Before Super Bowl LI, plausible arguments could be made for and against the proposition that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. After Sunday night’s game for the ages in Houston, the debate has entered Jerry Rice territory.
For years, there’s been no question that Jerry Rice was the greatest receiver in NFL history. Now, there’s no question as to who the greatest quarterback is and was.
You can try to make an argument against it, out of bias or resentment or jealousy or whatever. You can try, but you’ll fail. With five Super Bowl championships, two other Super Bowl appearances, four Super Bowl MVP trophies, and a run of sustained excellence that has carried him from 199th pick in the 2000 draft to the top of the NFL mountain, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
The next question is whether Brady will be regarded as the greatest player at any position, supplanting Rice for that unofficial title. That hinges in large part on whether Brady retires with any, many, or all of the all-time passing records, and whether he continues to play at a high level beyond the age of 40.
At the MVP press conference, Brady said that at age 25 his arm always hurt and that, at 39, it never does. As long as the arm can complement the mind, he’ll be able to keep going.
Yes, Father Time is undefeated. But Brady appears to be ready to give him a fight like he’s never before seen. If anyone doubts his abilities in that regard, they should talk to the Falcons.