New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff,

You want to rank soon-to-be-42-year-old Tom Brady below No. 1 in the NFL, fine. Hell, you want to put him around 5-6, maybe you could make a case. But ninth-best quarterback in the league? After he just won yet another Super Bowl while delivering the kind of clutch fourth-quarter drive that few QBs in history could pull off, especially at his age?

Leave it to Chris Simms to embarrass himself, yet again.

The controversial (in New England, anyway) NFL analyst continued to plainly show his distaste for Brady in his annual QB rankings. For a while he’s had Brady below just about everyone’s accepted standard. This time he has Brady barely in the top-10, ranking him ninth – just behind Cam Newton at No. 8, and Matt Ryan at No. 7. Equally embarrassing was Saints quarterback Drew Brees coming in at No. 10.

Andrew Luck, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Deshaun Watson, and Russell Wilson are the remaining QBs left to be ranked. You could make a reasonable case for some of them to be ranked ahead of Brady for 2019, but all of them plus Ryan and Newton?

It’s just the latest embarrassing attempt to troll Patriots fans and it obviously worked, yet again. The most pathetic part of Simms’ consistent Brady criticism is how much he overcompensates to say how much he loves Brady, like he did in the above video from NBC Sports before explaining himself.

“I don’t know if there’s a quarterback I respect more. I don’t know if there was a quarterback I tried to model my game after more early in my career than Tom Brady. I only have a few autographs of football players in my house – Tom Brady’s one of them,” Simms bloviated. “I hate it. I just don’t want to be known as a Tom Brady hater. I don’t. He’s [expletive] awesome. He’s amazing.”

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady of the New England Patriots reacts during the Super Bowl Victory Parade. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady of the New England Patriots reacts during the Super Bowl Victory Parade. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Well he almost immediately contradicted himself. Though he constantly claims he truly believes what he says about Brady and where he ranks the Patriots QB, he tacitly admitted he ranks him lower than reality to avoid looking too safe or obvious.

“That’s status quo, right?” Simms said on ranking Brady and Brees higher on his list. “I could’ve put Brees and Brady at 2 and 3 and just been like, ‘Ah, yup’, and everybody will like me on social media. Let me just do that. I’ll just do that – even though I don’t believe it – but I’ll do it just to get away from the haters or the people who are unqualified but making qualifying statements.”

Problem is Simms makes himself look less qualified with each passing ranking. It doesn’t help that he has the arrogance to act like he’s so much smarter and ahead of the curve than pretty much everyone else who watches NFL football games.

But eventually, Simms finally gets to explaining Brady’s surprisingly “low” ranking of No. 9 out of 40 quarterbacks. He bases it on the Patriots’ evolution into more of a running offense in 2018 – which even he realizes is largely a response to teams shifting toward smaller defenses to combat high-octane passing games. But he spins it as an attempt to hide Brady’s diminishing skills.

“They’ve changed the way they play. They play the game through the run first,” Simms said of the Patriots. “They’re telling you ‘Hey, Tom Brady’s awesome,’ but I don’t think we can win consistently with him throwing it 40 and 45 times a game like we did four years ago or five years ago. I think they’re showing you that, and I think that’s why they’re trying to change their style of football.”

Feb 5, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the Super Bowl LIII championship parade through downtown Boston. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

That may even be the case. But Brady was still good enough to make the plays he needed to make in order to win a Super Bowl when the Pats beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Once again, Simms is obsessed with physical tools and continues to claim that all of the QBs ranked above Brady could do the same things he does. The physical part doesn’t explain Roethlisberger, though. He’s basically in a full body cast by Week 2 these days and could end up retiring before Brady.

Newton is clearly capable of delivering the same fourth-quarter drive that Brady did in the Super Bowl? Ryan? Watson? This guy serious?

The answer is no, Simms is (hopefully) not serious. But you know how hard he works on these QB rankings, because he’ll tell you. He’ll even talk down to Hall of Fame QBs who were just much, much better and more respected than him.

Ever shameless, Simms also reverts to the same tired arguments that have drawn eye-rolls over both Brady and Brees for years now.

If he wasn’t already, Simms is now on Saints fans’ radars as well. See how he does with his Brady doubting this time. Maybe he’ll finally take his victory lap if Brady falls way off, and then nobody will care anymore.

Many of us care way too much what Simms has to say about Brady anyway. But it’ll make it just a little bit sweeter if Brady – aaagain – proves his biggest hater wrong and wins a seventh Super Bowl.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at