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There are plenty of interesting Super Bowl 1:1 matchups that football fans will be keeping their eyes on this Sunday, like the one between New England center David Andrews and Los Angeles All-Pro defensive end Aaron Donald, or between the Patriots All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore and either Robert Woods or Brandon Cooks.
But no Super Bowl LIII matchup has garnered more interest and speculation these two weeks than the one between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jared Goff who, with a seventeen-year age difference, face each other from opposite ends of the NFL career spectrum.
There’s 41-year-old Brady, considered by many to be the GOAT (greatest of all time), who’s been winning in the NFL for eighteen seasons, and then there’s 24-year-old Jared Goff, the cool-headed, under-the-radar kid who’s only been playing in the league for three seasons.
We thought it would be interesting to take a side-by-side look at these two contrasting Super Bowl quarterbacks to see their great differences (and their few similarities) before going into the Big Game.
We’ll compare their upbringing, their college and NFL statistics, their awards and career highlights, their personalities and competitiveness.
Of course, the second the first kickoff flies through the air in (snowy?) Atlanta on Sunday, any past differences between Brady and Goff can be thrown right out the window because it’s an eleven-on-eleven matchup and both of these teams can score plenty.
Probably not if you just compare their awards and career highlights – Brady’s had 18 seasons of winning games, collecting rings and trophies, MVPing all over the place, so he’ll easily outshine the newbie Goff when it comes to specific accolades.
But start to compare their college careers, their NFL mechanics, their on-field effectiveness, and occasionally Kid Goff gives Old Man Brady a run for his money.
And it’s very fair to compare their birth state since coincidentally Brady and Goff were born about sixty miles from one another.
Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. was born on August 3, 1977 in San Mateo, CA, the only son of Galynn and Thomas Brady Sr. and the youngest of four, with three older sisters.
Jared Thomas Goff was born on October 14, 1994 in Nobato, CA, about 55.3 miles north of San Mateo, the only son of Nancy and Jerry Goff, the youngest of two, with an older sister.
Brady and Goff started similarly, as California boys both born the youngest with at least one older sister.
Brady left California and played for the University of Michigan for four years, starting every game his last two seasons, an All-Big Ten honorable mention both years, setting new Michigan records for most pass attempts and completions in a season, for a total of 214.
Brady’s Michigan Stats in two full seasons: 395-of-638 for 4,773 yards and 30 touchdowns with 17 interceptions, a 61.9 completion percentage and a 134.9 quarterback rating.
Goff stayed in California and played for the University of California, Berkely for three years, starting in all three, setting 26 Cal records and bringing them to a 7-5 record in 2015, their first winning season since 2011.
Goff’s Cal Stats in three full seasons: 977-of-1,568 for 12,195 yards and 96 touchdowns with 30 interceptions, a 62.3 completion percentage and a 144.0 quarterback rating.
Brady’s and Goff’s pre-draft size measurements were fairly similar:
Brady – 6’ 4 3/8 inches, 211-pounds
Goff – 6’ 4 inches, 215-pounds
But when it came to speed and jumping at the NFL combine, however, Goff crushed Brady:
Brady – 40-yard dash: 5:24 seconds, vertical jump: 24.5 inches, broad jump: 8 feet, 3 inches.
Goff – 40-yard dash: 4:82 seconds, vertical jump: 27.0 inches, broad jump: 9 feet, 2 inches.
Goff’s NFL draft outshone Brady’s
Brady was selected by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.
Goff was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the first overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft.
It’s at this point in both Brady’s and Goff’s NFL careers where comparing results becomes unfair, since Brady’s start has Hall of Fame written all over it and Goff’s start was more a Chamber of Horrors.
Brady wasn’t named starter until his second season, but once he took over for the injured Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 he went on led the Patriots to first place in the AFC East and a victory in Super Bowl XXXVI, winning the first of his four Super Bowl MVPs.
Goff was named starter in November of his rookie season, but the Rams lost in each of his seven starts and his team finished with an overall record of 4-12.
Here is an interesting slide that compares Brady and Goff in terms of the various facets of passer rating, which are clean pocket, under pressure, passes of 20+ yards and play-action passes.
As you can see, they split the categories between them:
Former NFL fullback Michael Robinson recently said on the NFL Network (much to the laughter of his co-panelists) that Goff and Brady are close ‘mechanically.’
“Watch how [Goff] manipulates the pocket, watch how he uses his eyes to move the defense, watch how his front leg never moves, stays in position to throw the ball.”
Robinson’s only point is that Goff’s pocket mechanics are similar to Brady’s in the ways he mentioned, the laughter comes as a result of his audacity to compare the two players.
For what it’s worth, here are Brady career stats (18 seasons) compared with Goff’s (3 seasons).
Actually, their career completion percentages and passer ratings are interesting to compare, since Brady has had to be consistent in the air a decade and a half longer than Goff, yet Brady still leads easily in both categories.
|Category||Tom Brady||Jared Goff|
Since this is Goff’s first trip to the Super Bowl and Brady’s ninth, it’s obviously not fair to compare their two postseason careers.
For now, though, it’s fair to claim (with tongue in cheek) that Goff is undefeated in the postseason whereas Brady is not.
But one look at the two players’ accolades, and you’ll see that Goff has a lot of catching up to do before he’s truly comparable to Brady.
For many odd reasons, there seems to be a lot of Tom Brady haters in the football world, and plenty of them hope that a young buck like Jared Goff will help shuffle him off to a well-earned retirement.
But take one look at what Brady’s achieved in his career, and even the haters will have to admit that this guy is a first-ballot future Hall of Famer.
And with another Super Bowl win on Sunday, Brady will be the undisputed GOAT, but if Goff and his Rams can somehow come out on top, it may mark the end of the Patriots dynasty at last.
Two high-level NFL quarterbacks at opposite ends of their football careers facing off to see who can lead their team to the coveted Lombardi Trophy and NFL Championship bragging rights.
Super Bowl LIII is happening on Sunday, February 3 in Atlanta, GA at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 5:30 pm EST on CBS.
May the best (but not necessarily the most experienced) man win.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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