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When was Tom Brady's *overall* peak (mental + physical)?

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Sep 19th

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sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Brady has played forever, and you can divide his career up in different ways, but I was wondering what time period in general people think Brady was at his absolute peak as an individual player both mentally and physically.

For instance, 2007 was obviously his peak statistical season and his physical prime, but was he mentally as good then as he was around 2010 or 2016? When did he even start to physically taper off, anyway, and was that offset by his late-career mental dominance? Or was he already fully Tom effing Brady by say 2004?

I've kind of come to what will probably seem like an oddball conclusion, which is that Brady's all around peak was around 2014-2015. Mentally he was at the peak of his powers, but what stands out going back to videos of his highlights then is how easily he put real speed on his intermediate-range passes. I think by 2016-17 you were already seeing the earliest signs of his fastball tapering off slightly, which was offset by his mental mastery of the game and pretty good teams around him those years to the point you really have to nitpick to see it... but I do think it was there, even if it was nowhere near the decline that Peyton Manning had down the stretch. 2020 Brady was fine physically, but he's clearly not 2014-15 Brady to my eye.
 

VectorPrime

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Just gonna get this out of the way and say that 2007 Brady was not his peak. That was his breakout that showed he was just as good at racking up stats as Manning but not his peak. I firmly believe having his knee blown out in 2008 and then the recovery period of not only rehab but struggles in the 2009 season to get back to being in game shape both mentally and physically significantly changed how he trained, conditioned his body, prepped for games, everything really. He also got very noticeably better at his pocket awareness, which is remarkable because he was already one of the best ever at it. But he become more elusive in the pocket, started keeping plays alive longer, and also in the opposite direction learned to take a very safe sack when he knew he was about to get killed. He has also become gradually more cerebral as he now had so much accumulated knowledge of defenses that it now takes some really strange stuff to confuse him. You can still beat him with raw talent obviously but when was the last time he was outright confused by a defensive scheme? A couple times but that’s about it. So I’d say peak Brady was thus 2010-2017.
 

sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I can see casting a pretty wide net starting 2010, I do think 2016-17 he's just not throwing as hard... but he's so dialed in from the neck up that it kind of just didn't matter.

And the point about his pocket movement is spot on too.
 

amfootball

In the Starting Line-Up
These last 6 years have been unreal IMO especially considering his ages - 37-43. 5 SBs and 4 wins with 3 SB MVPs. Of course 2007/2010 were better stats years as well as 2016 but his understanding of what it takes to manage his team through the entire regular season and have them peaking for the post-season no matter the competition has been remarkable the last 6 seasons IMO. And of course switching teams and winning in year one in a new conference also makes this timeframe most impressive to me.
 

Tony2046

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2014-2016. The Defamegate years. The most mentally tough MFer on the field. He was on a mission and went through the LOB, which had just mangled fivehead the year before, to get his first championship in a decade. 2016 he led the greatest Super Bowl comeback while shoving the finalities of Defamegate right up Fraudgers ass pipe.

Stats be damned. Arm strength was definitely there. Brady was a five star general. He wasn't going to lose.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
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2014-2016. The Defamegate years. The most mentally tough MFer on the field. He was on a mission and went through the LOB, which had just mangled fivehead the year before, to get his first championship in a decade. 2016 he led the greatest Super Bowl comeback while shoving the finalities of Defamegate right up Fraudgers ass pipe.

Stats be damned. Arm strength was definitely there. Brady was a five star general. He wasn't going to lose.

2017 must be included there. With this hand injury days before the AFCCG, he led a Gronk-less, Jules-less team to a 10-point 4th quarter comeback against the best defense in the league. Earlier in the season another absurd clutch performance to beat the Steelers for HFA. Would have been first player in 20 years to win both MVPs if defense hadn't been historically bad in SB.

1626219774943.jpeg
 

VectorPrime

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
2017 must be included there. With this hand injury days before the AFCCG, he led a Gronk-less, Jules-less team to a 10-point 4th quarter comeback against the best defense in the league. Earlier in the season another absurd clutch performance to beat the Steelers for HFA. Would have been first player in 20 years to win both MVPs if defense hadn't been historically bad in SB.

View attachment 33967

Remember when Belichick basically blew off this injury and insultingly downplayed it in the post game press conference after Brady just had a huge comeback in the AFCCG while for a year now he’s made every excuse in the book for Cam being crap? I remember.
 

Zarozzor

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
For one season give me 2016. For prime or however you want to define it give me 2014-2017.

Never had more confidence in a quarterback in my life. Elite in the regular season + playoffs.

In the playoffs he put up

35 vs Ravens (#9 defense)
45 vs Colts (#11 defense)
28 vs Seahawks (#2 defense)
27 vs Chiefs (#8 defense)
18 vs Broncos (#1 defense)
34 vs Texans (#8 defense)
36 vs Steelers (#11 defense)
34 vs Falcons (#19 defense)
35 vs Titans (#23 defense)
24 vs Jaguars (#2 defense)
33 vs Eagles (#5 defense)

The only two games he was held below 27 points: 2015 Broncos with Stork tipping the snap count and 2017 Jaguars with Gronk getting knocked out before half time.
 

sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
It warms my heart that everybody is blowing right past 2007 as his peak, because I feel like it's obvious he was a better player later in spite of his raw stats that year and nobody sees it.

