Hannable: What Tom Brady is doing is truly unbelievable

Ryan Hannable
November 19, 2017 - 10:44 pm

Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Some people don’t understand how good Tom Brady is.

Yes, it’s hard to find someone now after five Super Bowls who believes he isn’t the greatest quarterback in the history of the game, but even with that acknowledgement, sometimes it isn’t enough for what Brady is doing at age 40.

The Patriots quarterback is on a completely different level than the rest of the NFL, not to mention he’s 10-15 years older than most of his fellow signal-callers. Just look at what is taking place around the league.

On Sunday alone, Bills rookie Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of his game against the Chargers. To put that in perspective, Brady has thrown five interceptions over his last 24 regular-season games. In Miami, Jay Cutler threw three interceptions on 12 attempts before leaving the game with a head injury.

In Week 11, going into Monday Night Football, seven starting quarterbacks passed for fewer than 200 yards. In games where he’s played the entirety, Brady has done that just once in the last two-and-a-half seasons.

With how poor the quarterback play is across the league, it makes what Brady is doing that much better.

Through 10 games, Brady is 261-for-380 with 3,146 yards, 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions. This means he’s on pace to complete 69 percent of his passes for 5,034 yards, 35 touchdowns and three interceptions. Brady owns one of the nine 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history and can join Drew Brees (five) as the only quarterback with more than one 5,000-yard passing season.

If Brady continues this pace, it would be the best season he’s ever had from a completion percentage standpoint, and second-best from a yards perspective, as in 2011 he threw for 5,235 yards. He’s on pace for almost 200 yards more than 2007. Then from a touchdown perspective, it would be the fifth time he’s thrown for at least 35 in a single season. 

Brady also leads the NFL in passing yards by a considerable margin. It would be the third time he’s done that in his 18-year NFL career.

Not bad for a 40-year-old, and not bad for a quarterback who is missing Julian Edelman, his top receiver and player he trusted the most.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Brady is he keeps getting better.

If there was one knock on his play in recent years it’s been his inability to throw the deep ball. So what has he worked on the last few offseasons? The deep ball.

Through 10 games, he has 43 passing plays of 20 yards or more. By way of comparison, last year in 12 games he had 45. Brady is on pace for 69, which would be the second-most of his entire career, as in 2011 he had 71. Taking things a step further, he’s already up to 11 passing plays of 40 yards or more. Only five times in his career has he had double digits with the most being 15 in 2007. With six games remaining, Brady has a good chance of setting a new career-high.

Not only does Brady do it with his arm, he does it with his brain and experience. Just look at Danny Amendola’s 5-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Raiders. It was third-and-goal from the 5-yard line and Brady was in the shotgun with three receivers and James White in the backfield. Brady audibled out of one call and then changed Amendola’s route again before connecting with him on a crossing pattern in the back of the end zone.

He can make the plays with his arm with the best of them, but maybe even more impressive is he knows how to beat seemingly every defense an opponent could ever throw at him.

Brady is truly a once in a lifetime player and to get a true sense of exactly how good he is, lock yourself in a room one Sunday afternoon and watch exclusively the quarterback play for the Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Texans, Broncos, Bears, etc.

It won’t take long at all to realize how lucky Patriots fans are to be able to watch him lead their team on a weekly basis.

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