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(Note: this is a statistically updated version of a Cold, Hard Football Facts classic that first ran following New England's epic 28-24 victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX.) 

The New England Patriots are 3-1, once again the big bad bullies of their personal little Pigskin Playground called the AFC East. They’re widely proclaimed as one of the favorites to win Super Bowl LI in February.

And now Here Comes Tom Brady, the Best Who Ever Lived. He’s fresh off a four-game suspension at the hands of Gridiron Godfather Roger Goodell, the worst person in sports. Which means the greatest quarterback of all time now has a chip on his shoulder, something to prove, the greatest resume in the history of football -- and begins his next assault on the history books two games over .500 instead of 0-0. 

The debate over who's the better QB is no longer Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, which should have been settled long ago. It's now Brady vs. Any Legendary QB. And Brady comes out on top of any argument.

For this conclusion, we rely not on the dribbling wet dreams of our author and talk-show-host pal Jerry Thornton, the pom-pom waving enthusiasm of fan boy Paul Fitzy Fitzgerald, or the comedic antics of internet B-list celebrity sidekick, the "other guy" George Kippenhan.

Instead, for this conclusion, we rely on the stats, the data, and the most Powerful Force in the Sports Universe: the Cold, Hard Football Facts.

The quarterback returning to lead the first-place Patriots against the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday has possession of a huge chip on his shoulder, plus almost every single team and individual statistical accomplish in the history of football.

Brady singularly holds every single record in both postseason and Super Bowl history, whether we're talking individual stats or team accomplishments.

He's no slouch in the regular season, either. After 14 years as a starting quarterback, Brady is easily the winningest quarterback of all time and ranks in the Top 5 of every single major individual stat. He'll likely end his career in the top 3 in every major measure of individual accomplishment, maybe even higher depending on how long he plays.

Brady is just seven wins shy of his 201st career victory (regular season and postseason), which would be the most in NFL history, with no active player anywhere close to matching this record.  

Brady's career win-loss differential of +134 (194-60, including playoffs) is so far above that of any other player, it's almost a statistical miracle. And a great testament to Brady, in a sport in which the team with the better quarterback that day almost always wins.

He already holds all the records in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl, and nobody alive is close to catching him. So no matter how you cut it, stats or team accomplishments, Brady usually ends up on top by one of those meaures, and usually by both. 

Perhaps most importantly, Brady consistently comes up huge in the clutch and wins games that appear lost, as he did twice in the 2014 postseason, against both Seattle in the Super Bowl and Baltimore in the divisional round. 

Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle may have been his finest hours: the Patriots became the first team in history to overcome a double-digit deficit in the second half of a Super Bowl. Every other team trailing by 10+ in the second half of a Super Bowl had combined to go 0-30.

Brady's Patriots? 1-0. That's the greatness of Brady. Always defying the statistical odds. His team's ability to win in all places, in all situations, defies the the entire statistical history of the game. No team has ever come close to winning as relentlessly as Tom Brady's Patriots. 

The Patriots won that Super Bowl thanks to the greatest individual quarter of football by an quarterback in NFL history. Brady and the Patriots produced two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. And they did it against the best defense in football, a team that had surrendered just 15.9 points per game all year long – let alone 14 points in crunch time of the biggest game of the year.

More amazing Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Brady Patriots have produced 52 points in six Super Bowl fourth quarters. That's the equivalent of 34.7 PPG – typically against the toughest defenses of the year, and in the biggest moments of the season.  

The Patriots have scored an incredible 28 points in the final 3 minutes of those six Super Bowls, including another touchdown against the mighty Seattle defense on Sunday. 

We listed every single Brady individual and team record below, in the postseason, in the Super Bowl itself, and then listed where he stacks up in the regular season. 

It's a tsunami of stats that offer and obvious conclusion: Here Comes Tom Brady, the Best Who Ever Lived. 

 

A TSUNAMI of STATS

Here is our look at how Brady stacks up against the greatest quarterbacks of all time in the postseason, in Super Bowls, and in the regular season.

