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Human hot air balloon Doug Gottlieb thinks everyone is being too easy on Tom Brady

Alex Reimer
August 21, 2017 - 10:30 am

Tom Brady appears to be confident heading into the 2017 season. In a recent interview with Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Brady said some aspects of football are easier for him now than ever before. That’s not a ludicrous statement, considering Brady has won two Super Bowls over the last three years and played some of the best football of his career. 

But human hot air balloon Doug Gottlieb, who now yaps on Fox Sports Radio, isn’t buying it. Gottlieb called out Brady Friday, citing the Patriots quarterback’s poor first half against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. If the Patriots didn’t come back and defeat the Falcons, Gottlieb says, we would view Brady differently right now. Brady threw one interception and posted a 78.1 quarterback rating in the first three quarters of the game.

"I watched the Super Bowl. In the first half, he was bad,” Gottlieb said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “He did throw a pick-six. While we want to remember only that they came from behind, if the Atlanta Falcons had just taken a knee, if they had just run the football into the ground and not fumbled it, made one field goal up 28-3 after Julio Jones’ catch. This narrative changes dramatically. I’m not talking about the, ‘Is he the greatest of all-time?’ narrative. I’m talking about, think of how we view the New England Patriots’ camp and Tom Brady’s longevity. Now you have people saying, “Look, he could go forever.”  

Gottlieb is correct: the Falcons choked away Super Bowl LI. But the Patriots were able to capitalize on every mistake, largely thanks to Brady’s otherworldly performance. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown (115.2 QBR) to lead the Patriots to the historic come-from-behind victory.

But Gottlieb disregards those numbers in his rant, focusing entirely on Brady’s early mistakes. “The truth is, as accomplished as he is, as experienced as he is, he did not look good at all,” Gottlieb explained. “He was rattled. And I will grant you, they didn’t have Rob Gronkowski, who’s his best target. He’s one of the elite players in the NFL. They didn’t have him for that entire game, and that would cause any quarterback to be a little bit scattered with where they wanted to go with the football. But if you want to tell me, 'I’ve seen everything, I’m better now, it’s easier than it used to be.' Well, why wasn’t it easier against the Atlanta Falcons?”

Perhaps Gottlieb stopped watching the game early, much like President Donald Trump. That’s one of the only plausible explanations for his disregard of Brady’s play in the fourth quarter and overtime. 

The other one is that Gottlieb didn’t want to let the facts get in this way of his attention-seeking screed. As a frequent offender myself, I know that strategy when I see it.