Brady's All-Time Ranking Put on Hold

AP Photo

 In his final weeks as a linebacker supreme, the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis has been feted and fawned over as if he were the greatest defensive player of all time. Quarterbacks face a different standard, however, a more quantifiable measure of greatness. For them, like coaches and N.B.A. superstars, the question is more cut and dried:

How many victories — and in particular how many title rings — do you have?

 All discussion of the normally monolithic N.F.L. seemed to be suspended during the run-up to its conference championship games, obscured by a fictitious girlfriend and a fake on a bike. But television ratings are testimony to the fact that weekends from September to early February belong to the likes of Tom Brady and Lewis, who had a...

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