By Danny Cox
Super Bowl LI will have the New England Patriots taking on the Atlanta Falcons in a match-up of the two best teams from the 2016 NFL season. That is what happens every season, but teams achieve greatness in different ways – strong defense, incredible running back, amazing coaching. In the case of these two teams, it’s phenomenal passing offenses and two of the greatest signal-callers to ever play in the NFL.
Taking away his rookie season and 2008, Brady has played in almost every single game of each year during his 17-year professional career. In 2001, he played in 15 of 16 games. This season, he missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension for the Deflategate debacle that dominated the headlines last year. Even with those four games missing from his 2016 regular season stats, Brady was still able to put himself right in the MVP race without any problem at all.
Case in point: He set a single-season record for best touchdown-to-interception ratio after throwing 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Before this season, his career low for interceptions in a season where he played more than one game was back in 2010, when he threw only four. And 2016 marked the sixth regular season in which Brady had single-digit interceptions while playing 12 or more games. Believe it or not, he didn’t have a single-digit interception season in his first eight years in the league.
That’s just a little more proof that he keeps getting better the older he gets.
Despite all of the distractions from the past season and his suspension this season, Brady did not allow those troubles to get in his head or bother any of his teammates. You can’t help but see that every single player on the Patriots feeds off of him and only gets better because Brady is their leader. Brady knows how to get the very best out of his teammates.
Looking back throughout his career, it is hard to doubt these statistics as greatness:
- Super Bowl appearances – 7 (Including Super Bowl LI)
- Super Bowl wins – 4
- Super Bowl MVP Awards – 3
- NFL MVP Awards – 2 (2007, 2010)
- 5,000-yard passing seasons: 1
- 4,000-yard passing seasons: 8
- 3,000-yard passing seasons: 14
- Career passing touchdowns – regular season: 456
- Career games played – regular season: 237
- Career completions – regular season: 5,244
There is so much more to Tom Brady than stats and numbers. He has presented himself with class and dignity throughout a very long career; he hasn’t said one word about retirement. Brady’s legacy is already cemented in history, and there is so much more to be added to it.
By the time the 2017 NFL regular season begins, Tom Brady will be 40 years old, and he is showing no signs that his career is coming to an end. With a solid legacy already in place after 17 seasons, it’ll be exciting to see what more Tom Brady can possibly do if he does nothing but continue to improve.