Why Tom Brady Sits Atop Pro Football Focus’ QB Rankings After Week 3


Tom Brady has been excellent to begin the 2019 season.

The Patriots quarterback has thrown for 911 yards with seven touchdowns to zero interceptions while guiding New England to a 3-0 record. He owns a 116.5 QB rating, the league’s fourth-best mark, and hasn’t shown any signs of regression in his age-42 campaign.

But has Brady been the best quarterback in football? Pro Football Focus believes so, putting Brady atop its quarterback rankings after three weeks.

Here’s what PFF’s Steve Palazzolo wrote Tuesday in explaining Brady’s place above the rest:

Brady is back atop the quarterback rankings after three strong weeks that have seen him rank second in big-time throw percentage at 7.4% while avoiding any turnover-worthy plays. Brady continues to make good decisions with the ball while throwing accurately to all levels of the field, and he’s off to a start that is more reminiscent of his elite 2015-17 stretch — one of the best in NFL history — rather than last season that saw him regress just a touch on a throw-for-throw basis.

Brady isn’t the only quarterback off to a strong start, and some football fans might take issue with Patrick Mahomes’ spot in PFF’s rankings after Week 3. The reigning NFL MVP sits sixth — trailing Brady, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson — despite leading the NFL in passing yards (1,195), touchdown passes (10) and QB rating (134.9) without throwing a single interception for the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

Here’s what Palazzolo wrote about Mahomes:

The Chiefs’ offense has picked right up where they left off last year, and Mahomes continues to play at a high level despite a dip in a couple of key numbers. He still has the big-time throws, evidenced by his league-leading 8.0 big-time throw percentage, but after ranking second at avoiding negatively graded throws last season, Mahomes ranks just 19th in the same statistic this season. He also has two turnover-worthy plays on fumbles that won’t show up in the gaudy, league-leading 134.9 passer rating, but for Chiefs fans, they should be encouraged that there’s still room to improve as the year progresses.

It’s important to note we’re dealing with small sample sizes here, as each team only has played three games. But Brady clearly remains elite in his 20th NFL season, which is a scary thought for the rest of the NFL given how dominant New England’s defense has looked in its wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

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