Originally Posted by DarrylStingley
The competition IS better but this little trend is why I don't get involved with Tom as GOAT. Tom is GREAT. One of the best ever. But you can't be the GOAT and have that group of stats.
It's interesting that the other potential GOAT of this generation -- Peyton -- is also prone to smaller performances in bigger games.
I hate that Tom has reduced somewhat to his playoff level. It was so enjoyable in Tom's earlier career that he was better in the playoffs and didn't quite have Peyton's regular season numbers.
I think, to be honest, that this is a bit of the "legend of Tom Brady" seeping in here. Because his actual numbers aren't nearly as good as we want to remember them being.
Tom Brady Playoffs Game Log - Pro-Football-Reference.com
In his first three playoff seasons, the Pats went 9-0 (ah, those were the days!). Here is Brady's cumulative stat line for those 9 games:
TOT: 190-304, 62.5%, 1951 yds, 11 td, 3 int, 88.9 rating
AVG: 21.1-33.8, 62.5%, 216.8 yds, 1.2 td, 0.3 int, 88.9 rating
Now here's his cumulative stat line for the 15 games in his non-SB-winning seasons:
TOT: 363-583, 62.3%, 3998 yds, 31 td, 19 int, 86.7 rating
AVG: 24.2-38.9, 62.3%, 266.5 yds, 2.1 td, 1.3 int, 86.7 rating
So in the 9 games in those SB-winning playoff seasons, his QB rating was 88.9. In the 15 games in the non-SB-winning playoff seasons, his QB rating was 86.7. Hardly any difference at all.
In the non-SB-winning seasons, Brady has thrown for more yards per game and more TDs. He has also thrown more interceptions, which alone accounts for the dropoff in QB rating.
Long story shorter, it is a myth that Tom Brady was this unbelievable playoff performer back in the day, while now he's struggling. He's just about the same quarterback. The offense since 2004 has involved a lot more passing (5 attempts a game is a lot - it translates to 80 more a year over 16 games...that's a big difference), which naturally leads to more yards, tds, and ints. But the completion percentage is virtually identical, as is the QB rating.
In fact, consider this. Let's take a QB rating of 100+ as being excellent. Here are the number of 100+ rating games Brady has had during his SB-winning years and during the non-SB-winning years (again, just talking playoffs):
2001-04 - 9 total games, 3 games of 100+ rating (33.3% of the time)
2005-12 - 15 total games, 5 games of 100+ rating (33.3% of the time)
Let's say a rating of less than 78 as being poor. Here are the number of -80.0 rating games Brady has had:
2001-04 - 9 total games, 3 games of -78.0 rating (33.3%)
2005-12 - 15 total games, 6 games of -78.0 rating (40.0%)
So the number of in-between games, representing a so-so performance, would be a rating between 78.0 and 99.9. Here's how Brady did there:
2001-04 - 9 total games, 3 games of 78-99.9 rating (33.3%)
2005-12 - 15 total games, 4 games of 78-99.9 rating (26.7%)
Brady is pretty much the same exact guy he's always been. The results have been different, unfortunately. But remember: this team won three SBs by a field goal apiece. A play or two here or there and those outcomes are different. And they lost two SBs by a combined 7 points. A play here or there and those outcomes are different. The modern Brady could easily have won 2 SBs, and the old Brady could easily have lost 3.