Last week we compared Joe Flacco’s playoff numbers to those of Peyton Manning and came to the conclusion that January Joe has a leg up in terms of overall playoff performance. Now let’s take a look inside the numbers of who many consider to be the greatest playoff quarterback of all-time, Tom Brady.
The numbers may not be as glamorous as everyone thinks they are.
Brady is 21-8 in his career during the playoffs.
The following chart takes a look at Brady’s overall playoff numbers in those 29 games:
At first glance, it’s easy to surmise that these numbers are impressive. But let’s take a deeper look into Tom’s playoff performances over the years.
Out of his 29 career playoff games, Brady has only played in 6 true roads games. So only 21% of his career playoff games have been on the road. Compare that to Flacco, who has played in 12 road games, or 80% of his career playoff games. Obviously this isn’t Brady’s fault. His team has earned their home playoff games by virtue of playing in a crappy division year after year. But that’s an argument for a different day. In his 6 road playoff games, Brady is only 3-3, or a winning percentage of 50%. Flacco’s road playoff record is 7-5 (58.3 winning %).
Here are Brady’s numbers in those 6 road games compared to Flacco’s road playoff numbers.
These numbers are pretty comparable. If I hid the names of the QBs, you’d probably never guess one of those was Tom Brady. I wonder what Brady’s playoff legacy would be if he had to play almost all of his playoff games on the road like Flacco does. Would it be “He’s just lucky?” Or, “He just throws the ball up and hopes the receiver catches it?” Or, “If it wasn’t for that defense…”
I also took a look at a sampling of 9 of Brady’s 29 career playoff games (31%), some home and some on the road.
Here are the stats from those games:
Anyone want to guess what Brady’s record is in those 9 games? Anyone? Bueller?
As it turns out, Brady is 9-0 in these games. Would you have guessed that Brady had such terrible numbers in 9 of his 21 career playoff wins? He doesn’t throw for 450 yards and 34 touchdowns in every playoff game like some media personalities would like you to believe. Tom Brady also holds the record for most playoff wins ever without a touchdown pass (4). The Patriots have won 4 playoff games in which Brady didn’t throw a touchdown.
Wow, he must have been so elite in those games, right?
Hmmmm if it wasn’t for that defense….
Tom Brady has had several truly spectacular playoff performances in his career and some not so spectacular games. I’m not trying to suggest that Brady is overrated or simply gets “lucky a lot”. And you shouldn’t, either.
I can’t stand Tom Brady. I can’t stand his crybaby, prima donna attitude.
But Brady is a winner. Just like Joe Flacco.
Both QBs do enough to get the W on more occasions than not. And that really is the most important job for a quarterback.
Ray Lewis once shared an anecdote regarding a conversation he had in 2008 with then-rookie Joe Flacco. He said to Joe that Tom Brady was one of the best quarterbacks ever. Why? Because he wins!
It’s that plain and simple.
January Joe must have taken that message to heart because, seven years later, it’s safe to say that Joe Flacco wins too.