There are few athletes in any sport the world over who look just as good at 44 as they did at 34. Most humans deteriorate as they get older, but Tom Brady, aka Benjamin Button, seems to be doing just the opposite. We’re only three games into the 2021 season, but he’s already off to one of the best starts of his career.
Brady is 44 years young this year, and though he’s won the MVP award three times throughout his illustrious career, he might make it four this year. His statistics through the first three games in each of those MVP years were as follows:
- 2007: 887 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, and 1 interception.
- 2010: 758 yards passing, 8 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
- 2017: 1,092 yards passing, 8 touchdowns, and no interceptions.
- 2021: 1,087 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, both of those coming in week one. He even has a rushing touchdown to add to his stats, giving him 11 total touchdowns after just 3 games.
The season might be young, but the start that Brady is off to is incredible, and not just for a quarterback of his age. He ranks second in the league in passing yards, and he leads the league in both touchdown passes and passing completions. This year is shaping up to be another year of the quarterback, and Brady is at the front of the pack in the early going.
Coming into this year, Tom faced the usual barrage of questions regarding his retirement status and health. It’s simply unheard of for a quarterback to be as successful as he has been for this length of time. The quarterback position is supposed to be a young man’s game, but Brady has been proving year after year, that the laws of nature don’t apply to him.
It’s been 8 years since the MVP award went to anyone besides a quarterback, and this year should be no different. Offenses seem content to throw the ball first and keep defenses honest with the occasional run. Most teams also use a tandem or trio of running backs, rather than relying solely on one stud.
While this is great for longevity, it makes it nearly impossible for a running back to win the MVP award. A wide receiver has never won the award so don’t plan on that happening. The MVP has become almost exclusively an award given to the best quarterback.
To this date, the oldest player to ever win MVP is surprise surprise, Tom Brady. He garnered the award four seasons ago at the age of 39. The next closest in age to Brady are quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers who each won at 37. Were Brady to win this year, he would be 7 years older than either player was when they won.
Looking at the last five MVP winners, Brady is off to a better start than any of them besides maybe Patrick Mahomes in 2017. While Mahomes threw for 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in that season, he had fewer passing yards than Brady does so far this year.
There’s a ton of football to be played this year, and he’s going to have to continue playing at the same clip that he’s started at. Guys like Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford, and Russel Wilson are off to great starts as well and they’re going to be putting the pressure on Brady.
Whether Brady wins the award or not, there’s little question that what he’s doing at 44 is both unbelievable and unprecedented, and that he’ll go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL.
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