Super Bowl 53: Takeaways and lasting impressions
Tom Brady is NOT in decline… at least not yet.
No matter what Max Kellerman says on ESPN’s “First Take,” 41-year-old Patriots quarterback did not tumble off the proverbial cliff this season.
Even in what some critics labeled a “down year,” Brady finished the season as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4-ranked quarterback. His completion percentage dropped less than one percentage point – one percent! – between 2018 and his 2017 MVP season. He threw three less touchdowns and three more picks. His passing yardage was the seventh-highest total of his 17 healthy seasons as a starter.
So, how exactly is this a quarterback in decline?
Yes, the Patriots relied more heavily on their run game and their defense to win this championship than they had in their previous two Super Bowl victories. So what? They did the exact same thing when they won their first three Lombardi Trophies, and those titles came when Brady was 24, 26, and 28 years old… the veritable prime of his youth.
Whether examining Brady’s play from a studious statistical standpoint, or through the simple lens of just getting the job done, one thing is clear: if the end is indeed coming soon for Brady, it didn’t show any telltale warning signs during Super Bowl 53 or the 2018 season.