Posted Via Bleacher Report By Erik Frenz
We can try to compare Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and now Ben Roethlisberger all we want. Those are discussions that are fun to have, but are better left to the end of their careers.
These men are artists, and no work of art can be judged until it is finished. Take just a fraction of a piece of artwork out of the picture and the entire complexion is changed.
Like a Picasso painting, they may all look like separate entities, but the work of art itself is the totality of all the pieces.
Ultimately, nothing can be said now that can’t be altered with a few strokes of the brush, a few good or bad seasons from any of those players. Only when complete will we be able to accurately assess the careers of these three All-Star quarterbacks and draw a comparison.
That being said, with the news that Brady was named the Associated Press 2010 NFL MVP, now seems a good time to think about where his individual legacy stands with the addition of this latest award.
It’s not the Lombardi Trophy, but it’ll have to do. For now, at least.
But what does it do for his legacy?
For one thing, it’s another notch in his belt in the Brady vs. Manning debate (when the time has come to have it). It’s one more case of validation for his supporters, and rebuke for his detractors.
He’s also the very first to ever be voted unanimously to win the award.
His fans can take solace in that, but he won’t.
Brady is known for saying, “You know which ring is my favorite? The next one. The next one’s my favorite.”
Content with being named league MVP? Not a chance. For Brady, it don’t mean a thing if he don’t get that ring.
Ultimately, the best way for Brady—or anyone, for that matter—to add to his legacy is with Super Bowl wins. That being said, he’ll have at least a few more opportunities to add to his collection before he retires.
Statistically speaking, this season cemented Brady’s status as one of the most efficient quarterbacks of all time. Between Weeks 6 and 17, he didn’t throw a single interception. In fact, his 0.8 percent interception ratio ranks his season as the second-best all time in that category.
Then, of course, there are the records Brady did set. Don Meredith’s streak of six straight games with two or more touchdowns and no interceptions was bested by Brady’s nine-game streak with said stats.
There’s also his record for consecutive passes without an interception, which extended to 339 before it was finally broken by David Harris in the playoffs.
Brady’s Picasso career has him looking like a mash-up of one of the best clutch quarterbacks of all time (2001-2007) mixed with being one of the best single-season gunslingers of all time (2007) and topped off with one of the most elite game managers of all time (2010).
In fact, Brady’s 2010 season itself was a Picasso. The dissimilar juxtaposition between the offense with Moss and sans Moss would be enough to make the artist himself nod in approval. He played three quarters of the season without a conventional deep threat.
Brady is, however, falling into that treacherous “Manning trap” of regular season success stories that are coupled with postseason letdowns and shortcomings. His brush is grazing that fine line, and we all know any artist worth his weight in salt would never paint outside the lines.
But if Picasso knew we were judging a work of art before it was finished, he might begin turning over in his grave.
Like a Picasso work of art, the sum of the parts will finally come together as a group of dissimilar but somehow holistic snapshots that create one contiguous masterpiece.