NFL legend says Tom Brady's stats show “deterioration is coming”


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has his performances dissected in a way few professional athletes can relate, but he's still playing at a very high level at age 41.

Sure, he's not posting MVP-caliber stats in 2018, but he's among the primary reasons why the Patriots enter Week 15 with the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoff picture and sit atop the AFC East with a 9-4 record.

Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne recently did a piece on Brady that had input from former NFL players and coaches, and one of the topics discussed was the inevitable decline with the Patriots quarterback. One Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, in particular, had some interesting observations on Brady's declining ability. 

"The numbers are starting to show that there's a deterioration coming," Warren Moon told B/R. "Especially when you talk about the blitzing because that's something he used to really excel at. You do start to lose some of your reflexes and responses. I started to figure that out later on in my career, too. Even though your mind knows where you should be going, sometimes your body just doesn't react as fast. You're starting to see some of that with him."

Later in the article, Moon explains that he doesn't expect a steep drop-off from Brady.

"I don't think you fall off a cliff, but it is gradual, and once that gradual [decline] starts, there's no turning back from it," Moon said. "It's not like you're going to recapture what you had before. I don't think he'll be able to go back and have another offseason where he can get back to the form he was two years ago. It's going to continue to keep sliding, and you just have to continue adjusting your game, and hopefully your offense and your offensive coaches will adjust and not have to rely on you as much to carry the football team as you have in the past."

Moon added: "Age is something none of us can avoid. Things are going to start to slow down. How fast? We really don't know. You can start to see some decline in Tom."

Moon's not wrong. Brady might not have the same arm strength or mobility he displayed in his 20s or 30s, but he's still just as or more talented than nearly all of the quarterbacks in the league. Let's face it, he's the reason why the Patriots have played in three of the last four Super Bowls and won two of them. 

Sunday's Week 14 matchup with the Miami Dolphins was a fine example of Brady's still-dominant skill set. Brady completed 27 of 43 pass attempts for 358 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson was thrown with the type of zip typically seen from the younger quarterbacks with rocket arms. He shredded the Dolphins defense, but a disaster on the final play cost them a win.

Brady will eventually fall from the top tier of quarterbacks if he plays long enough, but will that come in the immediate future? There's not much, if any evidene to suggest that it will. 

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