Father Time’s Missed Appointment : Tom Brady at Age 40
Father time must have lost Tom Brady’s address, because it seems that every year as Brady gets older, he gets better. The 5x Super Bowl champion always seems to be improving his game year after year, even at age 40 in his eighteenth season in the NFL. So, how does he compare with the other notable QB’s who have also played through their age 40 season?
First off, let’s talk about his completion percentage. Brady on the year has a completion percentage of 68.7%, which is currently the fourth-best in the NFL behind New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees (also approaching 40-years old), Kansas City Chiefs’ Alex Smith, and New York Jets’ Josh McCown (also approaching 40 years old).
Comparing him to Warren Moon (who only started eight games with the Minnesota Vikings in 1996), he had a completion percentage of 54.3% at age 40. Brett Favre had a completion percentage of 68.4% in his second-to-last year in the NFL with the Vikings in 2009.
In comparison, Brady is statistically up there with the all-time greats. With completion percentage being such a delicate statistic, it could go up or down with time, but with how it stands at the moment, “TB12” could finish ahead of both Favre and Moon by the end of the 2017 season.
What about his TD:INT ratio? Brady has a solid QB:INT on an annual basis, and this season is no different, as his 11:1 ratio happens to be the best in the NFL.
Considering Moon only played half a season in 1996, it’s not quite fair to evaluate him on all levels. On the other hand, Favre put up 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Some quarterbacks would kill to put up those type of numbers, but as shown throughout the phenomenal career of Tom Brady, even seven interceptions are proven to be an off-year for the veteran.
One last piece of the puzzle to glance at involves the passing yardage of Brady to Favre. Brady is currently holding his ground with 3,146 passing yards throughout week 11. At this pace, Brady could very well finish with 5,000+ yards by the end of the regular season. Crossing 4,000 yards is an accomplishment enough for any QB, but 5,000 is almost unimaginable, especially for a quarterback at age 40 who should likely be debating retirement.
Brett Favre at age 40 passed for 4,002 yards, which is still a phenomenal year by all means, but still not comparable to what Brady has the potential to do this year.
Tom Brady continues to defy regression, and at age 40, he still puts up numbers that some quarterbacks will never top within their prime. In reality, have we even seen the best of Brady?
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