NFL

Comparing the two halves of Tom Brady’s career and the striking similarities they show

Nickolas Loza \ Aug 9th, 2019

Tom Brady over his 19 year NFL career has been one of the faces of the NFL. He has posted as of the end of the 2018-2019 season; 70,514 Passing Yards, 517 TDs, 171 INTs, and a passer rating of 97.6 while winning six Super Bowls and winning 207 regular-season games. He is in most peoples circles one of the greatest if not the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football, and possibly the greatest all-around football player of all-time. In this article, we’ll be comparing Tom Brady’s eight healthy seasons to his other nine healthy seasons. We won’t be counting 2000 because he was a backup and only took kneel-down snaps and only threw three times and 2008 because he tore his ACL in the first game of the season. So we’ll be comparing 2001-2010 and 2011-2019. I will also be going over which one I think is better and giving my reasons.

2001-2010

In this stretch of ten seasons, Tom Brady hit his first prime at the start of the 2006 season, so from 2006-2010, he was arguably in the best stretch of his career despite missing an entire season. This helped inflate his otherwise pedestrian numbers to an astounding 34738 Passing Yards, 261 TDs, and 103 INTs with a passer rating of 95.2. This is the more statistically eye-popping part of his career, and he made one more First Team All-Pro and was a two time MVP (’07 and ’10) compared to having one of each accolade in the second half. He made six Pro Bowls in this stretch and won three rings and a two Offensive Player of the Year awards. If you look at this stretch from a casual perspective you would say “there are more accolades here and his stats are for the most part better, there shouldn’t be an argument”, but I disagree. Stats and accolades aren’t everything, and if you look at the second half of his career compared to the first you’ll see what I mean. As for the playoffs, he won three rings, had a 14-5 overall record and had a TD-INT ratio of 30-16. In the playoffs, this is where you could make an argument there’s a big gap between the two halves of his career. He has won more games in the second half, lost an even amount of games and has put up better statistical numbers by a long shot and has faced tougher opponents and won against them. I’ve made my argument here, let’s move on to the second half of his career

2011-2019

The second half of Tom Brady’s career is strikingly similar to the first half statistically speaking, putting up 35770 yards, 256 TDs, 68INTs, and a passer rating of 100.0. The only real big difference is his INTs are way down and his passer rating is up 4.8 points. His numbers look more well rounded and although his TD’s are down it’s mostly because he missed four games due to a suspension in 2016, if not for that he may have a couple more touchdowns in this half then in the last. As for accolades he has eight Pro Bowls, one First-Team All-Pro selection and has won one MVP award (2017) and three Super Bowl rings. The accolades and stats, as I stated earlier are less eye-popping but he has still led the Patriots to three Super Bowl victories in his older years. As for the playoffs, he has a 16-5 record, has won three Super Bowl rings and has no real embarrassing playoff losses or any things that shouldn’t have happened. As for actual stats, his TD:INT ratio is 43-18. So he has stepped up his level of play in the playoffs in this half along with being more careful with the ball and having better stats in places you want to have good stats. In this half of his career, he has been better in the playoffs along with being more conservative with the ball but putting up nearly identical TDs and Passing Yards in the regular season. Now let’s discuss which is better and i’ll give my opinion

Which half of Tom Brady’s career is better? My Opinion and the evidence to support my answer.

In my genuine and honest opinion, I think Tom Brady has gotten better with age so I’m going to take the second half of his career over the first. If you look at what he’s had to overcome compared to the first half of his career, the second half is much better. What the second half lacks in accolades and personal achievements it makes up for in playoff success and truly earned victories. Let’s take his 2001-2004 postseasons for example, where the Patriots had a stellar defense each year and Brady didn’t have to do a lot in his first postseason to win a Super Bowl. In the second half, however, in some cases, he has had a league ranked defense below tenth place so he had to put in more work in the postseason to help his team win. Although he has had two Super Bowl losses in the second compared to just one in the first half, he has earned his Super Bowl victories through coming back and fighting rather than doing what’s necessary and just that for the Patriots to win. Take his Super Bowl LI victory against Atlanta, the 28-3 comeback he led in that game is widely considered his crown jewel and moment that makes him who he is. Then there’s the victory against Seattle where he came back from ten points down in the fourth quarter against one of the greatest defensive units in recent history. The only Super Bowl win he sort of got carried to was Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams where he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but still won. As for the regular season, Tom Brady has led his team to a marginally better winning percentage and has had 35 fewer INTs and has been far more efficient with his passing abilities. There’s my evidence to support my opinion, either way, he has two Hall of Fame resumes if you split his career in half but the second half’s resume would get into the Hall of Fame before the first half’s resume in my opinion.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, Tom Brady seems to be completely unaffected by time for the most part, and he has had a stellar two halves of his career. He is 42 now so he is probably in the last couple years of his career, so enjoy him or hate him while he’s still around because he won’t be around by 2022. Maybe.

Hope you all enjoyed!

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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