For the past 17 seasons, Tom Brady has been ripping apart opposing NFL defenses en route to five Super Bowl titles and being considered the greatest of all time.
But as Brady continues to play into his 40s, those who have eagerly been waiting for the New England Patriots quarterback to “fall off a cliff” are looking for any evidence of decline to show his reign over the NFL is ending. Such was the case this season when Brady reportedly played through an MCL sprain for part of the campaign and put up less than stellar numbers as the Patriots limped to an 11-5 finish.
All of Brady’s doubters were foaming at the mouth proclaiming him washed up. And then came the playoffs. Brady torched the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC divisional round, and then led the Patriots on multiple touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and overtime Sunday to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
Brady has looked like the TB12 of old in the postseason, hanging in the pocket and delivering strike after strike to his receivers. He hasn’t been bailing on throws or ditching plays early because of pressure.
So, perhaps Brady really wasn’t showing signs of decline during the regular season. If you ask his long-time throwing coach, Tom House, Brady hasn’t looked any different during their sessions this season.
“Without a doubt, (those misgivings) were confirmation bias. I’ve seen no drop-off in effectiveness or efficiency,” House told Sports Illustrated.
That sounds like bad news for everyone who has Patriots fatigue.
Brady and the Patriots will spend the next two weeks preparing for the Los Angeles Rams, whom they’ll face in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images