Yes, Tom Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards. And touchdowns. And almost every other passing statistic. But what is remarkable — what sets him apart from most athletes in most sports — is that he is still playing at age 45 and still performing at an elite level.
To put that in perspective, we’ve come up with a list of history’s greatest quarterbacks as a comparison. Each week, we’ll look at the final three seasons of a different quarterback versus what Brady has done with the Bucs in, presumably, his final three seasons.
It’s not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, because there are differences in eras and most quarterbacks are retired long before 45. But it does give you an idea of how rare it is to see a player still dominating while holding off middle age.
Brady vs. Tittle
The set-up: In the conversation of history’s greatest quarterbacks, Y.A. Tittle is often forgotten. And maybe he doesn’t compare to a Johnny Unitas or a Joe Montana, but when he retired in 1964, Tittle was the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He took the Giants to the NFL title game in three successive seasons from 1961-63.
The end: In some ways, Tittle was the Brady of his time. In an era when 35 was considered old for a quarterback, Tittle was just hitting his stride. He won back-to-back MVP awards at ages 36 and 37 and set the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season (36) when he was 37. The Giants tumbled in the standings in 1964, and Tittle lost his starting job in November, retiring a couple of months later.
Completed 568 of 1,023 passes with 79 touchdowns and 56 interceptions for 8,167 yards and a 84.5 passer rating. Was 24-12-2 as a starter.
Brady in Week 4: The numbers are there, but the results are not. This is the first time Brady has started a season 2-2 since 2018 in New England. With most of his receivers back in the lineup, Brady had his best passing game of the season against the Chiefs — he threw for 385 yards and three touchdowns — but a fumble on a sack in the second quarter robbed the Bucs of any chance at momentum.
Has completed 992 of 1,484 passes with 89 touchdowns and 25 interceptions for 11,007 yards and a 101.6 passer rating. Is 26-11 as a starter.
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