Tom Brady Could Still Become the Best Quarterback in the History of the NFL

Nick FContributor IIIFebruary 6, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots speaks to the media after losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Tom Brady’s legacy suffered a setback because of his team’s loss in Super Bowl XLVI. However, he could still retire as the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL during the super bowl era.

Would a quarterback who has a place near the top of the important statistical categories, four super bowl rings, six conference championships, a reputation as being clutch, the best regular season winning percentage, and the most playoff wins be considered the best of all time?

Regular Season Success

Brady is No.1 all-time in the regular season with a .780 winning percentage. He will likely retire the leader in this category.

He is currently No. 5 all-time with 124 regular season wins. He is 62 behind Brett Favre and 17 behind Manning, but he is just 23 behind Marino and 24 behind Elway. Brady will catch both of them over the next three seasons.

Brady has led his team on 35 game-winning drives (6th all-time) and directed 25 4th-quarter comebacks (10th all-time) in the regular season alone.

Playoff Success

Brady is tied for No. 1 with John Elway with five conference championships. He could very easily be the first quarterback to win six conference championships.

He is tied for No. 3 with three Super Bowl rings. Though it is unlikely Brady will win two more rings, he has a realistic chance to win one more to become tied for No.1. That along with the below could make him the best ever.


Brady has the most career game-winning drives in the playoffs with seven. He is No. 1 all-time in 4th-quarter comebacks in the playoffs, as he has had five of them. Though he may have lost in his last two super bowls, it is tough to question his “clutchness.”

He is also tied for No. 1 with Joe Montana for most career playoff wins with 16. He will surely win another playoff game in his career to become the career leader.


Tom Brady has a chance to retire near the top of many career leader boards as far as passing statistics are concerned.

Brady is currently tied with John Elway for No. 5 all-time with 300 passing touchdowns (TD’s). Dan Marino, currently No. 2 all-time, is 120 touchdowns ahead of Brady.

Brady has thrown for 39 and 36 touchdowns over the past two seasons. While his production will eventually decline, even a conservative estimate would suggest he will average at least 30 touchdowns over the next four seasons, which means Brady will most likely pass Marino.

As for No.1 (Brett Favre), Brady is 208 touchdowns behind. It is unlikely he catches Favre or Peyton Manning, who is currently 99 TD’s ahead of Brady, unless Manning’s neck injury forces his career short. So unless Drew Brees catches Brady from 19 TD’s back, Brady will retire being No. 3 all-time in TD passes.

Brady is currently No. 14 all-time in career passing yards, but he is just 11,000 behind John Elway, who sits in No. 4. Drew Brees will likely remain ahead of Brady as he is now, but Brady only needs 4000 yards per season over the next three to catch Elway. It is likely Brady ends up No. 5 all-time in passing yards.


Brady is currently No. 4 all-time in passer rating and is just .5 points behind Tony Romo (No. 2) with a 96.4 rating. Brady’s ratings the past two seasons have been 110 and 105. His passer rating over the next three seasons should be high enough to push his career passer rating above Romo’s for No. 2 all-time.

Brady is also No. 9 all-time in completion percentage, No. 3 all-time in interception percentage and No. 5 in adjusted yards per pass attempt.


Though it is not as great as Peyton Manning’s, Brady has an impressive collection of awards. He has been selected to seven Pro Bowls and will most likely be selected to another two or three. Brady is one of only eight players who have won multiple MVP awards. He is also the only player to be unanimously selected as MVP.


Brady could easily retire No. 3 all-time in passing touchdowns, No. 5 in yards and No. 2 in passer rating. Those gaudy stats will go along with nine or 10 Pro Bowls and two MVP awards. He will retire as the all-time leader in regular season win percentage and playoff wins.

The only thing standing in his way is a fourth Super Bowl win. Once he gets that, he will have a combination of statistics, Super Bowls, regular season success and awards that no one can match.