On Sunday, November 3, 2019, Tom Brady handed the reins of the best quarterback in football to Lamar Jackson. Fantasy mavens may tell you that since 2002, the point at which fantasy football really became "a thing," you could argue that Brady was hardly, if ever, the best in the game. Brees, Manning, Vick, Rodgers, and Newton are the names that historically topped player raters, with the exception of 2007 when Brady-to-Moss helped both set all-time marks. But even the most pithy-adverse will tell you that numbers truly do not tell the entire story.
Tom Brady is the greatest football player ever. That is a fact, not an opinion. The object of a football game is to win and no one has recorded more of those, regular season, postseason, Super Bowl, and combined than Brady. Any protestation that Manning - or Brees - would have been at least as successful with Belichick on the sidelines is merely an exercise in conjecture. If you are drafting an all-time you select Brady first overall. And if you were starting a franchise anytime between 2001-2018 you would want Brady under center. As of November 3, 2019, any franchise choosing among current players would undoubtedly select Lamar Jackson ahead of Tom Brady.
Jackson hardly missed a throw all game against what many thought to be the leagues best defense, and the Ravens won handily, 37-20 over the previous Super Bowl favorites. There were murmurs that the Patriots' defense may wind up with the Purple People Eaters, the Steel Curtain, the Legion of Boom et al., right up to the point that Jackson proved too decisive, accurate, cunning and fast for New England's defenders. Perhaps if Brady we five years younger. Maybe if Brady had Gronk. Perhaps. Maybe. Everyone watching that game witnessed one of the most revered moments in sports: the passing of the torch.
And for a follow-up act, against the lowly Bengals, Jackson completed 15 of 17 passes for 3TDs and ran for another, providing another suite of eye-popping highlights en route.
Michael passed his to LeBron and so Brady passed his to Lamar. The press and the public are derisive of quarterbacks with dark skin, but Jackson is a Heisman winner with a higher college QB rating than Drew Brees, and is a soon-to-be MVP who can drop an out-route on a dime with pressure in his face against the best defense in the NFL. Most football fans outside of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont have disliked Tom Brady for the better part of 20 years. And those among that cohort who did not simultaneously respect his abilities missed out. This author would encourage all non-Ravens fans to take heed.