Tom Brady won NFC offensive player of the month. It’s his 11th time winning player of the month, extending his own NFL record.
Maybe that’s why we aren’t making as much of Brady’s season as we should. We’ve become so accustomed to him playing at this level that what he is doing this year floats by us, even if he’s wearing a new Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform. Brady’s greatness is an expectation at this point.
What Brady is doing this season is unprecedented and unbelievable. As his Buccaneers get set to face the New York Giants — whose quarterback Daniel Jones was 2 years old when Brady was drafted — in a Monday night game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports app, Brady will try to keep pushing into the MVP conversation.
We’ve never seen anything like what Brady is doing, and it’s probably not getting the proper respect.
Tom Brady is incredibly in the MVP race
For years, 38 was the normal age quarterbacks retired. Joe Montana, Dan Marino, John Elway, Kurt Warner, Fran Tarkenton and Sammy Baugh are among the Hall-of-Fame QBs who retired after their age 38 season.
Five years beyond that, 43-year-old Brady is one of the NFL’s best players. After changing teams for the first time in his NFL career. During the weirdest offseason ever.
Brady has had a significant reversal of many statistical declines. His yards per game, completion percentage, touchdown rate, yards per attempt and passer rating all have had huge spikes from last season.
Brady has 18 touchdown passes. Through the first 100 seasons of the NFL, quarterbacks who were 43 or older had 22 touchdowns. Combined.
When Brady won an MVP award at the end of the 2017 season, he was 40 years old. He became the oldest MVP in any of the four major American professional sports. If he wins it again at 43 (or 44, or 45), it might be a record that is never challenged.
Brady is the best QB his age, by a mile
Brady still has a way to go to catch Russell Wilson in the MVP race. Brady simply being in the conversation is remarkable.
There was no positive history of a quarterback 43 or older in NFL history before this season. Here’s the list of quarterbacks at least 43 years old in the NFL, before 2020 (via Stathead):
Vinny Testaverde: 96 for 175, 981 yards, 6 TD, 6 TD
George Blanda: 68 for 135, 955 yards, 12 TD, 12 INT
Steve DeBerg: 30 of 59, 369 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Warren Moon: 16 of 37, 228 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Doug Flutie: 5 of 10, 29 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
There was a fun novelty in quarterbacks that old still playing, but none of them were good. And at the same age, Brady just won NFC offensive player of the month.
All quarterbacks 43 or older, combined (before Brady): 215 for 416 (51.7%), 2,562 yards, 22 TD, 22 INT, 66.4 passer rating
Brady at age 43: 176 for 268 (65.7%), 1,910 yards, 18 TD, 4 INT, 102.7 passer rating
It’s not just quarterbacks. No non-kicker beyond age 41 has ever made a Pro Bowl. Only one player, including kickers, has made multiple Pro Bowls in their 40s ... that’s Tom Brady, with two.
Brady might throw a few more pick-sixes than he ever has before, and he might forget what down it is sometimes. But let’s be clear: If Brady wins an MVP, or even gets close, it will be one of the most incredible accomplishments in all of sports. Nobody at his age, at any position in any team sport, has had this level of success.
Put your hatred of the Patriots aside. Don’t overlook what Brady’s doing just because he’s been so good for so long. Just enjoy the show. We might never see anything like it again.
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