When the playoffs started there were plenty of so-called "elite" quarterbacks ready to carry their teams to the Super Bowl.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were bounced by Alex Smith and the surprising San Francisco 49ers in dramatic fashion. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were ousted after a lackluster performance against the New York Giants. Matthew Stafford is not considered "elite" yet but he certainly put up the numbers this season to show he may one day be a member of this group. Ben Roethlisberger and his Pittsburgh Steelers were beaten by the lowly Denver Broncos with rookie sensation Tim Tebow at the helm.
Now all that is left is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. All the other teams left in the tournament have one thing in common. They do not have depend on their quarterback to win games for them. The Giants, 49ers and Baltimore Ravens can win with their run game and defense if need be. I'm not to sure the Patriots would fare to well if Tommy B. was having an off day.
Eli Manning has had a fine year and he has a Super Bowl to his credit. Is he "elite"? I'm not sold yet. If he can do it again this year it would give him a very strong case.
To me, that goes to show that you really need a complete team to win it all. If anything this years Indianapolis Colts have shown us that if you center your team around one player, no matter how good that player may be, you are setting yourself up for the risk of failure if that player is not able to carry the rest of a sub-par team.
Hey, I could be wrong. Maybe Brady will prove that all you need is an "elite" signal caller to take you to the Promised Land but how good would his team be without him? What if you put Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta on the Patriots and Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on the Ravens? Would these players make the Ravens that much better or would Tom Brady find a way to make Dickson and Pitta into the next great Phenoms?
The trick to beating New England is to cut the head off the monster. Without Tom calling the shots what do you have? A bad defense with some talented receivers and no one to get them the ball. I can guarantee the Pats are not going to use the run game to win.