Nobody asked me, but . . . The three divisional teams Tom Brady has played against since becoming the New England Patriots starting quarterback — that is, the teams he’s played against the most in the NFL regular seasons since 2001 — have a combined record of 401 wins and 512 losses.
That’s a winning percentage of just under 44 percent.
So, going back 19 seasons, Miami, Buffalo and the New York Jets (and the Indianapolis Colts for one season) have a pretty mediocre combined record.
Does that make the AFC East the weakest division in the NFL?
I don’t know. I can only do so much math in a day.
I keep hearing people say Brady is the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, and it’s hard to argue against his excellence, his longevity, his many Super Bowl championships and MVP awards.
But hardly ever mentioned is the weakness of the AFC East, where Brady and the Patriots compete in the regular season.
In a 16-game season, a team plays its three division opponents a total of six games. That means that, in the two decades of the storied Brady era in Foxboro, 40 percent of opponents the Patriots faced every year, in the regular season, were teams that won only 44 percent of their games.
What does this prove?
That I can still do math? Yes.
That the Patriots were dominant? We knew that already.
That they had a relatively easy road to the playoffs each year? The numbers confirm that, too.
But my point has more to do with claims about Brady being the greatest quarterback: The guy threw a lot of passes against lousy teams.
Not that this will change any Hall of Fame votes.
I’m just sayin’.
Sometimes I think it’s regrettable that, in the league realignment of 2002, the Baltimore Ravens did not end up in the AFC East (where the old Baltimore Colts had once played). Step back and consider how silly this looks: Miami is in the East, Baltimore in the North and Indianapolis in the South. It would have made more sense, geographically speaking, for Miami to be in the South, Indy in the North and Baltimore in the East.
Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Co. would have been there just as Brady’s long career was getting started, and this story would have been quite different. The division certainly would have been more competitive than the 2002-2019 AFC East has been. The Patriots might still have won more games than the Ravens, but Baltimore’s excellent defenses probably would have cut into Brady’s passing records some; they probably would have cut into his active years, too. He might been a TV commentator by now, or a spokesman for the Trump campaign. He might have had to settle for three Super Bowl rings instead of six.
I’m just sayin’.