By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — In one of the least surprising developments of the first post-game Monday of the NFL regular season, people are already attempting to discredit Tom Brady’s damn-near-unparalleled accomplishments.
It’s a tenacious, resilient bunch, those Tom Brady critics. The Onion imitated real life all too well after the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX, and here we are again … Jimmy Garoppolo has a strong debut as Patriots starter and there they come, waddling out of the woodwork like a bunch of dusty garden gnomes, eager to hack away at the foundation of the monoliths at 1 Patriot Place.
The reaction of this special group of fans hinged entirely on Garoppolo’s performance. Jimmy G. would decide who would be the target: if he stunk it up, it’s back to “See, Belichick’s nothing without Brady.” But since Garoppolo was a strong 24-of-33 with a beauty of a passing touchdown to Chris Hogan on the Patriots’ first drive, it’s “See, Brady is just a system quarterback.”
Today I learned that Brady is still just some no-name under the spell of Belichick’s supreme sorcery.
Hold the phone, ESPN … Why is nobody talking about ‘Matt Castle’ except THIS guy?
Brady’s done literally nothing in his career. The system manufactured those three Super Bowl MVPs. Don’t even get me started on the 4th quarter of Super Bowl XLIX. Nothing.
Not only are the Patriots not lucky enough to have one of the all-time great quarterbacks, Belichick doesn’t even need a good one. Four Super Bowls and nearly 200 wins with a talentless nobody at QB … impressive.
Just like the Patriots offense between 2007 and 2008. Same exact thing.
Uh, yes, Kevin. People are probably still going to say that. Belichick beating Miami, Houston, and Buffalo at home probably shouldn’t affect any Brady discussions.
It’s not just the Twitterverse that’s spewing hot fire about Brady today – there are think-pieces. Consider Business Insider’s declaration of a “quarterback problem” in Foxboro. But most of the best scorchers about Brady and Garoppolo came from Twitter, the internet’s overflowing, disease-ridden spittoon.
Look, folks, it’s pretty simple … the Patriots have been so dominant in the regular season – and consistently competitive, if not victorious, in the postseason and Super Bowl – in the Brady/Belichick era, because of the combination of coach and quarterback. Belichick makes the team a consistent contender, Brady makes them a consistently dangerous opponent, and both of them together make them a consistent winner. To put together the kind of run they’ve amassed over the past 16 years, they’ve needed each other.
Last night did not prove anything about Brady, but it did affirm Belichick’s greatness. There’s no denying that he has a hell of a program in place, perhaps the league’s best (this might not be a debate). Yes, he probably could “plug in any no-name QB” and find a way to win in most situations. But the way he game-planned and coached up Sunday night’s win, if he had Brady (and, for that matter, Rob Gronkowski) at his disposal, the Patriots might have won 38-7.
Garoppolo is still no Brady, but he could be the next in line whenever No. 12’s reign ends. Those resilient Brady critics have exhausted themselves trying to discredit one franchise legend; they better hope they don’t have to spend another decade-plus sharpening their axes for another.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.