Tom Brady was voted the No. 1 player in the NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2011. Players on the list were voted by their peers based on their performances during the 2010 NFL Season. I raised eyebrows on some selections throughout the list, but the consensus on Tom Brady being the top player is bona fide.
OK, let me get this out of the way. Tom Brady is a Michigan Man. Yes, I studied at The University of Michigan. Yes, I worked for Coach Lloyd Carr while Brady played in college. Yes, I have an affinity for Michigan Football. Yes, I bleed maize and blue. I am biased, but I don’t ignore the facts.
So for the quarterback debate, let me give you the facts on Tom Brady. In 2010, he had 36 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He did this without a corps of Pro Bowl receivers. His deep threat receiver, Randy Moss, was sent to Minnesota a couple of weeks into the season and he made adjustments to lead the Patriots to a 14-2 season. In contrast, Peyton Manning threw 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Many times I feel like quarterbacks only look as good as their wide receivers. It helps to have receivers like Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals) and Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions). These are the types of guys who will make big plays out of bad passes. Brady did not have that luxury last season. He took his young receiving squad and made things happen. New England was just a touchdown away from playing in the AFC championship game. Take Brady away and the Patriots would not have even made the playoffs.
I don’t like to use championships as part of the criteria in discussions about the best players in team sports. However, since the sports world insists that it matters, I’ll go there. Brady has three Super Bowl rings. No question he is the best.
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