Every offseason, NFL Network releases its list of the top 100 players entering the new season. While the ranking is not the definitive measure of performance in the league, it is a reflection of how a player is viewed among his peers: after all, the players themselves are the ones voting for it. Judging by this, the New England Patriots’ quarterback still is seen among the league’s best players — rightfully so.
However, his ranking as just the third passer overall despite winning the Super Bowl yet again certainly has plenty of potential for debate.
#6 QB Tom Brady
After taking the top spot on the list the last two years and never ranking outside the top five since the list’s inception in 2011, Brady slipped to number six on the list in 2019. Why? His numbers certainly played a role in that, but they fail to fully capture what the 41-year-old was able to accomplish last season: leading the Patriots to their sixth championship even though the cast of characters around him was changing on a regular basis.
Brady still came through in the clutch week-in and week-out, and showed why he is still in a class of his own — one that higher-ranked quarterbacks Drew Brees (#2) and Patrick Mahomes (#4) have yet to even scratch. The problem with that when it comes to rankings such as this one, is that is puts the greatest quarterback of all time under an enormous pressure to perform. And it looks like winning the Super Bowl can only get him so far.
Quote of note: “He’s never gotten away from the fundamentals, he’s never gotten away from technique. He’s able to push his teammates to play at a level they wouldn’t know to play at. That’s why he’s the GOAT.” — Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller
Brady is the fourth member of the Patriots to crack the list this year:
#6 QB Tom Brady
#22 CB Stephon Gilmore
#89 FS Devin McCourty
#90 WR Julian Edelman