Tom Brady puts the GOAT debate to bed with Super Bowl win

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

There has been much debate about Tom Brady being the GOAT. No more debates about it. Brady doing what he did in Tampa stamps him as the greatest quarterback of all time. Period.

He won his seventh Super Bowl title in 10 tries, his first without Patriots coach Bill Belichick and first with the Buccaneers. He won the MVP for the fifth time. He’s now won a Super Bowl title in three different decades. This year, he propelled the Bucs to a 31-9 triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, and he may have put all debate to rest.

Not bad for a guy who is 43.

The greatest quarterback ever was 21 of 29 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. The greatest football player ever wasn’t ready to pass the torch to the baby GOAT just yet. The greatest American team sport athlete ever further cemented his legacy on football’s biggest stage. On a night in which the world watched history being made, he continued to add to his resume as the game’s most decorated player.

A lot of attention has been on Brady in the last two decades and rightfully so. He has set a standard for longevity, durability and elite production, which has been nothing short of remarkable and set him apart from the rest of the NFL. He’s only been doing it for 21 years.

Brady’s outstanding performance Sunday night created a familiar feeling. It was, in fact, breathtaking, like what we had seen before when he quarterbacked the Patriots in New England. And now, to be fair, Brady is still at the top of his game. Basically, he has not shown that his age is getting the better of him.

It was a game that put him on another level and perhaps changed people’s minds about him. It was a game that he very much laid the claim to the status of the quarterback GOAT. The victory was the latest validation of his greatness. Brady, without question, secured his place in the history of the game. Sure now, with Brady wearing a different uniform, the Buccaneers, in a way, truly resemble a version of the Patriots. It’s almost as if Brady took Belichick’s recipe book with him to Tampa and gave away his secret sauce to coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Brady’s dedication to his craft and work ethic elevated not only him but those around him. There’s hardly been any indication that he’s ready to retire from the NFL, and Brady seems to somehow defy age. He got the Buccaneers to the playoffs in his first season in Tampa, and amazingly showed no signs of decline while getting acclimated to his new team, new playing schemes and new surroundings.

He got it done with a cast of characters that probably wouldn’t have been playing in the Super Bowl at home without him. No disrespect or discredit to the Buccaneers’ swarming defense, but once again Brady proved that he was capable of shining above the rest. The secrets to his success on the field has been his continuity at the quarterback position, and his intangible, unteachable qualities which makes him such a tremendous leader and has given his teammates the confidence needed to make an impact on the field.

The hottest debate in the streets is apparently whether or not Brady has solidified his claim as the greatest quarterback in the history of his sport. His reign as the best player of all time has become increasingly significant. He entered this season aiming to entrench himself as the winningest QB, and gained lofty distinction as he guided the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl.

The Buccaneers had a new quarterback and a new identity, built primarily on stout linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Devin White, a top-flight receiving group, led by productive receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Be that as it may, the franchise has revolved around Brady since Bucs general manager Jason Licht arranged the signing of Brady in free agency ahead of the 2020 season. This team did it, first and foremost, because it had Brady.

And speaking of Brady delivering excellence, nowhere is this more evident than on the field that such transcendence undoes everybody. The Joe Montana comparison feels even more appropriate now that he has the Super Bowl stats to back it up. And the way the offense is built, the way they are stacked and the way everyone plays off one another, it’s really easy for him to get into the flow and take his team down the field.

He has a slew of bona fide offensive weapons, so he is able to put together a collection of throws. He is fortunate enough to have dynamic playmakers at receiver who possess a greater level of versatility and utility for a veteran quarterback of Brady’s caliber, so he is able to lead successful drives.

Brady, now surrounded by better supporting talent, fits perfectly into what the Buccaneers are doing. Any concerns regarding his steady decline are gone. This was just typical Brady, delivering the ball to a bunch of guys and orchestrating deep playoff runs. Brady’s game has long been his ability to make big plays when it matters the most. And obviously, confidence has never wavered.

The most important player in the Buccaneers’ franchise has shown continued mastery of the offense. The most hated player altered his legacy in Tampa on Sunday, adding to his already precious collection of Super Bowl rings. And, naturally, all anybody can talk about is Brady’s longevity and continued status as the best quarterback the game has ever seen.

The longer Brady extends his dominance, the more we must acknowledge not just his astounding physical abilities but his mental capacity and persistence. There was doubt about his durability, but he’s still incredibly performing superhuman tasks. He hasn’t forgotten how to throw a football. So now there’s a greater appreciation for his athletic prowess and craftsmanship. His success, along with his teammates knowing he leads with passion and commitment is foundational to creating a winning team.

It wasn’t his best performance by any stretch of imagination. But it was another amazing feat in a wonderful career for Brady, who has proven he can win without Belichick.

By game’s end, he stood proudly with his teammates on the podium in the middle of the field while he received another trophy. During the trophy presentation, Brady said he’ll be back and that he’s eyeing a repeat. Everybody knows he’s fully committed to playing until he can no longer throw the football. In what has become the obvious, he keeps growing as he ages, he continues to silence a lot of doubters with his electric play.

In terms of on-field performance, you could easily argue that no player should be compared to Brady. On this night, he simply outplayed the Chiefs’ young stud Patrick Mahomes after knocking Drew Brees’ Saints out of the playoffs and after defeating Aaron Rodgers’ Packers the following week to reach the Super Bowl.

It was his tireless effort and boundless energy that drove him to be great. This persistent pursuit of perfection is both extraordinary and inexplicable, and impossible to replicate, as there will never be another Tom Brady. And perhaps the most profound of Brady’s prosperity is his progressive nature as those superpowers he possess keep growing as he ages.

After that display on Sunday night, there’s nowhere to hide from the reality. This game was the perfect representation of a superhero who saves the girl at the end of a movie. Now that Brady has led his teams to victories in four of the last seven Super Bowls, here’s the bottom line. He is undeniably the best quarterback to ever play.

Period.

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