Tom Brady’s first game back from suspension went about as well as anyone in New England could have hoped. The 39-year-old completed 28 of 40 passes (70%), threw for 406 yards (an average of 10 yards per throw), plus no turnovers and three touchdowns.
Yes, Brady’s performance came against the utterly hapless Browns. But still: not only was Brady’s performance the best of any quarterback during Week 5, it also marked the first time in NFL history that a 39-year-old posted a 400-yard, three-TD game.
And yet, after the game, Brady had this to say about his performance.
“I think there was plenty of rust out there. I can do better in a lot of areas.”
It’s hard to know exactly which areas Brady is referring to. Here’s a casual 43-yard gain:
And here’s Brady finding his new tight end:
Tom Brady to @MartysaurusRex…
Brady added that, despite his rust, he felt sprightly on the field.
“I feel better at 39 than I did at 29,” Brady said.
Perhaps most interestingly of all, he said that during his suspension he practiced getting hit in order to simulate what happens in games.
Brady on his workouts: “I was getting hit. … Trying to simulate the [things] that would happen [in games].”
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 10, 2016
Brady’s desire to play football into his 40s is well-documented. As is his insane, around-the-clock dedication to keeping his body as healthy as possible.
Are we really surprised by Brady’s numbers on Sunday?
That’s what’s craziest of all. It’s one thing that Brady, at age 39, can miss the first month of the season and come back looking better than ever. It’s another that, upon seeing these throws and upon reading his stat-line, it all seems so ho-hum.
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