Over the past few seasons, ESPN's Max Kellerman's favorite bit on "First Take" has been to call Patriots quarterback Tom Brady washed, or average or proclaim his career is about to "fall off a cliff."
This season, one of Kellerman's other favored talking points has been to defend 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo while co-host Stephen A. Smith makes a point of bringing down the signal-caller of the 10-1 49ers.
Well, on Friday, Kellerman's two bits collided when he made a point to compare Garoppolo to what he believes Brady is now and stated his belief that Garoppolo is better than the six-time Super Bowl champion.
"Now let me say something about Jimmy Garoppolo, whose job it is not to lose the game," Kellerman said. "That's what Tom Brady is, right now, except Garoppolo is a little better than that. Don't lose the game. We have a great defense, we have a running game."
Kellerman then went on to take a shot at Brady again by noting the Patriots haven't fallen off when he doesn't play, whereas the 49ers were abysmal last season after Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL.
"When Tom Brady didn't play in New England recently, they went 3-1," Kellerman said. "Well, it's with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett a couple of young ascending quarterbacks, right? When Tom Brady missed time once upon a time, they went 11-5 with Matt Cassel. Matt Cassel isn't good. Bill Belichick is good ... The point is when Tom Brady doesn't play the record of the team is unchanged -- 3-1, 11-5.
"When Jimmy G didn't play, what happened? He went 2-0 in New England, then he got a big contract in San Francisco, went 5-0. Then he got hurt. You know what happened? They couldn't buy a win. Then he came back, they are 10-1."
Now, of course, the key to Kellerman's statement is that in the present day he thinks 28-year-old Garoppolo is better than 42-year-old Tom Brady, which you could make a case for.
Both Garoppolo and Brady are leading 10-1 teams that have the NFL's two best defenses. Brady and the Patriots were unable to beat the Ravens, the task facing Garoppolo this upcoming Sunday.
If the 49ers and Patriots stay on their current course, the master and his former protege could face off in Miami with the Lombardi Trophy on the line.
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Why Max Kellerman thinks Jimmy Garoppolo is better than Tom Brady right now originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area