Does Tom Brady have one last run in him in a New England Patriots uniform? If he does, he will win one last battle.
With the Tennessee Titans invading Foxborough Saturday night for a Wild Card matchup, the 42-year-old quarterback is simply focused on getting to the next round. There are no thoughts about what will happen if they lose, there are no thoughts about what will happen if they win.
It’s simply on to the next, which has been the Patriot Way for as long as most Patriots fans under the age of 20 can remember.
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In fact, those same fans have never seen a Patriots team without Tom Brady under center.
Well, there was that 2008 season in which he played just a half quarter, but his return was something to look forward to.
What’s on the line?
What’s on the line Saturday night is more than the potential end of a dynasty (which, is only what those outside of New England is wishful for). What’s on the line is Brady’s battle with that of Father Time.
With the future of NFL quarterbacks flooding this year’s playoffs, Brady enters Wild Card Weekend as the most experienced of the bunch but is also the worst of the bunch statistically, at least this season.
Now, there are some factors that Brady apologists will point to like a lack of weapons or the troubles of the offensive line, but looking at Tom Brady’s performance objectively, he has looked every bit like a 42-year-old quarterback.
He has been quicker to throw the ball away to avoid being hit and he has experienced accuracy issues. Above that, he hasn’t looked like he is having fun out there on the field. And who can blame him when he has lost weapons like Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman has been battling injury all season long.
Retirement a realistic option
Quite frankly, and many Patriots fans don’t want to admit it, but Brady looks like an NFL player on the brink of retirement. Sure, he has said he wants to play until the age of 45, but how realistic is that with how he has looked this season.
With free agency also approaching for the first time in his career, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback suddenly finds himself playing for a contract if he does indeed decide to keep playing.
Speaking of these playoffs, Brady can win the battle of time if he gets the team to the Super Bowl and win No. 7. Not only would he be the oldest quarterback to do so, he will prove so many people wrong on the journey there.
Folks, calling it quits right there will be his ultimate victory. If he wins at the age of 42 and calls it a career, he will beat time and it’s as simple as that. He does need a lot of help from his teammates, but when the game is on the line, there is still no other quarterback as feared as Tom Brady.
To go out that way would be the ultimate achievement. Playing a few more seasons with another team will give time more opportunities to defeat him.