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Most Dominant NFL Player Ever


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Since this has turned into examples of general sports dominance I want to take the chance to state that Rickey Henderson had underappreciated dominance. Dude just made up his own baseball. 130 steals in a single season!

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i think football is too much of a team sport for any 1 player to dominate such as a batter would in baseball.  it's not 1 on 1, it's 11 on 1 if you don't have anyone blocking for you.  Wilt Chamberlain was pretty unstoppable, but you can always double-team in basketball.  Serena Williams in tennis was pretty much unstoppable for a time, as was Tiger Woods in golf.  the individual sports are easier to dominate imo

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13 hours ago, Nextmanup said:

When I think of a football player who was utterly dominant in his prime, like "look at this guy, no one can stop him," one of the first names I think of is Lawrence Taylor.


The guy was a defensive wrecking machine who on some nights couldn't be controlled.  

 

I never saw him, but from what my dad always mentioned, Jim Brown would be another.

 

 


Yeah, Jim Brown was my first thought.  Only saw him in old film clips but he was like a man against boys, with his size, strength and speed.

 

Wilt Chamberlain averaging over 50 points and 25 rebounds in a season was pretty dominant.

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15 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

Brady has had to compete agaisnt far better athletes all over the field, not just other QBs.  Yet he has dominated for many years, still well ahead of the field (in QB terms) at age 44 a year ago.

 

Ruth faced a bunch of ham and Eggers most of the time. He looks like he was taking BP in those old films.  A far superior athlete in Barry Bonds had to subsequently  get jacked on steroids to hit more HRs than Ruth because he was regularly facing far better starters and closers (didn't really exist in Ruth's day) than existed in Ruth's day. Ruth doesn't get 30 HR facing pitchers of Bonds's heyday.  Curt Schilling, Pedro, Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz (on one team!), Clemens......Randy Johnson would have destroyed Ruth.  

Every other player in the league faced the same ham and eggers

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It occurs to me that most people who watched the NFL in the 60s gravitate towards Jim Brown when asked this question.  I grew up in the 70s so my “real” football-watching didn’t begin until the end of OJ’s time in Buffalo (and I was still just a kid).  From the 80s forward, I’d have to go with Brady as the most dominant player on offense and Lawrence Taylor on defense.

 

Brady is the best combination of talent-mental toughness-competitiveness the league has ever seen at the QB position.  His competitive nature is what I believe is under-appreciated the most.  He’s far from the greatest athlete but no QB has ever maximized his ability like Brady has.  You can dominate physically or dominate mentally…Brady mastered the latter.

 

LT was just awesome to watch.  I’ve never seen anything like him before or since.  There are amazing athletes playing the game now, but he was one of a kind.

 

I hope in 5-10 years we revisit this conversation and are debating the merits of Josh Allen.  I think it’s possible.

 

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15 hours ago, hondo in seattle said:

Babe Ruth is the most dominant professional athlete in major American sports history.  When he hit 54 homers in the 1920, the next best guy - a star in his own right - only hit 19.  Babe was hitting at another level: a staggering 184% better than the next greatest long ball hitter that year.  The next year, the story was pretty much the same: Babe was 146% better than the next biggest star.  

 

But what about football?  The NFL doesn't have a Babe Ruth.  Brady is great because he's been one of the top 5 QBs in the league since our own star QB, Josh Allen, was in kindergarten.  Yet Brady was never - statistically anyway - far and away the best QB in the league in any particular season.   Not the same way Babe was.  

 

There are, though, two NFL players who do come to mind when I think about dominance.  You've got to go back a few years back to the time when the best athletes became RBs and defenses were designed to stop & destroy those backs.  In 1973, OJ had 75% more yards than the next best RB.  Ten years earlier, Jim Brown had 70% more yards than the #2 guy.  Both these guys were transcendent, mind-boggling talents.  

 

In Brady's most dominant season, 2007, he only finished with 8.7% yards more than the next best guy.  Brady might be the GOAT.  But in their prime, OJ and Jim Brown were more dominant.  

Thanks for a good thread. My $.02:

 

1) I think that you underrate Brady. He does not, and never did have Josh Allen talent, but he is a genius with great accuracy. He is SO great that he (a relatively normal human) is still able to compete with and defeat the genetic mutants in the NFL, this at 45 (or however old he is).

 

2) I would not put OJ in the same class as Brown (of course, jmo). Brown was before my time but he was a big back for his era with great moves, breakaway speed, and super strength. He would take on the biggest, meanest defenders, run over them, and then run past the rest of them for TDs.  One thing that I learned after decades of watching football is that when a great player loses as little as a half step, he usually turns into a good player (this rule doesn't apply as much to QBs). Brown retired in his prime, but the brutal contact was probably about to take it's toll. This meant that he was dominant for his entire career. 

