SAN FRANCISCO — It’d be disingenuous to say NFL players, particularly quarterbacks, age like fine wines.
To prove that point, one has to look no further than 39-year-old QB Peyton Manning, who has helped lead the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 matchup against the Carolina Panthers but has been severely limited by physical issues over the last two seasons and appears poised to retire after Sunday’s game.
But there are, of course, exceptions to the rule, and NFL Network analyst Mike Silver sees one in Tom Brady.
The New England Patriots quarterback turned 38 before the 2015 season but turned in one of the best campaigns of his career, throwing for 4,770 yards and 36 touchdowns while tossing just seven interceptions, his lowest total since 2010.
Brady’s Patriots fell short to Manning’s Broncos in the AFC Championship Game, but Silver told NESN.com’s Michaela Vernava on Super Bowl Radio Row this week that while Manning’s skills clearly have “diminished,” Brady doesn’t look like he’s missed a step.
“Of course, we’re going to compare (Manning) to Tom Brady, who’s only a year younger, but (Brady’s) skills don’t look diminished at all,” Silver said. “When he gets hit 20 times in a game, it’s hard to win, but still, that pass he threw to Rob Gronkowski on fourth down, the long one, is one of the more stunning things I’ve seen.
“When I see a guy do that, I’m like, ‘I don’t care if he’s 38.’ Maybe it will happen soon, I don’t know if it will, but he looks to me like as great as Tom Brady has ever been.”
For Silver’s full interview, which includes a discussion of Panthers MVP quarterback Cam Newton, and more from Radio Row, check out NESN’s YouTube Page.
Thumbnail photo via NFL Network's Mike Silver discusses Tom Brady's skills with NESN.com's Michaela Vernava.
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