Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs in the opening game of the 2017 NFL season. The last time the Patriots faced the Chiefs in an opener, Brady suffered a hit resulting in a torn ACL.
The 2008 season remains the only one since 2003 the Patriots missed the playoffs. And hey, remember when the Chiefs supposedly ended the Patriots dynasty on Monday Night Football back in 2014? Brady went 15-of-27 with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 41-14 loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Good things don’t always happen for Brady against the Chiefs. Surely his being 40 years old now won’t hamper him.
Brady turned 40 on Aug. 3. The history of 40-year-old quarterbacks in the NFL is not pretty.
No quarterback has started 16 games in a season after turning 40. In fact, only 3 quarterbacks started 10 games in a season after turning 40: Warren Moon (twice), Brett Favre (twice) and Vinny Testaverde.
Brett Favre is the only 40-year-old quarterback to start a playoff game in the Super Bowl era (he went 1-1 in 2009).
The most touchdown passes by a quarterback in a season after turning 40 is 25, done by Favre in 2009 and Moon in 1997. No other quarterbacks have thrown more than 20 touchdown passes in a season after turning 40.
Despite some bad mojo against the Chiefs and a spotted history of 40-year-old QBs, this is Tom Brady we’re talking about here…
Overcoming Adversity: KC Edition
The Chiefs may have ended Brady’s 2008 season, but he returned in 2009 and has led the Patriots to the AFC East division title each year since the injury. He’s appeared in three Super Bowls and won two in that time.
The night the Patriots dynasty “died” was Sept. 29, 2014. Since that night, Brady has won two Super Bowls (2014, 2016) and been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL, with a league-best 79.3 Total QBR.
Overcoming Adversity: Father Time
The history of 40-year-old quarterbacks in the NFL doesn’t favor Brady, but he has shown no signs of slowing down. In 2016, at 39, Brady posted the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history (28-2) and won the Super Bowl. He also posted his second-best completion percentage and third-best yards per attempt.
Adding to that, Brady’s decision making has only gotten better with age. His TD-Int ratio has improved every four-year increment of his career as a starter.
But there is one more obstacle in the way as Brady and company enter the 2017 season …
Overcoming Adversity: Losing a Go-To Receiver
Julian Edelman tore his ACL in the Patriots' third preseason game in 2017 and will miss the entire regular season. Since Edelman’s breakout 2013 campaign, the duo has connected on 336 completions, 120 more than any other Brady-receiver duo (Rob Gronkowski is at 216).
Of course, this won’t be the first time Brady is without a top option. The past two seasons alone, Edelman and Gronkowski have combined to miss 16 games. Brady’s production has taken a dip without them, but it’s still solid production. When either is off the field, he still averages six touchdowns for every interception with a Total QBR of 68.