Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots into an AFC Divisional Playoff showdown with the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, eyeing a fourth Super Bowl victory and possibly a third MVP trophy.
But just a few short months ago, a certain major sports network didn’t even consider Brady a top-10 quarterback.
Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post unearthed a screenshot, allegedly from ESPN last summer, that does not include Brady among its list of the 10 best signal-callers in the NFL. In hindsight, the list is questionable, to say the least. [tweet https://twitter.com/BartHubbuch/status/553194000099049472 align=’center’]
Things start out OK with Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. And nobody could have predicted Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints would suffer such a backslide this season.
It all goes downhill from there, though.
Cam Newton has gotten the Carolina Panthers to the divisional round, sure, but better than Brady — and at No. 5, ahead of Andrew Luck, to boot? Nick Foles at No. 8? Robert Griffin III at No. 7? Robert Griffin III at all?
ESPN’s defenders are claiming this was a list of top-10 fantasy quarterbacks, which perhaps explains Brady’s omission. Even in fantasy terms, though, the list has major flaws. Where is Andy Dalton, the third-highest scoring fantasy quarterback in 2013? And who anticipated Griffin, the 19th-rated fantasy quarterback in 2013, suddenly jumping into the top seven this season?
We don’t need the benefit of hindsight to know that pick was a stretch.
The Patriots certainly are no lock to take down the Ravens on Saturday. Baltimore has a pretty good quarterback in Joe Flacco, who also wasn’t on ESPN’s list. But we’re pretty sure Brady should be somewhere in the discussion of the NFL’s best quarterback, especially if the criteria takes pancake mastery into account.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images
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