There is no doubt that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. The six-time Super Bowl champion has had one of the greatest careers in sports history with numerous clutch performances and sustained success throughout two decades. For awhile, it seemed as if Brady was only getting better with age. However, it would be ignorant not to admit that there is noticeable decline in Brady’s performance last year. After taking a deeper dive into the numbers, it is clear to me that life after Tom Brady will not be as difficult as people make it out to be.
What if I told you that Tom Brady was an average to below average quarterback last year and the great players around him are the ones to thank for successful regular season? Most people still consider Tom Brady to be a top quarterback in the league, just like people consider Derek Carr to an be an average quarterback. Let’s take a look at some stat comparisons between the two players.
Derek Carr: 70.4% completion percentage, 4054 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions.
Tom Brady: 60.8% completion percentage, 4057 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions.
Brady’s completion percentage is significantly lower than Carr’s and it’s certainly an eye opener that Brady only has slightly more yards and touchdowns despite being on a team that is considered to be far superior than Carr’s Raiders.
Going more in depth with Brady’s 2019 statistics, he ranked 6th in average target separation (1.72 yards) and although he ranked 11th in most pocket time per play, he threw away a league leading 40 passes. Based on these stats, there is no denying that Brady’s wide receivers and offensive line were doing their job the majority of last season. That being said, Brady still struggled to complete passes a lot of the time.
Circling back to the similar numbers between Brady and Carr, it should be noted that Carr and the Raiders finished a lackluster 7-9 while Brady’s Patriots had a regular season record of 12-4. This tells us that the Patriots have a talented roster that can still be a great team with average quarterback play.
Right now the consensus is that Jarrett Stidham, the second-year quarterback from Auburn, will be the Patriots starting quarterback next season. The reviews on Stidham have been mixed, and a lot of experts think Tom Brady’s shoes will be too big for the young quarterback to fill. However, if last season is any indicator of the future, Stidham or whoever the quarterback is for the Patriots next year, simply needs to have an average season in order to lead the Patriots to a playoff birth.