NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell
Just five weeks ago everyone had Tom Brady written off. He was too old, past his prime, and no longer an upper echelon quarterback. But it is amazing how quickly things have changed since the Patriots were blown out by Kansas City.
Since the beginning of October no quarterback in the NFL has been as dominant as Tom Brady, and should his torrid pace continue, the AP would have no choice but to crown him with his third MVP.
Brady’s dominant play and the Patriots five game winning streak are no coincidence.
Over the past five games Brady has completed 67.5% of his passes for 1,601 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, one interception and a staggering quarterback rating of 120.5.
Since the beginning of October no team in the NFL has been as red-hot as the Patriots and Tom Brady is one of the biggest reasons why.
After being chewed and spit up by the media, Brady has once again proved his critics wrong, and has taken his frustration out on opposing defenses.
Despite playing with a new look receiving corps, 37 year old Brady is in the midst of one of his best seasons. The Patriots are now 7-2 and his touchdown to interception ratio of 7.33 is the second best of his career.
The reports of Tom Brady’s demise have always been greatly over exaggerated. When asked about retirement earlier this year Brady said he’ll retire the day he “sucks”. After recently dismantling the Denver Broncos and two other top 10 defenses, it’s clear those days are a long ways away.
Since the Patriots prime time loss to the Chiefs, Brady’s 18 touchdown passes are the most he’s thrown in a five-game stretch since the 22 he threw in 2007. Coincidently, that year he won the MVP, and midway through this year it appears he’s destined for the same fate.
Other than when they squeaked by the Jets, opponents haven’t had much of a chance against Brady and the Patriots. Brady has won five in a row, averaging 40.2 points per game and winning by an average margin of 18.6 points.
Not to say that JJ Watt and Peyton Manning haven’t been good recently, but Brady is simply more valuable to his team. While Watt has terrorized opposing quarterbacks no defensive player has won the MVP since Lawrence Taylor did it in 1985. Although Watt has been far and way the NFL’s most impressive player on the defensive side of the ball, his team allowed nearly 400 yards a game and likely isn’t heading to the playoffs.
Through turmoil and doubt Brady has persevered this season. He has posted remarkable numbers behind an offensive line that started the same five players in back-to-back games for the first time since early September.
Up until last week Manning was the likely favorite, but after once again being outsmarted by Belichick, and outdueled by Brady, it’s tough to rank him ahead of his counterpart in New England.
Brady shredded a Broncos defense that was then ranked sixth for fewest points and fourth for least yards allowed by completing 33 of 53 passes for 333 yards, four touchdowns and one pick. On the other hand, Manning tossed two interceptions that led to 14 Patriots points.
In a head-to-head matchup, there’s no debate over which quarterback was more valuable to his team, especially given the high stakes and potential home field advantage implications.
Peyton Manning does have an impressive resume, but in the Broncos biggest game this season, Peyton once again walked out of Gillette Stadium a loser, and Manning now holds a 5-11 record against the Patriots. Brady’s signature performance couldn’t have come at a better time as the Pats now hold the home filed tiebreaker, which may mean that Manning might have to return to Foxboro for the AFC title game in January.
After a rocky start to the season, the 7-2 Patriots are the NFL’s team to beat, and Tom Brady is a bonafide MVP candidate. So much for being washed up… Brady’s still got it.
Tags: Tom Brady