In preparation for the Super Bowl, ESPN the Magazine posed a series of Super Bowl-related questions that all point to the Patriots as the best franchise in the league.
Question: Fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, one throw into the end zone to win it: Which quarterback do you want making the pass?
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady collected 44% of the votes, ahead of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (23%) and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (8%). The remaining 25% are unreported. Even in his advanced age, Brady's Super Bowl mythos is well respected around the league.
Question: Which current player would you most like to have on your team in a Super Bowl?
Brady led the voting with 20%, ahead of Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. I'm actually surprised that Rodgers, Newton or another quarterback wasn't in the top ranking, but it also shows that Brady is considered the best playoff quarterback in the league and that he would be the deciding factor for a lot of teams that need to get over the hump.
Question: Which quarterback will win the most Super Bowls over the next 10 years?
Brady came in 3rd with 16%, behind Rodgers (20%) and Newton (18%). It's not a surprise that the to-be 39-year-old Brady didn't lead this one because it's highly unlikely that he'll play in each of the next 10 seasons. The 32-year-old Rodgers is in his prime, while the 26-year-old Newton is still getting better. But what makes this third place finish for Brady more interesting is...
Question: Which team will make the most Super Bowl appearances in the next 10 years?
The Patriots led with a whopping 27% of the vote, ahead of the Packers (13%), Panthers (12%), and Seahawks (10%). It's curious that the other named teams are all in the NFC, but it points to the fact that there is a serious lack of promise for a lot of the AFC teams- and that the Patriots will take advantage of the vacuum. And if Brady isn't the quarterback that will win the most Super Bowls, does that mean that Jimmy Garoppolo or the heir-to-be-named-later picks up from where Brady leaves off? That's a nice thought.
There are some other interesting questions, such as which quarterback should have won a Super Bowl by now? and Who should be the halftime performer?, but there's nothing more interesting than the 61% of players that were willing to shorten their career in exchange for one Super Bowl victory.
If you want to win, perhaps you might want to have your agent call up Bill Belichick and the Patriots, because Super Bowls are apparently on the agenda for the next decade.