Tom Brady could pass Joe Montana for playoff wins


As a boy in San Mateo, California, Tom Brady grew up rooting for Joe Montana. In Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Houston Texans, Brady can pass his idol as the winningest quarterback in NFL playoff history.

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Does total "playoff wins" even matter as a record? It's not really fair to compare eras because the playoffs expanded in 1978 and again in 1990. Anyone that played before 1990, like Montana, has an unfair disadvantage.

I raised the question about the record's meaning on Twitter, and most of our readers say it matters. Brady has won 16 playoff games in his career, losing six times (Montana finished 16-7). The Patriots have made the divisional round nine times in the last 12 years, which is outrageous consistency.

Brady was asked this week if he's aware of the record.

"With that question, I guess I'm aware of it. I've been fortunate to play with some many great players and great teams. Football is a team game. I've been fortunate to play here and have the opportunity. There's no place I'd rather be," Brady said.

We're not fans of "quarterback wins" as a stat in general. So much goes into a win and loss that has nothing to do with the quarterback. There is no question that Brady has played much better from 2007 on than, say, in 2001. But he won a Super Bowl in 2001 with a lot of help and a little luck. You need it all. Brady knows how much he's matured since.

"That was some kid back then. You really don't quite understand what has happened or what has been accomplished until you try so many times and you don't get to accomplish those things," Brady said. "It's very hard to win that final game of the year. We've had a chance and lost a few. It's hard to win this game. The best teams bring out the best in the players; they bring out the best in the teams. The margin for error is less. You make one mistake, and you're going to be watching next weekend."

These are the weekends Brady lives for. The same is true for other quarterback legends like Montana, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers. I don't care that much for the wins record, but I am fired up to watch some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time back on the big stage, chasing another ring.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.