip Rivers is inconsistent as always, don’t emake me laugh and include him in top 5 discussion.
    Andrew Luck isn’t there yet as his 3 games against the Patriots prove.
    Drew Brees hasn’t been winning games for the past 3 years or so. While he doesn’t have much to support him neither has Brady and he’s been to the AFCCG the last 4 or 5 years.
    Eli Manning, LOL. Enough said.
    Ben Rothlesberger is inconsistent like Phillip Rivers.
    Peyton Manning is clearly getting old, last 3 games he hasn’t played great. Did you see the first half against the RAIDERS, what 0-10 now.
    ARod has played excellent this year. Pack just needs to prove that they can win the tough road games. The Pats proved that against the Colts and will have to again in Lambeau.

    In conclusion, 1a and 1b in a very tight race and in no particular order are Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. 3 is Peyton Manning. 4 is Drew Brees. 5 is Andrew Luck.
    You could argue for switching Brees and Luck in the rankings.

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