Boston, MA - When Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to a twenty-five point comeback in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, many were quick to proclaim him the greatest who ever stepped foot on a field in the National Football League. After all, what more could a three time league MVP who smashed league and career records do beyond winning five Super Bowls? It was clear: Tom Brady is the greatest player in NFL history.
And yet, the soon to be forty-one year old is still racking up accolades around the league.
Every year, NFL Network conducts a survey of all NFL players to determine the 100 best players in the league. When this practice was first adopted in 2011, Tom Brady reigned supreme. Now, in 2017 and 2018, Brady was proclaimed the best by both teammates and rivals across the country. He is the only player to win the honor of being the number one player in the NFL twice, never mind three times. (Other recipients include Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Cam Newton.)
Brady receives the honor after finishing a season that was truly remarkable for a forty year old quarterback. He led the league in passing yards with just over four and a half thousand while also floating the third best completion percentage in his career. And all of this was buoyed by an impressive thirty-two touchdown passes. Brady also went on to throw eight more touchdowns during the postseason while racking up over one thousand yards and throwing no interceptions en route to a last minute loss in the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brady is looking to lead the Patriots back to the championship game this season, but the task seems considerably more difficult than it has in past years. For one, weapons like Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, and Brandin Cooks are now in Miami, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, respectively, and wide receiver and trusted target Julian Edelman is as of yet suspended for the first four games of the season. If anyone can manage another deep playoff run with these circumstances, though, it's the greatest player in the league (and in league history).