Tom Brady is Not Great, He is Simply Overrated

Mark PetroCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field in the second half of Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  The Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Tom Brady is overrated...PERIOD!

As a hard-core fan of the National Football League, you must!...take the time to absorb this truth.

Granted Brady was the QB on three Super Bowl championship teams. Granted Brady threw 50 touchdown passes while leading a modern-era NFL team to an undefeated regular season.

Those accomplishments have the media, fantasy footballers world wide, and fans all across the New England states in a frenzied swoon over Brady's "greatness" as a QB legend.

Not this devoted disciple of NFL football! Uhnt Ah! No way! Fat chance!

Not, for posterity's sake at least, until Tom Brady leads his Patriots to a Super Bowl championship in the post-cheating era of New England Patriots football.

I don't take cheating lightly. And I remember the fortune of New England's Super Bowl runs vividly. And one can argue in utter futility the favorable impact that cheating had on those three Patriots Super Bowl runs.

But this article is not about cheating. It's not about denying the reality of three Patriots Super Bowl championships.

This article is about the "greatness" of Tom Brady as an NFL passer.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

I choose to look "statistically" at this issue foremost. For this exercise I shall use two critical statistics that measure a quarterback's performance; Yards Per Attempt (YPA) and Yards Per Completion (YPC).

Yards Per Attempt awards the importance of a QB's accuracy, which is a very critical element of a QB's greatness, this stat also awards QB's who play in low risk, hyper-efficient pass offenses (which is what Brady plays in). At the top of the Career Yards Per Attempt list, among others, are such notable accuracy legends as Steve Young, Roger Staubach, Bart Starr, and Joe Montana. Few will deny the lethal accuracy that these field generals possessed. Note that these legends played in highly efficient pass offenses as well. Tom Brady ranks tied at 49th out of 219 passers on this list (which falls within the second quintile).

The telling statistic, in part, is Yards Per Completion (but with further understanding). This stat removes a lot of the noise that Yards Per Attempt includes in its calculation. Yards Per Completion removes from its equation the penalty of dropped passes, removes the statistical benefits that shorter high probability passes improve upon the YPA statistic by virtue of mere volume alone, and removes the penalty for throwing and missing longer and low probability downfield passes. It is purely a statistic that measures how many yards on average the football is moved on the gridiron with each catch of the football.

Understand that this is lifetime. Brady ranks 183rd out of 219 in Yards Per Completion Lifetime. That's the fifth quintile in NFL history, the very bottom of the barrel. You will note that the bulk of today's active QB's are right down there as well. The modern NFL has turned into an efficiency game. And very few of today's QB's own any viable "greatness" as downfield passers.

Understand this...Brady is a system QB!

But to give further argument to my proclamation that Tom Brady is overrated, more information must be considered.

This Yards Per Completion stat alone must needs be further refined. Because this stat doesn't represent the share of those Yards Per Completion that are derived from Yards After the Catch (YAC Yards). A certain percentage of the two statistics we are considering in this article (YPA and YPC) is derived from Yards After the Catch (YAC). These are the yards added to a QB's statistical outcomes by virtue of a pass catcher running with the football once he has possession of it.

I am seeking a reliable statistics resource that shows the percentage of completion yards derived from YAC (Yards After the Catch). It would then become a simple calculation to further refine and purify the Yards Per Catch statistic to gauge exactly how much risk a QB is taking to complete a pass by virtue of how far the football actually travels from thrower to receiver.  

One source told me recently that in 2007 (Brady's statistical anomaly year) the Patriots derived 48% of their completion yardage from YAC yards. The NFL average that year was 43%. It would seem, based on observation, that the Patriots have been at or near the top of the NFL in YAC yards for much of Brady's career.

Once YAC yards are subtracted from a QB's YPC, it becomes all the more telling for Brady (who has Wes Welker catching four yard passes and turning them into 10 yard gains virtually every catch) that he is a prolific dink-dank-dunk passer playing in a dink-dank-dunk offense and nothing more.

For further proof, look at Wesley Welkers Yards Per Catch (10.5) in 2008 and 2007. Welker's 223 receptions over that stretch led the NFL. His YPC number is extraordinarily low by all historical NFL records and is not reflective of, nor does this statistic consider, his incredible YAC yards. We all know Welker gets plenty of yards after the catch. This is, specifically, the wide receiver catching the very obvious dinks, danks and dunks that Tom Brady is throwing, as Welker's statistics clearly prove.

I'm here to tell the world that Tom Brady is a statistical dwarf among the long and storied history of NFL quarterbacks. As a passer, Brady's entire career has him ranked very probably in the bottom 95 percent of all NFL passers when calculating his Yards Per Completion minus the Yards After the Catch his receivers provide to the equation.

Brady throws a shorter pass, on average than 95 percent of the QB's who ever played the game.

Throw in the reality that Brady played on a cheating team for the duration of his Super Bowl runs.

Throw in the reality that in those Super Bowl years Brady needed, more than any offensive weapon at his disposal, the leg of Adam Vinatieri to eek out wins the bulk of those games. He dinked it all the way down into field goal range by golly.

Throw in the reality that the Patriots defense knew many of the opposing teams plays and created an incredible amount of timely turnovers that benefited Brady in terms of field position and defensive scoring to ease his pressure. Brady simply had a short field most of the time when a game mattered!

Throw in the regrettable reality that the NFL Commissioners Office utterly destroyed all evidence as to the nature of the Patriots cheating ways; evidence that if it had gone public via the media, would have exposed the harmful effects the cheating created upon opposing teams. The sea of NFL fans would no doubt be clamoring for removal of those championships from the NFL's storied history.

Brady couldn't drive his team down the field to beat the New York Giants in the final minute in 2007. He lofted three bombs that fell to the turf when that game was on the line.

Brady couldn't drive his team down the field to beat the Denver Broncos in the playoffs in 2005. He threw three critical picks when he had to throw it down field.

You see, Tom Brady is a prolific dink-dank-dunk pocket passer. He is an underachiever outside of the pocket. His success has been derived from his necessity of getting rid of the ball quickly, before the pass rush can get to him.

His linemen don't have to hold their blocks very long. They too are overrated.

Brady gets 100 percent of his credit because of three Lombardi Trophies, which were earned through the undeniable benefit of cheating. Many of his critical "drives" were on a short field and many of them were culminated with an Adam Vinatieri field goal.

Brady plays in an offensive scheme that was designed to quickly get the ball into the hands of a receiver, who in turn runs with the football after the catch. Brady throws an occasional deep pass to keep the safeties honest.

His impressive anomaly of a stat year came when Randy Moss came aboard, the same Randy Moss who is considered the most dangerous deep threat in the modern era of NFL football. Moss's presence as a deep threat opened the door wide open for the dinks, danks and dunks to frustrate NFL defenses underneath.

What can I say? The Patriots offense is well-designed. It works.

Matt Cassel, he of absolutely no starting experience either at the college level or in the NFL, stepped right into that offense and shined last year. Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Cassel could have done in that offense in Year 2? How about Year 3? Why, in many ways, his numbers were on par with Brady's...with no prior experience.  

For posterity's sake and in the name of "greatness," until Tom Brady proves he is capable of leading his Patriots to a Super Bowl championship in the post-cheating era of New England Patriots football, he is not the "legend" that the NFL media has made him out to be.

Well why not in 2009? Brady's New England Patriots are the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2009. Why? Because Brady is a media darling! There are no excuses for Brady not to win the Super Bowl this year.

Enough already! Brady will never win a Super Bowl championship again! The NFL is catching up to Brady's dinks, danks and dunks. There is nothing left about this QB worthy of proclamation.