Except a bunch of you do, too!

2016 was one of my favorite seasons even before the 28-3 madness, because the team was such a well oiled machine, top to bottom, week after week. The 2014 roster was more talented IMO (and 2015 before the injury wave hit it), but 2016 was the season where it just seemed like they were just dialed in on a whole other level from Brady on down. So of course when everything possible went wrong for 2.75 quarters in the Super Bowl they were the one team in history able to right the ship and slowly mulch the other team into a fine paste.
 

tom444

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Remember when Belichick basically blew off this injury and insultingly downplayed it in the post game press conference after Brady just had a huge comeback in the AFCCG while for a year now he’s made every excuse in the book for Cam being crap? I remember.
All he said was, ‘We’re not talking about open-heart surgery here'. That was true, wasn't it? Further, I think Belichick was taking a shot at the media, not Brady.
 
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amfootball

In the Starting Line-Up
All he said was, ‘We’re not talking about open-heart surgery here'. That was true, wasn't it? Further, I think Belichick was taking a shot at the media, not Brady.
Wut? A shot at the media? The media was asking him how his QB managed to win that game with this thumb torn up, coming back on the best pass defense in the NFL without Edelman or Gronk. They are supposed to ask that. It was a lay up for Bill to actually, you know give credit to Brady for having one of his best playoff performances ever while injured and all the guy could manage to say was that it was not heart surgery. Honestly, it was one of Bill's lowest moments and showed just how frayed the relationship had become.
 

sb1

Hall of Fame Poster
2017 must be included there. With this hand injury days before the AFCCG, he led a Gronk-less, Jules-less team to a 10-point 4th quarter comeback against the best defense in the league. Earlier in the season another absurd clutch performance to beat the Steelers for HFA. Would have been first player in 20 years to win both MVPs if defense hadn't been historically bad in SB.

View attachment 33967
If Rodney Harrison saw this photo I wonder if he'd take back those assclown comments about Brady wearing a skirt and not being tough.
 

KontradictioN

…with that said, Cam is a great teammate.
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2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
2007-2017 with an asterisk for for 2008 and 2009 since he was out/coming off of the ACL. But that 8-year period was just absurd. He was head and shoulders the best QB in the NFL.
 

VectorPrime

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Scorching Hot Take: in retrospect Brady’s 2006 season was more impressive than his 2007 season. A lot of those amazing TDs to Moss were more on Moss making an absurd play in the ball. Which isn’t a knock on Brady but normally throwing into triple coverage is a bad idea.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
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Scorching Hot Take: in retrospect Brady’s 2006 season was more impressive than his 2007 season. A lot of those amazing TDs to Moss were more on Moss making an absurd play in the ball. Which isn’t a knock on Brady but normally throwing into triple coverage is a bad idea.

I think he was about equally impressive in 2006 as 2007. Brady’s arm strength has always been laughably underrated based on narrative. Up until he shredded his knee, he was throwing lasers. I was watching the 2007 game vs Indy and literally had trouble following the ball.

Brady’s physical peak did end in 2008 with that knee injury. But it’s like a pitcher going from a 102 mph fastball down to a 98 mph fastball but vastly improving his change up and curveball in the process.
 

amfootball

In the Starting Line-Up
It is really amazing to think that Brady has never really had a time when he was not prime. We could pick over his entire career as his early seasons were no slouch but they often get overlooked because the league was so different and his stats were not eye popping compared to today's game.
 

sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
2013 is kind of a secretly great season where he got crapped on in the media for being "washed up" because the receiving corps was depleted which depressed his stats some. He led the league in 4th quarter comebacks & game winning drives that year and the Patriots were #3 in points scored in spite of having Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins get serious snaps.
 

tom444

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Wut? A shot at the media? The media was asking him how his QB managed to win that game with this thumb torn up, coming back on the best pass defense in the NFL without Edelman or Gronk. They are supposed to ask that. It was a lay up for Bill to actually, you know give credit to Brady for having one of his best playoff performances ever while injured and all the guy could manage to say was that it was not heart surgery. Honestly, it was one of Bill's lowest moments and showed just how frayed the relationship had become.
Take a look at the video and watch Belichick's expression as the questioning begins. It's his usual disregard for the media and their need to come up with an angle. IMO

 
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amfootball

In the Starting Line-Up
Take a look at the video and watch Belichick's expression as the questioning begins. It's his usual disregard for the media and their need to come up with an angle. IMO

Come up with an angle? The STORY of that game was Brady's performance playing with a torn thumb. Asking him if they needed to adjust the game plan because of the thumb and how he thought Brady performed with the injury are the exact questions they were supposed to ask based on how the game played out and how Brady led the comeback being hurt without Edelman or Gronk.

It was typical Bill with his dour, sour **** attitude over the story line of the game. Watching it again, you can see how much it pains him to even say Brady played great and is a tough player which is why he added the heart surgery at the heart. The thing is, a QB playing with a torn thumb on his throwing hand is the equivalent of open heart surgery in terms of his ability to perform and win the game. That is what makes this Bill's most disappointing comment IMO of all time with regards to Brady.
 

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