It seems that this question has inevitably arisen during the NFL offseason for over a decade. When will Tom Brady regress? Eventually, age has to catch up, right?
So far, this is not the case. And in 2021, the 44-year-old quarterback is posting numbers that could be the best of his career.
Brady guided the Buccaneers to a 4-1 record to start the 2021 NFL season. The team’s offense has been some of the best in football and that is in large part thanks to Brady. He has an abundance of weapons at his disposal, and he made the most of them.
Brady leads the NFL in passing yards ahead of his Thursday Night Football clash with the Eagles. He’s already played three games in which he’s thrown at least four touchdown passes and he should have the chance to continue playing at a high level in the 2021 NFL season.
How good are Tom Brady’s stats in 2021? How many passing yards on average per game? How does it compare to other legends? Here’s what you need to know about Brady’s hot start for the 2021 campaign.
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Tom Brady’s Statistics 2021
Tom Brady has so far put up some monster stats in the 2021 NFL season. He leads the league in attempted passes, completed passes and passing yards in five games.
Brady has led the NFL in passing yards three times before, but he’s only led the league once. It happened when he threw 581 passes during his All-Pro season in 2017.
Here’s a look at Brady’s notable success stats from 2021 so far and where they rank league-wide.
|Percentage of completion||66.2||15th|
|Passage of TD||15||2nd|
|passing yards per game||353.4||1st|
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Tom Brady’s touchdown and the pace of overtaking
Tom Brady is on a record pace in passing yards. He benefits from the expansion of the NFL to a 17-game schedule, but he could become the first quarterback to throw more than 6,000 passing yards.
Before his Thursday Night Football game against the Eagles, Brady was averaging 353.4 yards per game. That pace would translate to about 6,008 passing yards over a 17-game season. The current NFL record is held by Peyton Manning, who threw for 5,477 yards in 2013.
Brady isn’t quite on the same record pace for touchdown passes. He is expected to show 51 games in a 17-game season, as he has averaged three per game in five so far. It would be a personal best for Brady – who totaled 50 passing touchdowns in 2007 – and second in NFL history, but Manning holds the high water mark with 55 in 2013.
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How Tom Brady’s 2021 stats stack up against his best season
Brady’s best statistical season was his All-Pro year in 2007. It was during this time that he helped lead the Patriots to an unbeaten regular season and recorded the top 50 passing touchdowns in the game. NFL in one season.
So far, Brady compares favorably to this season 14 years later. He is expected to surpass his career-best touchdown tally that year and add nearly 1,200 more passing yards than in 2021.
|Statistical||Brady 2007||Brady 2021|
|Passage of TD||50||51|
|Yards per attempt||8.3||7.9|
Of course, it should be noted that Brady played one game less in 2007 than he expected in 2021. So that will skew the numbers a bit in today’s favor.
Brady would still break the NFL passing yardage record in a single season, even if you put him on a 16-game pace this season. However, he would be below 50 TDs, as he would only total 48.
It’s also worth noting that Brady hit his 2007 numbers with 578 overtaking attempts. He’s on track for 765 this season, so his league-leading efficiency scores – including his 8.7 touchdown percentage and 8.3 yards per attempt – of 2007 will both be hard to beat.
MORE: Why Tom Brady Left Patriots, Explained
How Tom Brady’s stats stack up against quarterbacks over 40
The most impressive part of Brady’s game is his age. He’s 44 and plays about as well as he did when he was thought to be in his prime in 2007.
Few quarterbacks played well into their forties, even legends like Brady. His season at the age of 44 compares favorably with some of the other recent superstar quarterbacks who have played – or nearly so – in their forties.
Manning is the only QB of the three who didn’t play until he was 40. The last season of his career was during his campaign at the age of 39, and he turned 40 in March of that year. As such, we’ll be looking at his season at 39.
Manning was, frankly, bad in the 2015 season, his last in the NFL. He struggled to throw the ball as he suffered from a lingering throwing arm injury that took away the power of his passing. He started just nine games in the regular season and was on track to throw 3,876 yards, 16 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 16 games.
Brady’s end-of-career numbers blow Manning up. One would have to go back to 2013 to find a Manning season comparable to that of Brady. It happened when Manning was 37, so the fact that Brady matches or surpasses Manning’s best season at 44 is incredibly impressive.
Brees played for two seasons in which he was at least 40 years old. They came in 2019 and 2020.
Brees struggled to stay healthy over the two seasons and missed a total of nine games in the two seasons combined. He was still a quality quarterback, but he wasn’t the same dynamic playmaker he was when he was younger.
In his last two seasons combined, Brees is 17-6 and averaging 4,119 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 16 games played. Those numbers are certainly strong, but they remain pale compared to what Brady has been doing during his season at 44.
Favre, like Brees, played two seasons in his forties. Well, for Favre it was more two seasons because he turned 40 at the start of the 2009 season, so we’re going to count him.
Favre’s first season at 40 went well. He posted a 12-4 record with the Vikings and racked up 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions while posting a career-high 68.4% of his passes. His interception percentage of 1.3 was the lowest in the league.
However, in 2010, Favre collapsed. He posted a 5-8 record and threw for 2,509 yards, 11 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He struggled with injuries and appeared to be over the hill.
Even excluding Favre’s last season, Brady’s 2021 results are better than the former Packers, Jets and Vikings quarterback to date. Granted, the NFL is a little happier than it was in the late 2000s, but Brady’s stats are significantly better than Favre’s.