When you look at Tom Brady and Jared Goff on the football field in their uniforms, you see a couple of very talented quarterbacks that have led teams to Super Bowl LIII. They are both 6’4, and they have similar physiques. The two attended very good academic schools, and they both led their teams to Super Bowl LIII. Those are the similarities, but there is one stark contrast: Brady is almost old enough to be Goff’s father.

Can the younger QB rise to the occasion and lead his team to victory, or will the cagey veteran use his experience and playoff mojo to will his team to another Super Bowl championship? We will all find out on February 3rd when they face off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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Brady Brings the Super Bowl Pedigree

One of the two quarterbacks has nothing to prove when it comes to the ability to win NFL championships. Tom Brady has five Super Bowl rings, and he has taken home the Pete Rozelle Trophy, which is awarded to the most valuable player, on four of those five occasions.

I’m not going to get into his regular season awards, and there are a lot of them, because this is all about the big game. Brady has appeared in a total of eight Super Bowls, and for the most part, he has played very well on the big stage. He has thrown 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in these eight contests. Brady has completed 235 out of 357 passes, which is a 65.8% completion rate. He has thrown for a total of 2576 yards, and his career Super Bowl passer rating is a very solid 98.

Brady has good raw numbers, but we have all seen his uncanny ability to rise to the occasion late in games. You get the feeling that the Patriots are never out it when he is on the field, and he proved that when he engineered that mind boggling comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

The Newcomer Jared Goff

The Rams used the top pick in the 2016 NFL draft to select Goff, who excelled at the University of California, Berkeley. He started seven games during his rookie year, and the dude did not kill it out of the gate. He threw more interceptions than TD passes (7 to 5), and his passer rating was a dismal 63.6. Goff completed just 54.6% of his pass attempts during the 2016 season.

Jeff Fisher was the Rams coach during Goff’s initial campaign, and he was fired when the team put up a disappointing 4-9 record. He was replaced on an interim basis by special teams coordinator John Fassel, who presided over an 0-4 finish. Sean McVay was brought in to become the Rams head coach in 2017, and at the time, he was just 30 years old. This made him the youngest NFL coach in the history of the league.

The new coach was only eight years older than the young QB that was chosen to be a franchise player for years to come. In his second season, Jared Goff blossomed. He threw 28 touchdowns to go with seven interceptions, and his passer rating almost doubled at 100.5.

Most importantly, the Rams finished the season at 11 -5, and they made it to the playoffs, where they were ousted by the Atlanta Falcons. Goff was 24-45 for 259 yards with one TD and no interceptions is his first postseason appearance.

In the two Rams playoff wins that have taken them to the Super Bowl this year, he has completed 40 of 68 tosses for 483 yards. He has a pair of touchdown passes and an interception, and his passer rating stands at 79.5.

The Verdict

Jared Goff’s name was frequently mentioned in the NFL MVP conversation up until week 12, which was the bye week for the Rams. From games 13 to 16, he faltered, throwing two touchdown passes and a half dozen interceptions. Los Angeles lost two of those four games. The Bears beat them in Chicago, and the Eagles bested them at the Coliseum in L.A. He played well in the final two regular season games against lowly Arizona and San Francisco.

It’s been clear to me that Sean McVay has been trying to limit Goff’s exposure to risk during the playoffs. He is such a good play caller he can play it safe set his QB up for success, and that’s a very good thing. Many if not most people think that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. He has an offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels that he has worked with for over ten years if you combine the stints. McDaniels has been with the team for all five of their Super Bowl wins.

I think that Brady’s age, because of the experience that goes along with it, is more of a positive than a negative. No, he doesn’t run, but Goff is no Michael Vick or Cam Newton. He rushed for a total of 108 yards during the regular season (Tom ran for 35).

Brady is a coach on the field, the OC is brilliant, and the Pats head coach, love him or hate him, may be the best ever as well. Goff is progressing nicely, and Sean McVay has distinguished himself as an outstanding young coach and play caller. That being said, any coach could win with the roster that he has been given.

There is the matter of nerves when you are playing in your first Super Bowl, and the potential distractions on the days leading up to it. The huge spotlight is challenging for a young QB to handle, but the veteran on the other side has been there, done that, eight times.

Brady holds a distinct edge in my opinion, but quarterback ability is not always the determining factor. The Rams have a fierce, talented defensive line, and the Patriots offensive front must be able to protect their quarterback. Goff needs protection as well, so the line play will have a major impact on the performances of the quarterbacks.

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