By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Despite falling short in Super Bowl LII, Tom Brady still set a new standard for 40-year-old quarterbacks in 2017. Now, he has a chance to set a high bar for 41-year-olds as well.
In fact, chances are he absolutely blows them away.
Barring a major injury, Brady will start 16 more games in 2018 for the Patriots. That alone will be a new NFL record for a 41-year-old quarterback. But go back through history to see the best possible seasons for QBs at that age, and the likelihood is that Brady is going to lap the field.
Right now, Hall of Famer Warren Moon is the “gold standard” for signal-callers after hitting the big 4-1. That standard is an uninspiring 83.7 passer rating in 1997. It’s unlikely Brady has that severe of a drop-off from his 102.8 passer rating in 2017. So even if he does inch toward that cliff we’ve been hearing about, you can probably bank on No. 12 topping the 90 mark in that category.
Furthermore, Moon’s Seattle Seahawks went 7-7 with him starting that year. He threw 25 touchdowns with a 59.3 completion percentage. And it doesn’t get much better in any area for the other 41-year-olds that can be propped up as a reasonable comparison for the minimum of what to expect from a 41-year-old QB:
Brady has long proven able to push back his NFL clock. Now in his 19th season, he amazingly still hasn’t shown many signs of hitting any kind of wall. And even if he does in 2018, he still has a great chance to be the best 41-year-old ever.
Of course, the goal here isn’t to have a 90-plus passer rating or throw more than 25 touchdowns. It’s certainly to win more than 7-8 games, but more importantly, Brady is running low on chances to get that sixth Super Bowl ring.
Can he pull that off? It would be yet another unrivaled accomplishment, especially considering that the Patriots would be the first team in the salary cap era to play in three straight Super Bowls and the first Super Bowl loser to make it back the next year since the 1993 Buffalo Bills. Still, even without a Super Bowl, Brady is set to add more groundbreaking achievements to his already-impeccable resume.
Brady is looking to win on his own terms this season, in a way that’s without precedent. But even without reaching the summit, the most unprecedented QB in league history has a chance to set another one.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.