Been in a couple twitter conversations about this lately so let’s dive in.
First, it’s important to note that in the playoffs you’re playing against the best teams and often the best defenses. So we have to adjust our expectations and I think the important question to ask is “Did Brady give his team a chance to win?”
Let’s remember he threw exactly ONE touchdown in 2001’s march to the Super Bowl in three games.
Brady was clearly not at his best in the 2011 and 2012 playoff games against Baltimore. But again, let’s remember we’re talking about arguably the best defense in the NFL, or at least the AFC, during that time.
So do we blame Brady for not torching them? He was still 1-1 in those two games and really, the 2012 was a total Patriots beatdown in the second half. The defense couldn’t get off the field so it’s hard to pin it all on Brady in that one.
Similarly in the two Super Bowl losses, Brady led his offense down the field to take a late lead (against defenses that were playing very well I might add) only it was the lack of that final defensive stop that lost the championship for him.
Can we really say Brady was in large part responsible for any of the playoff losses? Maybe he wasn’t at his best, but we never saw critical turnovers or a complete meltdown in any of them by Brady.
And really let’s be honest, the Patriots defense in recent years hasn’t exactly been on fire in the playoff losses either. In their last four playoff exits the defense has forced ZERO turnovers. That leaves little margin for error on offense, especially when you consider how much this team thrives on forcing turnovers.
So in those playoff losses Brady hasn’t gotten much help either.
Ultimately this is a team game, so it’s hard single out one player, even the quarterback, and assign a percentage of the blame. There are a number of factors that go in to evaluating an individual performance.
It’s not so easy to say Brady didn’t shred team X in the playoffs like he often shreds teams in the regular season so it’s his fault they didn’t win.
He’s always prepared, he doesn’t make critical mistakes and he will fight down to the end. I’ll take Brady in a playoff game any day. And if he gets the right support from the rest of his team, he’s just about unbeatable.