- Oct 1, 2015
Awesome stuff. I think it shows that the most important skills for a QB are: (1) Ability to read and understand a defense, and to know what the right play is, and (2) throwing an accurate ball.Well yes, but that was the game back then. Montana had taken quite a beating in years prior, too, but also emerged victorious. I remember re-watching one of those old NFC games and practically jumping at the bone-crunching hits. A car wreck every play, they say... hardly an exaggeration at all.
Anyway, in the thread's theme, someone watching SB38 vs Carolina pointed out how far Brady's skills have come since then. Let me celebrate the following:
- Tom's career high in ANY/A came in 2007, but he missed matching that figure (8.88) in 2016 by only 0.07 (8.81). Some think that he had a little extra chip on his shoulder that year, and maybe was a little better-rested throughout the season... can't imagine why.
- His ANY/A in 9 of the last 10 years (2009-2018, excepting 2013) has been higher than any of his first 6 years as a starter (2001-2006). He was in the 5s from 2001-2003, and the 6s from 2004-2006, whereas he has been over 7 every year but one since returning from his injury, including 3 years with MVP-level figures in that stat (>8, specifically 8.25 in 2010, 8.25 in 2011, 8.81 in 2016).
- Out of his 17 full seasons as a starter, 3 of the 6 seasons he has exceeded a passer rating of 100 for the year have come in the last 4 years (2015, 2016, 2017).
- Likewise, 6 of his 7 worst seasons by passer rating were his first 6 years as a starter (plus 2013). Other than 2013, he has not posted an annual passer rating lower than 97 since 2009. While playing mostly outdoors.
These last 5 years, his age 37-41 seasons, he has essentially performed as well as any year in his career other than 2007. The only comparison I can think of is Barry Bonds, which is inapt for one obvious reason... but at the time, before we were fully aware of Bonds' PED use, I remember how we used to marvel at the absurdity of how good he was, for any age, but especially at the age he was doing it in 2001-2004 as he won 4 straight MVPs. Well, here we have a player in a far-more-brutal sport, doing it at a later age, with not even a whiff of chemical enhancement, and although he's only won one MVP in that stretch he's basically deserved it every year.
The sheer extent to which he is a better quarterback now than in his supposed physical prime is staggering.
It's not that arm strength and foot speed are unimportant or unhelpful. But if you have (1) and (2) above, you can be very very successful in the NFL. And Brady obviously has both in spades.