 

POSTSEASON: All-Time Quarterback Leaderboard

Most postseason games

Tom Brady – 31

Peyton Manning – 27

Brett Favre – 24

Joe Montana – 23

 

Most postseason victories

Tom Brady – 22

Joe Montana – 16

Terry Bradshaw – 14

John Elway – 14

Peyton Manning – 14

 

Most postseason game-winning drives (source profootballreference.com)

Tom Brady – 9

John Elway – 6

Joe Montana – 5

Eli Manning – 5

 

Most postseason fourth-quarter comebacks (source profootballreference.com)

Tom Brady – 6

Joe Montana – 5

Terry Bradshaw – 4

John Elway – 4

Eli Manning – 4

Russell Wilson – 4

 

Best postseason win percentage (min. 20 games)

Tom Brady – .710 (22-9)

Joe Montana – .696 (16-7)

John Elway – .667 (14-7)

Brett Favre – .542 (13-11)

Peyton Manning – .519 (14-13)

 

Most division championships

Brady – 13

 

Most conference title game appearances

Tom Brady – 10 (6-4) (more appearances than 27 NFL franchises) 

Joe Montana – 7 (4-3)

Terry Bradshaw – 6 (4-2)

John Elway – 6 (5-1)

Roger Staubach – 6 (4-2)

 

Most postseason games, 50+ attempts

Brady – 6 (4-2 record)

Jim Kelly – 3 (0-3)

Drew Brees – 2 (0-2)

Jeff George – 2 (0-2)

Dan Marino – 2 (0-2)

Warren Moon – 2 (0-2)

 

Most consecutive postseason wins

Brady - 10 (2001-2005) 

 

Most wins in postseason, 50+ attempts

Brady – 4 (4-2)

Dan Fouts - 1 (1-0)

Bernie Kosar - 1 (1-0)

Eli Manning - 1 (1-0)

Tom Brady has gone 4-2 in postseason games passing the ball 50+ times Every other quarterback in history has produced a combined record of 3-28.

 

Most postseason passing yards

Tom Brady – 7,957

Peyton Manning – 7,339

Brett Favre – 5,855

Joe Montana – 5,772

 

Most postseason TD passes

Brady – 56

Joe Montana – 45

Brett Favre – 44

Peyton Manning – 40

Dan Marino – 32

 

Most postseason pass attempts

Brady – 1,183

Peyton Manning – 1,027

Brett Favre – 791

Joe Montana – 734

Dan Marino - 687

 

Most postseason completions

Brady – 738

Peyton Manning – 649

Brett Favre – 481

Joe Montana – 460

Dan Marino – 385

 

Most postseason rush TD by a quarterback

Steve Young – 8

Brady – 6

John Elway – 6

Steve McNair – 6

 

SUPER BOWL: All-Time Quarterback Leaderboard

Most Super Bowl appearances:

Brady – 6

Elway – 5

 

Most Super Bowl victories:

Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw – 4

 

Most Super Bowl MVP awards:

Brady, Montana – 3

 

Most Super Bowl attempts

Tom Brady – 247

Peyton Manning – 155

John Elway – 152

Jim Kelly – 145

 

Most Super Bowl completions

Tom Brady – 164

Peyton Manning – 103

Joe Montana – 83

Kurt Warner – 83

Jim Kelly – 81

 

Most Super Bowl passing yards

Tom Brady – 1,605

Kurt Warner – 1,156

Joe Montana – 1,142

John Elway – 1,128

Peyton Manning – 1,001

 

Most Super Bowl TD passes

Tom Brady – 13

Joe Montana – 11

Terry Bradshaw – 9

Roger Staubach – 8

 

Most completions in a Super Bowl

Tom Brady – 37 (Super Bowl XLIX)

Peyton Manning - 34 (Super Bowl XLVIII) 

Tom Brady – 32 (Super Bowl XXXVIII)

Drew Brees – 32 (Super Bowl XLIV)

Jim Kelly – 31 (Super Bowl XXVIII)

Kurt Warner – 31 (Super Bowl XLIII)

 

REGULAR SEASON: All-Time Quarterback Leaderboard

Most 500-point seasons

Brady – 4 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Kurt Warner - 3 (1999, 2000, 2001)

Drew Brees - 2 (2009, 2011)

Peyton Manning - 2 (2004, 2013)

 

Most consecutive victories (including playoffs)

Brady's Patriots – 21 (2003-04)

 

Most wins in one regular season

Brady's Patriots – 16 (2007)

 

Most wins over two seasons (including playoffs)

Brady's Patriots – 34 (2003, 2004; 34-4 record)

 

Winning percentage in regular season (min. 100 games)

Tom Brady – .771 (172-51)

Roger Staubach – .746 (85-29)

Joe Montana – .713 (117-47)

Peyton Manning – .702 (186-79)

Terry Bradshaw – .677 (107-51)

 

Win-Loss Differential in regular season

Tom Brady – +121 (172-51)

Peyton Manning – +107 (186-79)

Brett Favre – +74 (186-112)

Joe Montana – +70 (117-47)

John Elway – +66 (148-82)

 

Most wins by a starting quarterback in regular season

Brett Favre – 186

Peyton Manning – 186

Tom Brady – 172

John Elway – 148

Dan Marino – 147

 

Most total wins by a starting quarterback (including postseason)

Peyton Manning – 200

Brett Favre – 199

Tom Brady – 194

 

