This may hurt some feelings. This may burst some bubbles. But, Jets fans, it is time to accept the facts.
This Super Bowl proved it.
Here's a question: did you ever doubt the New England Patriots, even when they were down 28-3? If you did, shame on you.
After watching Brady and Co. pick apart the league one game at a time through the years, you knew in the back of your mind the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history was inevitable. The score was 28-3. It could have been 35-3; the Patriots were going to win that game. That's the script and there was nothing the Atlanta Falcons could do about it.
Brady's final numbers were 43-for-62, 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Facing the largest deficit in Super Bowl history? Not a problem. Minus the one blemish, this screamed MVP performance.
There was always a discussion of who was the greatest quarterback to ever play in the National Football League. The names of Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, John Elway, Brett Favre, Steve Young and Johnny Unitas dominated the discussion. We always knew Brady was up there. But, Jets fans denied it mostly because - well - he killed the team for years.
In case you need a refresher, the Patriots quarterback is 23-7 with 44 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 30 career regular season games against New York. His QB rating is 91.9.
Time to swallow your pride and accept the fact the debate is over. Tom Brady and his five Super Bowl trophies in seven chances go uncontested.
You can dislike him. Go ahead and hate him. Despise his luxurious lifestyle with his super model wife and unlimited supply of UGGs in his $20 million home. Tape a picture of his cheeky smile to a dartboard. Rip apart his jersey in the MetLife Stadium parking lot. Do whatever you want to relieve the tension, anxiety and frustration he caused in your life for the past 17 seasons. But, at this point, it is time to respect what he has done. It is time to give credit where credit is due. Five Super Bowls - that is an accomplishment.
Brady epitomizes everything the New York Jets wish they had in the past, present and future. His work ethic is unparalleled. As hard as it is to read and write those words, there is no other way to look at it. The Jets haven't had anything close to Brady since Joe Namath put his finger in the air at the Orange Bowl after Super Bowl III. Even Namath's statistics can't match with Brady.
The Patriots' signal caller is the ultimate competitor. That is what drives Jets fans bonkers. That is the feeling you get when you toss your remote control at the television while watching Brady march down field with a smirk on his face. By the way, how many remotes have you gone through during football season?
My father went through one a week.
In any sense, we have to acknowledge something. The fact you fear when your team faces the Patriots on the schedule means something is working for Brady. That unsettling feeling you get in your stomach when Brady gets the ball back with at least one minute left in regulation down by one or two points shows his true greatness. You know - deep inside - the Patriots offense will march right downfield with ease and there is no defensive scheme designed that will stop them.
I understand your emotions. We all do. You either love Tom Brady or hate Tom Brady. There is no 'in the middle.' But whether or not you do like him, it's time to accept the reality. We are watching the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football and quite possibly the greatest coach as well.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)