When Tom Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots in 2001, he led them to a Super Bowl championship, and he eventually became regarded as the best QB in the game.
Once he had accumulated at least four world titles, many started to consider him the greatest QB ever.
As Brady started to reach his mid-30s, then his late-30s and then the beginning of his 40s, everyone waited for his production to fall off a cliff, but even nearing his 45th birthday, it hasn’t happened yet.
In fact, the latest edition of the Madden video game rated Brady as the best signal-caller in the sport.
Tom Brady starts off as the highest rated QB in Madden 23 (97 overall) pic.twitter.com/VD4eibgbtF
— TB12 (@TomBradyEgo) July 22, 2022
Is this an accurate depiction of how good Brady is today compared to his peers?
Brady Is Still Elite
For seemingly forever, people have been trying to find the “fountain of youth,” and the history of medical science is littered with many fad diets and techniques that claimed to cheat age, but didn’t really work.
Brady, at least thus far, seems ageless, and he had an incredible 2021 season that seemed to defy wear and tear.
He led the NFL with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns, and he finished seventh in passer rating at 102.1.
As a result, Brady was the runner-up in the MVP balloting to Aaron Rodgers, another quarterback who doesn’t seem to age.
In fact, Brady’s 2021 production was among the best of his 22-year career.
Counting down @TomBrady's top 🔟 plays of the 2021 season.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 2, 2022
Behind his still-prolific production, his Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished with a 13-4 record, and it could be argued that had it not been for an injury to wide receiver Chris Godwin, they would have repeated as world champions.
Although Tampa Bay should still be a strong team, Brady won’t have tight end Rob Gronkowski by his side anymore, as he recently announced his retirement.
At Least One Man Has Been Playing Better
For the past several years, the biggest threat to Brady’s reputation as the best at his position has been Rodgers, who is the reigning two-time league MVP despite being 38 years of age.
In 2021, the Green Bay Packers’ leading man had 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns, and although those numbers fell short of Brady’s, he did lead the league in touchdown percentage.
While Brady threw 12 interceptions, Rodgers only threw four, and his interception rate of 0.8 percent was significantly better than Brady’s rate of 1.7 percent.
In fact, Rodgers has been tops in that category for the past four seasons in a row.
In addition, he had also had the best passer rating in the NFL for the past two seasons.
Although he had a somewhat subpar (by his standards) 2021, there is also Patrick Mahomes, who was being called not only the best player in the game but perhaps the best athlete in any team sport when he led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl win a couple of years ago.
In the regular season, one has to conclude that Rodgers and perhaps Mahomes have surpassed Brady, at least in terms of consistent production.
But come playoff time, when it really matters, Brady is still the best.