Tom Brady is like a fine wine, he just gets better with age.
After (unfairly) being suspended for the first four games of the season for his role in “DeflateGate,” Brady led his team to his 7th Super Bowl trip in 16 seasons as the New England Patriots starting quarterback.
Most quarterbacks retire in their mid to early 30’s. Tom Brady is 39 and is still playing like he’s in his prime. Tom Brady threw for 3,554 yards during the regular season and 28 touchdowns even though he missed almost a quarter of the season. His team only lost one game while he was at center against the Seattle Seahawks, and they played an almost perfect game. To be honest it seems like you have to play an almost perfect game to beat the Patriots with Brady at quarterback, and it’s been that way since 2001.
However, this season is different than the rest. Brady is looking for revenge this year.
After the 2015 season, in which the Patriots won the Super Bowl, the League began to investigate to see if the team had tampered with footballs used in the AFC Championship game. Although there was no overwhelming evidence that proved that Brady played a role in the balls being under-inflated, Roger Goodell decided to suspend him anyway. Brady appealed the decision and won, making him available to play in the 2016 season. However, Goodell appealed and won once again, forcing Brady to miss the first few games of the season.
The back-up quarterbacks did pretty well in his place, but the team became nearly unstoppable with Brady back. His leadership and skills are matched by very few in the league today. In interviews, all his teammates talk about his focus, his importance to the team and his winning spirit. He is known as one of the most competitive men in football, and his hunger to win shows every time he steps on the field.
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. Others have come close, but no one has matched his level of greatness. Some have broken more records, but a quarterback’s job is to lead his team to victories and the Super Bowl. Brady has done both. A lot.
Some argue that Brady is a product of his team’s system, and that Bill Belichick is the one who deserves all the credit. I’m not denying that Belichick is a great coach, but he isn’t the one who steps onto the field for every game. Even if well coached, you still need someone to make the right reads and complete passes. There is no one better at that than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
The Patriots will play the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI on February 5. If you want to see Brady add to his already incredible résumé, you should tune in.
Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.