New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was declared done after week 4 of the 2014 season. He was coming off a down year in 2013 due to injuries all across the offense, but he looked even worse in 2014. Pro Football Focus declared that Brady was no longer a top 5 quarterback and stated that “like death and taxes the decline of every great quarterback is inevitable.”
“And there is only one thing we say to death...”
Pro Football Focus (PFF) has released their year-end awards for 2016 and a once-dead Tom Brady has finished the year rated as the Best Player in the NFL, the Offensive Player of the Year, and the Best Passer in the NFL. And Pro Football Focus wants to note that Brady’s grade has increased in the playoffs.
“Brady posted the best PFF season grade of any QB ever (99.3 in the regular season) over the past decade of play-by-play analysis once he got on the field,” PFF analyst Sam Monson writes. Brady’s grade is up to 99.5 through the AFC Championship Game.
“Tom Brady led the league in big-time throws’ this season in addition to having one of the lowest interception rates in league history,” Monson adds. “He was able to make big plays without endangering the football in a way we have never seen before.”
Brady finished the year with the 2nd best accuracy mark in the league, behind Minnesota Vikings QB Sam Bradford, though it must be noted that Brady was throwing the ball “on average almost two full yards further downfield from the line of scrimmage” than Bradford.
“The bottom line is that, over the last decade of grading, Pro Football Focus analysts have never seen a QB play with the efficiency and effectiveness that Tom Brady has displayed this season,” Monson closes. “His 99.3 PFF grade in the 2016 regular season tops the previous best season we have seen from a QB, which was Aaron Rodgers’ obscene 2011 campaign (98.4). In fact, only three previous players have surpasses the 95.0 barrier in the PFF era (since the 2006 season).”
Brady continues to improve his game on a yearly basis and next he has continued to ascend in his advanced age. He’s learned to be more mobile, to throw on the move, to reduce interceptions, and to hit the deep ball. There is no knowing what he’ll improve for 2017.