Widely regarded as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady has defied expectations year by year. With ancestors in Cavan and Cork, Brady often draws on his Irish bloodline when describing where he gets his determination and fighting spirit from.
Season after season, Brady continues to defy father time with his NFL career. Having turned 41 at the beginning of his 19th season as the New England Patriots quarterback, he shows no signs of letting up as he aims to lead his side through the upcoming playoffs to an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl championship.
Having been drafted in 2000 with the 199th pick, nobody expected Brady to amount to much during his career but he has thrown all expectations aside to become one of the NFL’s true greats. He has built a career off the back of his steely determination on the gridiron. Coaches and owners of the New England Patriots often joke about his Irish roots saying when he is fired up on the field it sounds like he’s screaming in Gaelic at his teammates.
His list of accolades and accomplishments make him a sure-fire future hall of famer, having won 5 Super Bowls, 4 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards, and 13 Pro Bowl selections to name but a few.
What has made him so great is the level of consistency he has delivered season after season even after the devastation of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the first game of the 2008 season. Many people questioned if he would be able to replicate the form he produced in the first seven years of his professional career.
The above chart shows that there has never been a significant drop in his passing numbers during his career with the exception of the 2008 season when he only played one quarter of football, and the 2016 season when he was suspended for the first four games of the year. Even with his suspension he still went on to put up high numbers as he led the Patriots to the Super Bowl championship
A quarterback makes his living from being able to complete passes and more importantly, passes that lead to touchdowns. This is the main stat analysts look at when discussing who the greatest of all time is.
As seen in the above chart, Tom Brady has thrown over 20 touchdowns every season with the exceptions of 2000 and 2008 for the aforementioned reasons, and 2001 which was the first season he saw real game time as a starter.
Currently sitting in fourth position on the NFL’s All-Time Pass Leaders with a total of 69,859 total yards, he is behind only greats of the game Brett Favre (71,838), Peyton Manning (71,940) and Drew Brees (73,908). With just over 4,000 yards to make up and two years remaining on his current contract and the possibility of him continuing to play on past that contract’s expiration, he should climb further up the rankings.
Averaging 284.6 passing yards per game this season and with his Patriots side sitting at the top of the AFC East Standings, a sixth Super Bowl could be on the horizon and if he’s successful he would become the oldest Super Bowl winning quarterback in NFL history.