If you haven’t taken the time to appreciate Tom Brady‘s greatness, you’re in luck.
The 43-year old quarterback is still operating at an elite level, even in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He recently secured the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for his spectacular play in October, the 11th such time he has won a player of the month award.
Despite an array of injuries to his weapons, the future Hall-of-Famer is posting incredible numbers, especially considering his advanced age.
Brady looked to be in severe decline in his final seasons with the New England Patriots, and his play warranted plenty of criticism.
However, those relatively poor seasons now look anomalous, as he continues to fend off Father Time.
Even his biggest detractors can no longer defend their preconceived notions of the quarterback.
.@maxkellerman is making the apology to Tom Brady official 😲
— ESPN (@espn) October 27, 2020
So for those who continue to resent Brady, it just might be time to just let go and appreciate his greatness while it lasts.
There have been a few times this year in which Brady has looked his age.
While he did appear to forget the downs against the Bears, he has otherwise been nearly flawless.
Even his coach, Bruce Arians, has been impressed by the work Brady has done so far.
“He’s fantastic,” Arians said. “When we watched him last year, he could still make every single throw. He hasn’t disappointed anybody in that regard. We have no concern about calling any kind of play from 5 yards to 60 yards. Just a matter of getting more comfortable each and every week and seeing his guys.”
Since his pedestrian start to the season, the 21-year veteran has taken control of the offense.
Tom Brady since week 3:
🐐 15 TDs (1st)
🐐 15-1 TD-Int (1st)
🐐 1,454 Pass Yds (T-4th) pic.twitter.com/7OpHgArczV
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 26, 2020
As a result of his torrid pace, Brady once again finds himself in the thick of the MVP conversation.
Brady may not be able to catch up to the young(er) gunslingers in this league, but the fact that he is even considered a candidate at 43 is an impressive feat.
He set the record for the oldest athlete to win an MVP across all four major North American sports by winning at the age of 40 in 2017.
Adding a fourth MVP trophy should erase any doubts left as to who the G.O.A.T is.
Even in a vacuum, Brady’s 2020 campaign has been incredible.
But comparing his stats to other quarterbacks to play at this age makes it all the more mind-boggling.
In the history of the NFL, there have only been five other quarterbacks age 43 or older.
Here are their numbers once they hit the criteria (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
Their cumulative stats come out to 215 for 416 (51.7%), 2,562 yards, 22 TD, 22 INT, and a 66.4 passer rating.
Brady, on the other hand, has gone 176 for 268 (65.7%), 1,910 yards, 18 TD, 4 INT, and a 102.7 passer rating.
No matter what your personal feelings are about him, Brady looks to be like a man on a mission.
He, along with Bill Belichick, built the greatest dynasty in the NFL while playing for New England.
However, all of that is in the past, as he wants to prove that he was more than just a product of the “Patriot Way.”
With his combination of talent, leadership, work ethic, and longevity, there might never be another player like Brady.