Tom Brady had a historic season for quarterbacks over the age of 40 last year, winning MVP honors and nearly leading the New England Patriots to another Super Bowl. And even though his 2018 season did not quite reach the same level of play, the NFL’s greatest ever did show that he is still far away form the oft-discussed “cliff” passers at or around 40 years old are said to approach.
When looking at the numbers, we can see why: Brady set new records for 41-year old regular starting quarterbacks in all of the following categories, besting the previous marks in parenthesis.
Pass attempts: 570 (Warren Moon, 1997: 528)
Pass completions: 375 (Warren Moon, 1997: 313)
Completion percentage: 65.8% (Brett Favre, 2010: 60.6%)
Passing yards: 4,355 (Warren Moon, 1997: 3,678)
Passing touchdowns: 29 (Warren Moon, 1997: 25)
Interceptions: 11 (Warren Moon, 1997: 16)
Touchdown percentage: 5.1% (Warren Moon, 1997: 4.7%)
Interception percentage: 1.9% (Warren Moon, 1997: 3.0%)
Passer rating: 97.7 (Warren Moon, 1997: 83.7)
As can be seen, the season that most closely resembles Brady’s 2018 campaign is Warren Moon’s 1997 with the Seattle Seahawks. That being said, the Hall of Famer still trails the Patriots’ passer in every major statistical category. When compared to his peers in the late 90s, however, Moon actually ranked better than Brady did this season and playing in a more pass-centric era.
With the exception of interceptions, the percentages and passer rating, Moon ranked in the NFL’s top-6 in every category. Brady, meanwhile, ranks anywhere between 18th (completion percentage) and 7th (passing yards). Nevertheless, his 2018 regular season can still be seen as a solid outing — and a historic one when put against other 41-year old passers in the NFL.
And as opposed to Moon, Brett Favre and company, Brady can still add to his record breaking campaign by doing something that no other quarterback has done so far: win a Super Bowl over the age of 40. He came close last year, and New England is again in good position for a run at the title in 2018.