At some point during today's game agaisnt the Jets, probably while it's still in the first quarter, Tom Brady will pass 60,000 career passing yards, being only the 5th player ever to do so (joining in order of the most yards - Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Dan Marino). His ascension up all of the leaderboards should come as no surprise, as he's played at a high level for such a long time. Currently Brady is fifth in career yards with 59,943; fourth in career passing touchdowns with 444; third in career quarterback rating with 97.1; tied for second with 199 all-time career wins (with Favre) one win away from tying Peyton Manning with the most ever. But none of these things, nor the fact Brady owns or is working on owning so many other records is the most impressive. The most impressive thing is that age 39, the age most QBs have already been put out to pasture and die (professionally), Brady is getting better.
It's odd to think that Brady is 'getting better' at his age. But he is. A few years ago Brady added a better ability to scramble, extend plays and throw on the run that we had not yet seen from him. It was like when Bird came back with a lefty shot. Except the difference is the point in their careers they did it. Bird was while he was reaching and in what should be his prime years, Brady was when father time was supposed to be winning out. Just a few years ago none of this seemed possible. In 2013 it was widely believe Brady was in serious decline, except by yours truly:
It's not that I thought Brady would get consistently better from 2013 to 2014, then 2014 to 2015 and then 2015 to 2016. It's just that Brady showed no true signs of decline from an ability to play the position standpoint. He still read defenses insanely well, still threw the ball accurately and with arm strength, his pocket presence didn't cease to exist. Let's just look at Brady the past three+ seasons. 2013 - 4343 passing yards, 25 TDs to 11 interceptions and a qb rating of 87.3. 2014 - 4109 passing yards, 33 TDs to 9 interceptions and a qb rating of 97.4. 2015 - 4770 passing yards, 36 TDs (led the league) to 7 interceptions and a qb rating of 102.2. And then this year the so-far sterling (or maybe platinum) 2016 in six games - 1915 passing yards, 16 TDs to 1 interception and a qb rating of 123.3. The man is a machine.
How long can Brady do it? Well, no one knows. People in the NFL and fans that aren't rooting for the Patriots sure hope he succumbs sooner rather than later. Maybe he has two or three more real good seasons. The 70,000+ passing yard plateau isn't out of reach, neither is 500+ passing TDs, nor 240 total (regular and postseason) career wins. The sky is seemingly the limit for Tom Brady. On 09/30/15 yours truly finished a piece on the 2010s half-decade team (http://www.gamesofinches.com/Half-Decades-Team), I had Brady on the second team, behind Aaron Rodgers, but a year and a half later in football years and suddenly Brady can't be denied top team status.
It's really not a question of whether Tom Brady is the GOAT anymore, it's how far is the gap that separates him from the number 2.