The Patriots are back on the track to meets the preseason expectations. There's no better place to look than at Tom Brady's performances.
Through the first quarter of the season, Brady was at the bottom of the league with respect to passer rating. Of the 26 qualifying quarterbacks (75+ attempts), Brady ranked 24th- ahead of only the Raiders rookie Derek Carr and the Jets Geno Smith. That's no company for one of the all time greats.
It wasn't just the fault of Brady, just as his renaissance isn't purely from his resurgence, but a mix of numerous factors. The Patriots didn't have a cohesive offensive line, Rob Gronkowski was still healing, Brandon LaFell was still learning the offense, and the only reliable offensive player was Julian Edelman. Brady posted a passer rating of 79.1.
Compare that with the likes of Philip Rivers (114.5), Aaron Rodgers (109.1), and Peyton Manning (108.5) and it seemed as if the days of Brady were over so long as the offense was a glaring weak point.
But that was September. This is October.
Ever since the calendar page turned, Brady has been on fire. He and Eli Manning are the only quarterbacks to not throw an interception in the month of October, although Eli is currently on a bye week- oh, and Brady notched 14 touchdown passes compared to Eli's five.
Brady's passer rating of 129.1 is the best in the league over the past month and it's a clear sign that the offense is back at its expected level of performance. In fact, his passer rating improved exactly 50 points between the months (79.1 to 129.1), an improvement which is coincidentally better than the Jets new starting quarterback Michael Vick's actual passer rating this season (48.2).
In fact, when comparing September to October, the average non-Brady quarterback saw their passer rating decline by 2 points. Of those who improved, there's Brady (+50), Peyton Manning (+18.9), the rookie Carr (+14.6), and Tony Romo (+13.3). The "new generation" of quarterbacks took a step back; Andrew Luck (-16.9), Russell Wilson (-18.7), and Cam Newton (-19.8) were saved from the bottom by Geno Smith's descension (-22.8), but still rank in the bottom four of the league.
Brady's October ranks as the fourth best all time, ranking behind three of the top ten offenses of the past fifteen years. It's a sign of great things to come. It's a sign that great things are here.
Edit: Just doing some research and this is definitely on-topic: Brady has posted the second-best first half of a season in his career, behind only 2007. He's on another level right now.