In a previous article, we looked at Tom Brady’s efficiency stats over the past five seasons. He was consistently in the top five among quarterbacks, but in 2019, he took a step back.
You could argue that his age is finally catching up to him, or you could argue a lack of weapons to throw too. You can read the full article here; What Do the Stats Say About an Aging Tom Brady
I highly recommend you go read that first, as the argument we discuss will make more sense.
But in this article, I’m going to show you just why 2019 was an outlier year, and why in 2020, he can return to his MVP self.
It’s no secret that Tom Brady had a lack of weapons in 2019. Besides a post-prime Julian Edeleman, Brady was throwing passes to Jakobi Meyers, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and Phillip Dorsett.
Not exactly household names.
But Brady did have Josh Gordon for the first six games of the season, and Antonio Brown in week two. Those are elite weapons, but they were only available for less than half of the season.
Here is Tom Brady’s game splits, with and without at least Josh Gordon or Antonio Brown.
With weapons: (6 games)
TD: 10 (4.3%)
INT: 2 (0.8%)
QB Rating: 99.1
Without weapons: (10 games)
TD: 14 (3.6%)
INT: 6 (1.5%)
QB Rating: 83.1
As you can see, when Tom Brady had weapons to throw too, he was significantly better in multiple categories. But still, we need some context.
So here are the 2019 league averages of the stats mentioned above.
QB Rating: 90.4
With a solid receiving core, Brady is well above average in yards per game, completion percentage, interception percentage, and quarterback rating. He was almost at league average in touchdown percent as well.
While these stats certainly tell an interesting story lets take a look at what Brady’s season would have been if you prorated his first six games (with weapons) over an entire season.
The completion percentages and quarterback ratings would remain the same, as these numbers are just averages. With these stats Brady would have ranked;
3rd in yards instead of 7th
Tied for 5th in touchdowns instead of tied for 13th
Tied for 3rd in interceptions instead of tied for 11th
So instead of ranking average in the league in efficiency, Brady easily cracks the top 10 with a full season of Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon.
So when somebody says Brady had a down year, or should be retired, show them these stats. Because Brady isn’t just playing at league average, he is playing at a high level at the age of 42.
The rest of the league better look out in 2020, because a triple threat of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard will be a lethal combo.