Brady vs. Jameis
This isn’t an attempt to go after Jameis Winston or his legacy with the Buccaneers. When evaluating the best quarterbacks in franchise history, it is impossible to be fair without addressing what Jameis has done. Winston, Tom Brady, and Doug Williams now sit atop the Pantheon of great Bucs quarterbacks, and it’s easier to evaluate the stats between Brady and Jameis in the same era.
The number one argument behind keeping Jameis was that he needed a second year in Arians’ system to actually hit his stride. All of the other Arians-coached QBs were able to take massive steps forward in their second year, so Jameis likely would too. The only issue is that Brady never needed a second year.
The below graphic tweeted by The Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard shows a comparison between Brady and other Arians quarterbacks. These stats left out one game, but the full-year stats are given on the first slide.
Andrew Luck, Ben Rothlisberger, Carson Palmer, and Jameis Winston saw their yards and touchdowns at very high levels under Arians, but the turnovers were also an issue. These tend to level out after the first season, but the Jameis Winston study showed that the mass of turnovers made it impossible for the team to grow.
Everyone expected Brady to come in and experience a career-high in offensive success and interceptions. While 12 is still a lot for his lofty expectations, Brady had thrown for 12 or more interceptions eight other times in his career.
Brady is so good that he took the successes from an Arians-led unit without paying the price, and that is what sets him apart from his competition. Stats aren’t everything, but the best raw completion percentage, most touchdowns, second-most passing yards, and second-fewest interceptions are hard to overlook.