 

3) People mention Sanders and he was great no doubt, but he was not physically imposing. Also, his team being awful would seem to somehow fit into your equation. Opposing players were often afraid of Jim Brown.

 

Ultimately, my vote would reluctantly go to Brady, mainly because of the wins, and of course the fact that he is still winning against some of the fastest, strongest men in the world, many of whom are half his age. That said, Jim Brown would be a close second and Lawrence Taylor would certainly deserve some mention in my top 5.

 

Again, good thread, and the above is jmo.

 

 

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9 hours ago, mannc said:

Can’t agree with your argument that Ruth faced worse competition…there were fewer teams and baseball was far and away the dominant team sport back then…the great athletes weren’t being diverted to basketball or pro football, although there was of course the color barrier, which was certainly a big deal, and few if any Latino players…

 

You can't agree with it....then you lay out the argument proving my point.  Thank you.

 

Also, the best athletes of the day were more likely working for a living after, say, college instead of playing baseball.

 

9 hours ago, 4merper4mer said:

I was not alive at the same time as Ruth but am aware sports did not play nearly the same role in the culture before Ruth than it has since.  It’s something called history and people are able to read about it.  He is not the entire reason for the role sports plays today but denying he was a major contributor is simply silly.

 

The original topic of this thread was dominance.  One way to measure that is by using statistics of a player compared to his contemporaries.  You assert Brady has been more dominant than Ruth but the statistics disagree.  From a team standpoint it is certainly arguable despite the Yankees never having been caught cheating, but hardly cut and dried and would invite Bill Russell to join.  
 

Arguing that Brady has been more dominant than Ruth by some measures can be seen as close, by other measures is inarguably silly.  Choose your measure and you either tie or get stomped.  In the aggregate you must lose.

 

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1508392-major-league-baseball-the-case-for-babe-ruth-as-the-best-ever

 

 

 

Settle down.  Instead of stomping, you are tripping over your untied shoelaces.

 

I didn't say Brady is more dominant, just that he has been great for a long period of time in a far more complex and difficult sport against the best athletes.  Ruth clearly did not (see below).

 

You, on the other hand, claimed that without Ruth, "all of sports would have died".  You support that silliness by saying citing articles saying he saved baseball (which I have already agreed was true). And something about Bill Russell...

 

 

9 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:


This is really your argument?  This is a case of you arguing for the sake of arguing.  You don’t know what you’re talking about lol.

 

I am not in any way making it sound like baseballs were sawdust bags.  But you’re talking about baseballs made 100 years ago to now.  Baseballs our wound tighter, much tighter than they were back then.  Baseballs are made and today in temperature controlled facilities and kept at constant tension to avoid soft spots on the ball. 
 

Not only that, pitchers could scuff up the balls and spit on them.  They use 100+ baseballs a game now.  Any issue with a ball, get rid of it.  Back then, that baseball was no longer white, it was brown.  A white pearl is easier to pick up the laces than a dirty brown one.  But I’m sure you knew that.
 

You seem to know that bat technology hasn’t improved either.  I’m assuming that you have visited factories that make bats like I have.  Or have a friend like mine that’s a baseball enthusiast, has a lathe in his garbage and makes his own bats…which I’ve helped.  Where does your bat knowledge come from?

 

Pitchers have always scuffed the balls and doctored them with substances.  But I'm sure you knew that.

 

"Back then", baseball was completely white.   It wouldn't become brown until 1945--10 years after Ruth left the game.  Any suggestion that Ruth played against "the best athletes of his time" is plainly false. 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Awwufelloff said:

This is easily Brady, what even is this thread? The dude just had the most passing yards in the nfl at 44 yrs old…he beat prime Josh Allen by 900 yards lol….

 

I'm not arguing against Brady as the GOAT.  The dude's had an incredible career.  

 

And yet there haven't been any individual seasons in his career where he was head and shoulders above the best other QBs in the league.  Fitz recently said Peyton Manning was best QB ever.  Brees, Mahomes, and others often played better than Brady.   Brady did have some fantastic seasons but he's the GOAT because the Lombardis and because of his ability to play at a high-level year after year after year.  

 

OJ didn't sustain like that.  But in the '73 and '77 seasons, he dominated the league in a way Brady never did.  When Jim Brown was around there was Jim and everyone else.  No other backs were at his level.   

 

 

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17 hours ago, hondo in seattle said:

Babe Ruth is the most dominant professional athlete in major American sports history.  When he hit 54 homers in the 1920, the next best guy - a star in his own right - only hit 19.  Babe was hitting at another level: a staggering 184% better than the next greatest long ball hitter that year.  The next year, the story was pretty much the same: Babe was 146% better than the next biggest star.  

