Tom Brady Continues to Defy Time
Many say that “Father Time” is undefeated. There is no athlete that can play forever, and even the greatest players slow down towards the end of their careers. This has again and again proven to be true, but there is one blemish: Tom Brady.
Flashback to 17 years ago. Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski was 12 years old. Running Back Sony Michel was only 6 years old. Where was Tom Brady? Winning his first Super Bowl with the Patriots after defeating the St. Louis Rams.
Now at the age of 41, Brady is attempting to do something no player has ever accomplished: win a sixth Super Bowl. Although the opponent may be the same as the first Rams-Patriots Super Bowl, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are the only active personnel returning for this rematch.
A win would make Brady the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, surpassing Peyton Manning at 39 years.
This season has not been the typical Super Bowl run for the Patriots. Brady has never lost five or more starts and made a Super Bowl in the same season. The Patriots finished 11-5 this season. The Patriots were also forced out of Foxborough for a true road playoff game, something that has only happened to Belichick and Brady eight times.
Brady’s numbers were slightly down this season. His 4,355 passing yards were his lowest in a complete season since 2014 and his 29 passing touchdowns were his lowest since 2013. He also tacked on 11 interceptions, his most since 2013.
Despite the drop in numbers, Brady has found production on the field and continues to win games. The team’s 2,037 rushing yards are the most since 2013, and they have built on this success in the playoffs. The backfield is only 117 yards away from having more playoff rushing yards than any other Brady-Super Bowl team.
Going into this Super Bowl, Brady faces a Rams defense that finished third in the league in interceptions. Brady will have to attack both the air and ground to keep this defense on their heels.
What Tom Brady is doing at the age of 41 is abnormal. As the game has developed over the years, so has Brady. His competitive nature combined with his knowledge of the game is unmatched.
Brady’s dominance over the NFL has been unprecedented, with Sunday’s game being his 40th playoff start. He is 29-10 in the playoffs in his career and will be the first player to reach 40 playoff game starts.
However, if you are holding your breath waiting for Brady to finally retire, you may be in trouble. When asked if there was any chance this could be his last game, Brady’s response was “zero”. He has emphasized that he wants to play until age 45.
With New England playing in their third straight Super Bowl, it’s hard to doubt Brady. He has appeared in more Super Bowls alone than any other NFL franchise with nine appearances.
There is no telling when Brady will fall off, but there is one certainty: If he ever retires, a spot in Canton will be waiting for him.
Preston Shoemaker is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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