Brady: Great QB or Great System?

Before the 2016 season started, Patriot fans were just hoping to make it through the first 4 weeks of the season with a .500 record.  Their Super Bowl MVP QB, Tom Brady, had been suspended for his involvement for Deflategate, and Jimmy Garoppolo was going to be leading this team.  Kicking off the season against the Arizona Cardinals, a team that was in the NFC Championship game a year ago, the Patriots weren’t too optimistic.  They also had to take on the Houston Texans, a team with a new QB, great defense, and high hopes.  Their other two games during the 4 game stretch were the ones that the Patriot fans were really counting on.  With matchups at home against the Dolphins and the Bills, 2-2 seemed like the most likely start that this team could hope for.

No one told that to Bill Belichick.

After a brutal beatdown of the Houston Texans last night, the Patriots are now 3-0 on the year.  They started a rookie QB, after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a shoulder injury against the Dolphins, and somehow, they looked better.  The defense played their best game all season, and while they didn’t ask Jacoby Brissett to pass very much (only went 11-19 for 103 yards passing), he didn’t turn the ball over, and he even scored a TD on the ground.  The Patriots looked like they were in mid-season form, despite Brissett’s first career start AND a short week.  How?  Belichick.

As Head Coach of the Patriots, Belichick has a record of 190-69(.734%).  While he has benefitted from having Tom Brady since 2000, his win percentage is virtually the exact same WITHOUT Brady.  Which brings me to the question, is Tom Brady as great as we all think he is, or has he benefitted from Bill Belichick’s system?

There is no doubt, Brady is a 2x MVP, 4x Super Bowl Champ, and has been to the Pro Bowl 11x’s.  Despite that, his stats have never really jumped off the page.  He’s only thrown for 5000 yards once, more than 40 TDs once, and has had double digit INTs in 9 of his 14 full seasons played.

Personal stats don’t say everything though.  Football is a team sport, and the Patriots always seem to have a great defense.  Tom Brady has always played on a complete team.  Even if he had a bad game, the defense could make up for it.

I’m not saying that Brady isn’t great.  I personally list him in the top 5 of QBs ever.  That being said, I think he is a perfect system QB.  As much as Belichick owes his career to Brady, I think Brady owes more to Belichick.

I don’t think there is a right answer to this question, and that’s why I love to discuss it.  Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments below, or comment on Facebook.


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