By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — So maybe, after all, Max Kellerman’s personal problems are with the Patriots, and not Tom Brady.

What other conclusion can be made after the “First Take” co-host admitted about four years too late that his hot take about Brady “falling off a cliff” was wrong?

That’s just what Kellerman did on Monday, on the heels of Brady throwing for four touchdowns (and rushing for another) against the Raiders one week after a devastatingly efficient game to beat the previously unbeaten Packers.

“That was the cliff — right around that age, 40 years old, certainly 41, 42, it was over,” Kellerman explained Monday. “I just looked at the actuary tables, basically, right? And said no one’s ever done it. If Tom Brady does it, he will be defying the odds. The fact that he has, he’s defied the odds.”

After some rambling about Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, Kellerman added: “The fact that no one had done it until Tom Brady seemed to suggest that he also wouldn’t do it. The fact that he’s done it adds to his legacy as the greatest of all time — which, by the way, I’ve thought he was the greatest of all time for over 10 years. Like five years before I made the prediction. But I can’t deny the way he’s playing. It’s not just that he has weapons. He looks really good using them.”

Considering that wasn’t really an admission of being wrong, co-host Ryan Clark pushed Kellerman to state it for the record. Eventually, Kellerman relented.

“I was wrong. Tom Brady never fell off a cliff,” Kellerman said.

Neat.

For those who forgot, how lucky you are! But here’s a recap of what the take was when Max made it back in July of 2016:

“Tom Brady’s just about done. It could be his next game, it could be a year from now, but he is going to fall off a cliff. Tom Brady is going to be a bum in short order.”

It was a foolish proclamation immediately, one that only grew dumber as time wore on. Brady won the Super Bowl that season … there was something about a comeback from a 28-3 deficit or something or another? The year after that he was the NFL MVP and set a Super Bowl record for passing yards. A year after that he won the Super Bowl again after outslinging rising star Patrick Mahomes in the AFC title game.

Throughout it all, Kellerman kind of stuck to his terrible take throughout, moving the goal posts, sliding back the cliff, doing whatever he could to try to squirm his way into some sort of correct take. Best yet, when the Patriots fell behind big in Super Bowl LI vs. the Falcons, Kellerman came out of take hibernation to gloat:

What followed was maybe the best championship performance ever seen.

Yet Kellerman sort of stuck to his guns. I guess? Who knows/who cares, but we did keep track of it for a while. Apparently, though, watching Brady rip it up in a Bucs uniform at the age of 43 is enough to make Kellerman admit the obvious.

Nobody needed to hear Kellerman say it, because we’ve all known that he was wrong from the moment the buffonery left his lips. But now he has at least announced that he’s joined the rest of sentient culture, which is a step forward.

People in New England probably don’t care anymore, because, well, because Brady is gone, and the Patriots have much bigger problems than Max Kellerman’s takes. But they also probably don’t care because the take has been terrible for years. With Brady doing things like this in the  year 2020 …

… there’s really no objective measure by which one could say that Brady is anything but excellent at playing quarterback in the NFL. To act otherwise is kind of a boring contrarian dance.

Fortunately, though, Stephen A. Smith still cares. And Stephen A. Smith went wild on the TV:

I will not entertain this idiocy right here. It’s ridiculous!”

Gotta love Stephen A. You have just got to.

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