One team won the Super Bowl and the other finished 7-9. In another what-if scenario, would Tom Brady lead the Chargers to the Super Bowl?
The two teams were favored to land Brady for their attractive location along with a multitude of weapons on offense. Brady ultimately signed with Tampa Bay and became Super Bowl MVP at 43-years old and the Chargers drafted future offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert.
In short no, Tom Brady does not lead the LA Chargers to victory in the Super Bowl.
Brady had some good reasons for considering Los Angeles as his next destination. They had numerous top-quality wide receivers, a brand new stadium, and a big market city. Ultimately the best he could do with this Bolts team is a first-round exit in the playoffs.
Straight off the bat, the cap space would affect the Chargers squad. With Brady coming to town his cap space likely eliminates expensive free agents such as Chris Harris Jr, Bryan Bulaga, and Linval Joseph. Still not signing those underwhelming players does not equal the Lombardi trophy.
The Bolts’ offensive line would not be able to protect the 43-year old quarterback. Compounded with Brady’s immobility, the Chargers would not succeed in the playoffs. According to PFF in 2020 the Chargers offensive line was ranked dead last in the NFL. We all saw how vital the offensive line was in the Super Bowl and the Chargers’ poor line is not playoff-caliber.
Some would argue that the Buccaneers’ defense was the true MVP in the Super Bowl. Since you can’t give everyone on defense the award they gave it to Brady. That defense held the Chiefs to three field goals and pressured Mahomes on just about every play. The Chargers defense while talented they aren’t the same as the Buccaneers.
The Chargers seem to be cursed with injuries and Brady doesn’t cut that out. Defense proved to win championships and the Chargers did not have a Super Bowl-winning defense. If all the players on defense remained healthy it would be a different conversation.
Another aspect of Tampa Bay’s success was the coaching staff. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was very openly hands-off with handling the quarterback position. When you have Brady it’s smart to let the now seven-time champion run the offense. Former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was the opposite. Lynn often took the ball out of Herbert’s hand to establish the run behind an already subpar offensive line.
Lynn’s undoing was his disastrous clock management, special teams failures, blown leads, and moronic play call. Brady would be able to mask clock management, improve the play call, and likely cut out the blown leads but he is only the quarterback. Special teams would still halt the Chargers’ progress and Brady would be on the sideline looking on helplessly. Not to mention the kicking shortcomings.
A lot of Tampa Bay’s success in the playoffs came from a team effort. Brady didn’t play exceptionally well in those playoff games and it was the defense and special teams that pushed the team across the line. The Chargers simply don’t have that instinct in them when the quarterback isn’t playing well.
Signing Brady would be exciting for the franchise and bring more eyes onto the team but not enough to become world champions. Brady’s leadership and experience cut out some of the close losses and can push the LA Chargers to the playoffs but it’s a huge stretch to say they make the Super Bowl much less win it.