Brady Still Setting the Standard

With all the young and talented quarterbacks playing in the NFL today, Tom Brady still remains as one of the leagues very best. This season, Brady became only the third quarterback ever to surpass 5,000 passing yards in a single season. He did so in typical Brady fashion, rallying the Patriots from an early 21-point deficit to score 49 unanswered points against division rival Buffalo. The win also clinched home field advantage for the New England Patriots throughout the 2012 playoffs. Tom Brady’s third and final touchdown of the game on Sunday marked the 300th of his stellar career, putting him in company with Hall of Famers like John Elway and Dan Marino.

Brady and his head football coach Bill Belichick have won three Super Bowls together over the past decade. The first came in 2001, Brady’s second year in the NFL, a season in which he started the year as the backup to Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots then won back to back Super Bowls in 2003 and 2004 and were nearly two minutes away from a perfect 19-0 season in 2007. All the success these two have had together should come as a surprise because the two-time league MVP almost went undrafted. Brady was taken with the 199th pick, in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.  From the very beginning Tom Brady made a conscious effort to remind the other 31 NFL teams why they shouldn’t have passed on him.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

Brady holds numerous records including most touchdown passes in a regular season (50); highest touchdown-to-interception ratio in a single season (9:1); most consecutive pass attempts without an interception (358); and most consecutive regular season home wins (31). He also is one of only two players in NFL history to win the regular season MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times (the other being Joe Montana). With all these accomplishments on his resume, Brady is still starving for another Super Bowl victory. So being named to his seventh Pro Bowl or registering a 39-touchdown season really doesn’t mean all that much to him. All he remembers is the Patriots early exit from the 2011 playoffs after finishing the regular season with an NFL best 14-2 record.

At 34, Brady is showing no signs of slowing down and in all honesty looks like he’s still getting better. He threw for a career best 5,235 yards this season and has the Patriots in great position to contend for an AFC Championship. The only knock against Brady and his Patriots is that they haven’t had the playoff success over the past five years they were accustomed to in the early 2000s. Most of the blame can be pointed at a porous defense composed of young and inexperienced players, (defense ranked last in NFL this season) which just means Brady and his offense will have to step it up. That shouldn’t be much of a problem because with all the weapons he has at his disposal, New England is highly capable of doing so. It will certainly be exciting to watch as the NFL Playoffs unfold, and number 12 for the Patriots is hoping to make his presence felt as the postseason gets underway.

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