NFL Picks For Championship Weekend: Broncos Running Out Of Gas, 49ers Riding Playoff Experience Into Seattle

January 16, 2014 12:00 PM " BOSTON (CBS) — What makes a winner and what makes a loser is often the same thing. Mostly, it’s a bunch of nonsense.

Sure, some players are unquestionably far superior athletes to others, and over the course of a career, we’re able to glean certain traits and characteristics about players. But we often put too much stock into mythology and theory as much as anything tangible in the world.

I say this as we all prepare to watch Tom Brady, the greatest winner of them all, face off against the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, Sir Chokes-A-Lot.

Do we have evidence from the past 13 years that tells us those labels are somewhat accurate? Yeah, but only to an extent. Think back to Brady’s first Super Bowl victory. He never would have had the chance if Drew Bledsoe hadn’t stepped into the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh to throw a touchdown, if Troy Brown hadn’t returned a punt for another score, and if Brown hadn’t lateraled a block field goal to Antwan Harris for yet another touchdown. If the Patriots lost that game in Pittsburgh, who knows what Brady’s “legacy” would be today "

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