Tom Brady burnishing legacy as one of NFL's best ever at QB

The quarterback most likely to win a ring? It's usually a guy who's already got one.

This year? A little different.

He didn't make the cut.

Or him.

Or his older brother ... to the dismay of millions who'd come to expect a championship with his comeback.

You can cross him off the list, too.

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Makes sense, this being the year of the young quarterback. Ferociously talented, precociously composed, more circumspect than his years -- or his tats -- might suggest.

Only one of the old guard remains. And it's not that he's still standing; it's that he's making history.

The standard for postseason success has long been Joe Montana. But with a win over the Houston Texans, Tom Brady has now surpassed his childhood idol.

Seventeen victories. The most of any quarterback -- ever -- in football's second season.

I'm not arguing Brady is perfect. Unlike some of these kids, he would not be described as athletic.

(Perhaps more troubling? Some of his sartorial choices. Tom, really; leave that stuff to Beckham, OK?)

Then again, perhaps this was Tom Brady's real genius, a tough guy wearing a pretty boy's disguise.

On Feb. 3, 2002, he won his first Super Bowl MVP.

Joe Flacco was an underclassman at Audubon High School in New Jersey. Colin Kaepernick was 14. Robert Griffin III was 11.

Now, a win next Sunday will earn Brady a record six Super Bowl starts.

Watch closely, all you young quarterbacking prodigies.

Oh, it'll happen.

But never again.

Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @MarkKriegel.