ST did a marvelous job breaking down the absurdity of the “Brady is a clutch winner who winningly wins games with the power of his calm and handsome face alone” gambit below — but since I’m a bored analyst with a boring desk job, I figured I’d substantiate his points with data. Fun stuff, right?! Get ready for some super hot chart action:
This is what New England’s seasons have looked like from an OSRS/DSRS ranking standpoint from 2001 – present, according to Pro Football Reference. Not perfect measurements, but good enough as a rough indicator of how teams stacked up to one another. Anyway: In New England’s three Super Bowl seasons, their defenses ranked 6th, 1st and 2nd league-wide. That, to put it lightly, is totally fucking insanely super crazy impressively dominant. Their offenses during that time ranked 8th, 12th and 3rd — not bad, but certainly nowhere near the levels they’ve approached since then.
You’ll notice, though, that results drop off pretty hard after that, even as Brady hit his prime as a QB and their offensive rankings shot upward. As we all know in real life, New England lost two Super Bowls to the NY Giants, in 2007 and 2011 — in those two seasons, Tom Brady calmly and coolly piloted his offense to ranks of 1st and 3rd in the league. Most famously, that 2007 team scored something like 492 TDs and Randy Moss caught 100 TD passes of 99 yards each and the Pats went unbeaten up through the Super Bowl. If ever there was a team that should have easily handled its business in the Super Bowl, it was this one.
Brady: 29/48, 266 yards, 1 TD. Pretty much killing it! So clutch! Clutchin’ it up! If Tom Brady were a small, fashionable woman’s purse, he would be a clutch.
2011, the Pats had the 3rd-best offense but only the 17th-best defense. They still made it to the Super Bowl, but they lost again. They put up 17 points against the Giants…the 9-7 Giants whose defense ranked 23rd in the league.
Brady: 27/41, 276 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. Cluuuuuuuuuuuuutch! Those are the numbers of a cool, clutch cucumber. If Tom Brady was an American rock band from Frederick, Maryland, he would be Clutch.
Seriously though, how hard is this to grasp? If Manning had done that, he’d have been crucified in the media. But Brady, like so many Derek Jeter’s before him, earned his “clutch” label because he benefited from an absurdly talented team in his early years and won a bunch of titles early and often — since 2004, New England’s offenses have ranked no worse than 11th in the league, and that was the year Brady clutchily got his knee blown up by Bernard Pollard. (Which, BTW, should tell you something about Bill Belichick’s system, that human pile of garbage Matt Cassel led the team to the 11th-best offense in the league.) They’ve been top three offensively since 2009. Brady is a great QB. Belichick was an early adopter of up-tempo offense. The Pats are a fun team to watch. No one denies any of this.
The proof is right there, though. When New England’s defense was elite and Adam Vinatieri was in town: three titles. With Brady piloting an unstoppable airship of an offense but shouldered with a defense that’s roughly 11th-best in the league since 2005: zero titles. It’s a team sport, people. The QB matters, but so does literally every other position, and the playoffs are kind of a crapshoot anyway.
I guess what I’m saying is: Brady sucks and has totally lost his clutch ability hahahahaha suck it Brady!!!!!!!