The bandwagon NFL analysts will never question any statement that glorifies Tom Brady, but at some point the more intelligent fan has to raise some concerns about whether or not Tom Brady truly deserves the title of being a clutch postseason quarterback, on which hinges so much of his reputation. Before the Patriots were caught with illegal tape of their opponents’ practices, they boasted an almost unbeatable 10-1 postseason record. Since being deprived of that advantage, their record has been a mediocre 7-6. Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into team success other than quarterback play, so let’s look at Brady’s stats in specific.
Since Spygate in early 2006, Brady has made 13 playoff appearances posting an average passer rating of 87.0, which is 15.8 points lower than his regular season average during that time. That means Brady isn’t as good in the playoffs. Even more significantly, in this span Brady has posted a sorrowful sub-70 rating five times, including two sub-60 ratings, and one sub-50 performance. Allow me to reiterate, Brady has posted a passer rating lower than Trent Dilfer’s career average in almost half of his postseason appearances since Spygate.
For perspective, let’s compare those stats to the league’s most famous “postseason choke artist,” Peyton Manning. Since the 2006 season, Manning has made seven postseason appearances, posting an average passer rating of 97.9, only two-tenths of a point less than his regular season average during that time, as well as being almost 11 points higher than Brady. In this span, Manning’s worst passer rating was a solid 88.3, a mark which Brady has failed to meet or exceed in 7 of his 13 postseason appearances since spygate, and less than 4 points shy of Brady’s average in that span. Petyon Manning’s worst performance in the playoffs since 2006 is equal to an average game for Tom Brady during that span.
While we’re at it, let’s look at the other significant postseason quarterbacks active since 2006. Ben Roethlisberger has made 8 postseason appearances since Spygate, with an average passer rating of 80.6 (11.4 points lower than his regular season average in that span) and one sub-70 passer rating. Also in 8 appearances, Drew Brees has an average postseason passer rating of 106.1, up 7.6 from his regular season mark, and has only once posted a passer rating lower than 90 (83.6). Finally, Eli Manning in 10 postseason performances boasts a 96.5 average passer rating, 11.5 points above his regular season average in that time frame, and only one game with a sub-70 passer rating. Probably the most shocking part of that is that in 13 games, Brady has compiled three more sub-70 passer ratings than Roethlisberger, Brees, and both Mannings have combined in their collective 33 games during that same span.Now, back when the Patriots were using illegal film of their opponents’ practices to prepare for games, Brady was a postseason magician, I’ll grant you. Back then, his postseason passer rating of 92.2 was 3.6 points higher than his regular season average, and he never once dropped below a passer rating of 70 in 11 postseason games. Keep in mind, this is as a less experienced quarterback in a less offense-friendly league. He was really something back then, no doubt. As far as regular season performance goes, he’s gotten even better it seems since the. The fact of the matter, though, is that if you don’t happen to have illegal tape of your opponents’ practice lying around, Tom Brady isn’t the quarterback you want on your team in the postseason.