New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady won his 200th regular season game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but let's hold off on saying this is "the latest example of him being the GOAT."
As the case almost always is, Brady will get all the credit for leading his team to a 43-40 victory over Kansas City. Were TB12's 340 yards and one touchdown pass superb statistics? Sure.
But folks won't talk about Rob Gronkowski and his three big catches for 97 yards. They won't talk about Sony Michel's 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns. They won't talk about Dont'a Hightower's interception that set up their first offensive touchdown, or Duron Harmon's critical pick in the end zone at the end of the first half.
It's gutless to really give Brady all the credit for his 200 career regular season wins and five Super Bowl victories. I guess we can totally discount Bill Belichick's success as a head coach. You know, the man who took backup Matt Cassel and led the Pats to an 11-5 record in 2008, when Brady went down in Week 1 with a torn ACL?
Belichick is third all-time in head coaching wins, the bulk of them all coming with the Patriots. He inherited a long-time losing team and turned them into a championship contender. The solution wasn't Brady. The solution was Belichick nailing a bunch of his draft picks to build a legendary defense that led them to three championships in the early 2000s.
Think to Super Bowl 51. Remember the 28-3 comeback against the Atlanta Falcons? Tom Brady gets all the credit for the win. Julian Edelman bears little despite his heroic catch in the waning minutes. James White's three touchdowns and 110 receiving yards went unmentioned. Didn't the Patriots shut down MVP Matt Ryan and Atlanta's offense for the final 20 minutes? Thought so.
Brady isn't the GOAT, he's not the reason there are 200 career wins on his resume. He's actually a product of a great system. You know, the same system that made Cassel - a career journeyman - a superstar for one year. And you know, the same system that helped Jimmy Garoppolo land a $137.5 million contract from the San Francisco 49ers.
People seem to forget that Brady was bailed out by the Tuck Rule in his playoff debut - the 2001 AFC Divisional Round against the Oakland Raiders. It was kicker Adam Vinatieri who made a pair of clutch field goals in the blizzard and snowstorm. But it's fair to give all the credit to Brady - who had zero touchdowns in the game - or a defense that held Oakland's juggernaut offense to 13 points.
Brady also gets credit for the Pats' first Super Bowl victory against the St. Louis Rams. His 16 completions for 145 yards don't scream "legendary." Nobody mentions the fact the Patriots defense held Kurt Warner's "Greatest Show on Turf" offense to 17 points, or the fact Vinatieri booted the game-winning field goal as time expired.
And oh, can we mention the lack of competition Brady has faced in the AFC? Who has challenged him since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset three years ago?
Who from the AFC East has emerged as a threat to Brady and the Pats? The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets have been a trio of laughing stocks for two decades. They all conveniently reside in the AFC East, handing Brady and co. an easy division title on a yearly basis.
Brady should have tried playing in the NFC during his career. You know, the conference that has set a whopping 12 different teams to the Super Bowl in the 21st century. That's right -- 12 of 16 NFC teams have reached one Super Bowl since 2000. Too bad Manning-led teams were the only AFC clubs to challenge Brady and the Patriots.
The 41-year-old Brady has also been blessed with elite offensive weapons, even though many of his fans like to say the three-time MVP has done "more with less." Yeah, Randy Moss is only the second-best wide receiver ever, but he was "less" of a talent for Brady. Gronk is only the most dominant tight end of this era, maybe era. Apparently, Edelman and five-time Pro Bowler Wes Welker don't count as top weapons or Brady, either.
It's ridiculous how Brady has gotten all the credit in the world. Meanwhile, the same people are quick to point out that it was all Peyton Manning's fault he never won more than two Super Bowls. Maybe if he had a Hall of Fame coach like Belichick, he'd have five rings as well.
The same people also say Joe Montana benefited from having Jerry Rice as his top receiver, not pointing out that he led the San Francisco to two Super Bowl rings before Rice even arrived. Montana is 4-0 in Super Bowls, for those "Brady is the GOAT" talkers.
Congrats to Tom Brady on his 200th career win, but I'm quite sure he'd be the first person to tell you that his coaches and teammates deserve most of the credit. But please, go ahead and keep giving him all the props. Just don't forget what Belichick, Vinatieri and all the other great Patriots did to help Brady win 200 games.