When the New England Patriots started their season 3-1 despite quarterback Tom Brady being forced to the first four games out, it gave supposed ammunition to those calling the future Hall of Famer nothing more than a "system quarterback" (of course disregarding the fact that Brady is the only steady piece of this ever-changing system).
However, when Brady returned, the Patriots’ aerial attack took a few steps forward and has since become its usual efficient self. The numbers speak for themselves – and thanks to Brady now having thrown enough passes to qualify for the NFL’s statistics, we can compare them to other players around the league.
First, let’s take a look at the 39-year old’s numbers through his first three games (via Pro Football Reference):
As the number’s show, Brady has been phenomenal this season. Comparing him to his peers further cements this thought as the Patriots’ quarterback leads the league in the following categories:
Passer rating: 132.6 (next best: Matt Ryan, 113.6)
Completion percentage: 75.3 (Dak Prescott, 68.7)
Touchdown percentage: 7.9 (Ben Roethlisberger: 7.1)
Yards/attempt: 9.9 (Matt Ryan, 9.6)
Brady has been the best quarterback in the NFL over the last three weeks, leading the league in almost every efficiency metric. His others statistics – despite having played three or four fewer games – are not too shabby either. Brady is ranked as follows:
Touchdowns: 8 (tied 14th)
Interceptions: 0 (tied 1st)
Yards: 1,004 (30th)
Yards/game: 334.7 (3rd)
In short: Even at age 39 and coming off a four-game suspension, Brady shows no signs of slowing down. At this rate, he should strongly be in the MVP race despite missing a quarter of the season.