Pass completions

Brett Favre – 6,300

Peyton Manning – 6,125

Drew Brees – 5,481

Dan Marino – 4,967

Tom Brady – 4,953

 

Pass attempts

Brett Favre – 10,169

Peyton Manning – 9,389

Marino – 8,358

Drew Brees – 8,261

Brady – 7,792

 

Passing yards

Peyton Manning – 71,940

Brett Favre – 71,838

Drew Brees – 62,172

Dan Marino – 61,361

Tom Brady – 58,028

 

Passing touchdowns

Peyton Manning – 539

Brett Favre – 508

Drew Brees – 438

Tom Brady – 428

Dan Marino – 420

 

Passer rating

Aaron Rodgers – 104.0

Russell Wilson – 101.6

Tony Romo – 97.1

Steve Young – 96.8

Peyton Manning – 96.5

Tom Brady – 96.4

 

Interception percentage

Rodgers – 1.6%

Tom Brady – 1.9%

Russell Wilson – 1.9%

 

Game-winning drives

Peyton Manning – 56

Dan Marino – 51

Tom Brady – 48

John Elway – 46

Brett Favre – 45

 

Fourth-quarter comebacks

Peyton Manning – 45

Tom Brady – 37

Dan Marino – 36

John Elway – 35

Joe Montana – 31

 

Career Win-Loss Differential (including postseason)

Tom Brady -- +134 (194-60)

Peyton Manning - +108 (200-92)

 

  

BRADY on the BIGGEST STAGE

It's the crunch time scores that really sets apart his career from every other. Former Cold, Hard Football Facts contributor Scott Kacsmar and the folks at ProFootballReference.com track the comebacks and game-winning drives for every quarterback in history. 

Brady, as noted above, tops the list with six fourth-quarter comebacks and nine game-winning drives in the postseason, ahead of legends like Montana (five comebacks) and Elway (six GWD).

Here's a little way to put Brady's record six fourth-quarter comebacks and nine game-winning drives in the playoffs in perspective: consider that Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers has produced a total of 10 fourth-quarter comebacks and 14 game-winning drives, total, in all 142 games in his career, including regular and postseason.

 

BRADY in SUPER BOWL CRUNCH TIME

Here's a quick look at Brady's Super Bowl fourth quarters. The Patriots have scored 52 fourth-quarter points in six Super Bowls. That's the equivalent of 34.7 PPG, usually against the best defenses in football.

Super Bowl XXXVI (Patriots 20, Rams 17) – 5 of 8 for 53 yards in final 81 seconds of fourth quarter to lead only walk-off scoring drive in Super Bowl history, capped by Adam Vinatieri's 48 yard field goal 

Super Bowl XXXVIII (Patriots 32, Panthers 29) – Led three fourth-quarter scoring drives (18 points total) to lead Patriots to victory, capped by Vinatieri 41-yard field goal with 9 seconds to play. Brady final two drives: 10 of 13, 104 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. 

Super Bowl XXXIX (Patriots 24, Eagles 21) – Patriots score 10 fourth-quarter points against the No. 2 defense in the NFL (16.25 PPG) to capture victory in a game tied 14-14 after three periods.

Super Bowl XLII (Giants 17, Patriots 14) – Must substandard and disappointing performance in both Patriots and Brady history, as 18-0 team fell to heavy underdog Giants. But Brady had lifted Patriots to 14-10 lead with 2:45 to play by leading monster scoring drive: 8 of 11, 71 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.

Super Bowl XLVII (Giants 21, Patriots 17) – A near mirror image of previous loss to Giants. In this case, the Patriots failed to produce a single fourth-quarter point in six Super Bowls.

Super Bowl XLIX (Patriots 28, Seahawks 24) – Probably Brady's finest hour in a career filled with them. The Patriots score 14 fourth-quarter points to erase 24-14 deficit in greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.  

Brady is the all-time leader in postseason game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks. But this last performance against Seattle was no garden-variety victory. 

Seattle had fielded the No. 1 scoring defense in football for three straight seasons. Some called it one of the best defenses of all time. Brady skewered this unit, especially twice with the game on the line:   

  • The 4 TD passes by Brady were the most against the Seahawks defense since Week 16 2010. 
  • The 320 net passing yards by the Patriots were the most against Seahawks defense since Week 4 2013. 
  • The Patriots scored consecutive touchdowns on their final two drives of the fourth quarter to steal the win. The Seattle defense had not surrendered consecutive fourth-quarter TD drives since Week 12 2012.

Brady in the fourth quarter against this defense: 13 of 15, 86.7%, 124 yards, 8.3 YPA, 2 TD, 0 INT, 140.7 passer rating.