Super Bowl 2012: Tom Brady Would Cement Himself as Best Ever with Win

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IJanuary 22, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Tom Brady is a great quarterback—no one is denying that. But, is he the best ever?

Brady once again has the New England Patriots on the verge of a Super Bowl appearance, and he's doing it with very little help.

Brady's situation is similar to that of the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant. Kobe won three rings with Shaquille O'Neal, leading people to believe that he couldn't win one without Shaq. And for a few years, they were right.

But now that Bryant is a savvy veteran, he's won two more rings without Shaq, and no one can question his legacy anymore. He's one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

In Brady's early years, he had a strong defense that gave him a lot of support. Now, he's a one-man show. He has a great chance to prove he can win a Super Bowl without a good running back and without a good defense.

The Patriots defense is ranked second-to-last in the NFL, and the running game has been nearly nonexistent.

The Patriots earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC by letting Brady throw the ball all over the field and trying to outscore their opponents. He's made tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez stars this year, and he has helped Wes Welker consistently top the league in catches.

So, winning another Super Bowl without a great defense would make him the greatest quarterback ever. Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw are the only quarterbacks who have ever won four Super Bowls as a starter.

Bradshaw never could have led a team to a Super Bowl victory without a running game and a solid defense. Montana could have probably come close, but we'll never know if he could have or not.

We'll find out soon if Brady can. If he does, he'll be the greatest ever.

Sure, other quarterbacks have better statistics, but no quarterback has ever been able to do more with less.

Dan Marino couldn't win a Super Bowl with a good defense and a running game. Brett Favre only won one Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers.

If we measure quarterbacks not by stats, but how many times he's led his team to the top of the sport, there's no question Tom Brady is the best to ever play the game.

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