 

But what about football?  The NFL doesn't have a Babe Ruth.  Brady is great because he's been one of the top 5 QBs in the league since our own star QB, Josh Allen, was in kindergarten.  Yet Brady was never - statistically anyway - far and away the best QB in the league in any particular season.   Not the same way Babe was.  

 

There are, though, two NFL players who do come to mind when I think about dominance.  You've got to go back a few years back to the time when the best athletes became RBs and defenses were designed to stop & destroy those backs.  In 1973, OJ had 75% more yards than the next best RB.  Ten years earlier, Jim Brown had 70% more yards than the #2 guy.  Both these guys were transcendent, mind-boggling talents.  

 

In Brady's most dominant season, 2007, he only finished with 8.7% yards more than the next best guy.  Brady might be the GOAT.  But in their prime, OJ and Jim Brown were more dominant.  


Hondo, I always think of you when O watch reruns of the SWAT TV show (the new one, not the one in the 70’s) when at the gym.

 

As far as you’re points, I agree on the Babe, and it’s hard as I look at who is the best of that particular era, as the rules changes, the person is working from a different framework.  I’d say currently it is Brady (I know you guys hate him, but he’s been more impactful to the Pats and Bucs).  In the period before, I don’t know how anyone doesn’t think of LT.  Lawrence Taylor is the most dynamic player of his era, and changed how opposing offenses changed the LT position.

 

Back in the day, it was Simpson.  An awful human being, but a year ago I looked up the single season record for rushing divided by number of games and it want even close Simpson was incredible.  Everyone on the planet knew he was getting the ball, and he still beat defenses.

 

I agree on Brown from researching him, but before my time.

 

Fun topic Hondo.

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2 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

 

 

I didn't say Brady is more dominant ,

 

 

just that he has been great for a long period of time in a far more complex and difficult sport against the best 

 

 

 

 

The title of this thread again?  It has been clear for a long time that you are a huge Brady/Pats fan and have fun trolling a Bills board and that is all well and good.  But if Brady isn’t more dominant than Ruth then why are you diminishing Ruth in this particular thread?

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37 minutes ago, 4merper4mer said:

The title of this thread again?  It has been clear for a long time that you are a huge Brady/Pats fan and have fun trolling a Bills board and that is all well and good.  But if Brady isn’t more dominant than Ruth then why are you diminishing Ruth in this particular thread?

 

 I can't really argue for things I haven't claimed as true so I'll let you rant at the mirror now.  Your act is as stale as ever.  

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19 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

Brady has had to compete agaisnt far better athletes all over the field, not just other QBs.  Yet he has dominated for many years, still well ahead of the field (in QB terms) at age 44 a year ago.

 

Ruth faced a bunch of ham and Eggers most of the time. He looks like he was taking BP in those old films.  A far superior athlete in Barry Bonds had to subsequently  get jacked on steroids to hit more HRs than Ruth because he was regularly facing far better starters and closers (didn't really exist in Ruth's day) than existed in Ruth's day. Ruth doesn't get 30 HR facing pitchers of Bonds's heyday.  Curt Schilling, Pedro, Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz (on one team!), Clemens......Randy Johnson would have destroyed Ruth.  

 

5 minutes ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

 I can't really argue for things I haven't claimed as true so I'll let you rant at the mirror now.  Your act is as stale as ever.  

Lol

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12 minutes ago, 4merper4mer said:

 

Lol

 

read the OP 

 

yes, i've said that several times now.  Brady has been a dominant QB for decades against far better players than Ruth faced..  He is the GOAT. 

 

Ruth was "more dominant" is his day because he played a bunch of white guys only (for one)--which tempers his all time ("ever") dominance.   Shall I say it again?  Use crayonz? 

 

lol

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20 hours ago, hondo in seattle said:

 

In Brady's most dominant season, 2007, he only finished with 8.7% yards more than the next best guy.  Brady might be the GOAT.  But in their prime, OJ and Jim Brown were more dominant.  

 

 

So by dominant you mean statistically prolific in one year?

 

Jerry Rice wouldn't be out of place on a list like that.  Rice's 1990 and 1993.

 

The guy who's often left out of these discussions is one of the ones who most belongs. Don Hutson. 

 

In 1936 he had 34 catches when the #2 was at 20. And 536 yards when the #2 was at 414, #3 at 358, the #4 at 325 and nobody else was above 268. Only four players got above HALF of is total that year, and that was Hutson's 2nd year in the league. Oh, and 8 TDs when the #2 was at 6 and the #3 only had 3 of them!!!!

 

Or look at his 1939 work. 846 yards when the #2 only managed 550 and the #3 only 437.

 

Or his 1941, [war years] when when he managed 738 yards while the 2nd best managed 362, less than half. 58 receptions when the next best managed 29, half. 10 TDs when the #2 managed 6 and the third-best only 4. Same kind of insane dominance for the next few years.

 

One of the all-time most dominant seasons and maybe players as well.

 

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