TORONTO - Talk about your poor timing.
On the eve of the New England Patriots season opener in Miami, the Boston Herald’s Monday edition had a story penned by Ron Borges pointing out how the window is already closing on 34-year-old Tom Brady.
Then Brady went out and threw for 517 yards picking apart a dumbfounded Miami secondary like they were running high school coverages.
This isn’t meant to pick on Borges. For all we know he needed to file something and he dug into his bag of statistical crap and came up with this hypothesis.
According to Borges’ read of the statistics, 34-year-old quarterbacks don’t win Super Bowls anymore.
The stats back him up, but stats are only as good as the way they are applied and in this case they weren’t applied very well.
The bottom line is age doesn’t define or determine everyone the same way. Chris Chelios, Nolan Ryan, Gordie Howe, Jason Kidd and even Satchel Paige all played or in Kidd’s case are still playing at a high level.
Brady is the same. Brady isn’t just your normal every-day quarterback. He is special, the way Peyton Manning is special and the way Aaron Rodgers is special (albeit at a much younger age).
Brady was born to play the position of quarterback and whether he’s 34 or 28, that’s not going to change.
Sure father time catches up with everyone but to definitively say at 34 it has caught up with Brady is sheer nonsense.
Our favourite line in the aftermath of Brady’s ridiculous performance on Monday night came from 11-year CFL veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn who is two years younger than Brady and leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Glenn, like just about everyone with a remote interest in the game, marvelled at Brady’s opener. “He stands in that pocket and it’s like he could eat his cereal there and still complete passes.”
Plenty has been made about Brady’s “happy feet” as he searches out open receivers but Monday night Brady was as calm as we’ve ever seen him.
So yeah, 34-year-old quarterbacks may not win a lot of Super Bowls anymore but there aren’t a lot of 34-year old quarterbacks around like Tom Brady. We’ll give you Peyton Manning who is 35, but he might be a bad example given his current medical condition. Even then we fully expect Manning to come back and compete at a high level again as well.
Chalk Borges up to another victim of the stats monster. If you’re not careful that thing will get you too.
NO-HUDDLE IN VOGUE
No matter what sport you follow, the best will always be mimicked by the team’s chasing them.
With that in mind, we’re betting a rash of teams attempting to go no-huddle as much as their quarterback’s IQ allows them to.
Both the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots spent an inordinate amount of time in a no-huddle in their week one wins.
The result were a pair of confused and rushed, not to mention fatigued defences in New Orleans and Miami who just aren’t accustomed to making a play and then rushing to line up to make another.
It’s not the norm but it may be something teams are going to have to start preparing for.
Granted not every team has a Brady or Rodgers to make this approach effective. But with all the prep work and study that an NFL team goes through in a week leading up to a game, it will be interesting to see how many other teams try it at the same level that the Packers and Pats unveiled in Week 1.
We could easily see Drew Brees doing more of it in New Orleans and possibly Philip Rivers in San Diego and maybe even Matt Ryan in Atlanta but beyond that we’re not sure how many quarterbacks could actually pull it off.
The two-minute drill is one of the toughest aspects any quarterback has to learn and to ask one to do it for the better part of an entire football game is a lot to ask.
THE WINNERS ARE ...
In the highest scoring weekend in the NFL’s history, the awards went out yesterday weren’t that much of a surprise.
Offensively, the recipients were Brady in the AFC and Rodgers in the NFC.
Rodgers threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns in a win over New Orleans.
Defensive honours went to Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs (three sacks, two forced fumbles) in the AFC and Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher (10 tackles, one interception and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown) in he NFC.
NFC special teams honours went to San Francisco’s Ted Ginn who returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown while Oakland kicker Sebastien Janikowski grabbed AFC honours primarily for his successful 63-yard FG on Monday night that tied the NFL record shared by Tom Dempsey and Jason Elam.
Help may be on the way for the New York Giants injury-plagued defence. Defensive end Justin Tuck, one of a number of Giants who sat out the season opener, says his neck is feeling much better and he expects to play this weekend when the Giants take on the St. Louis Rams ... Bill Polian and the Colts will not put Manning on the injured reserve list until doctors tell the team definitively that Manning won’t be able to play again this season. The Colts did the same thing with safety Bob Sanders a year ago and while he never was able to come back, the option to bring him back was there ... Packers CB Charles Woodson was fined $10,000 US by the league for throwing a punch in last Thursday’s season opener according to ESPN insider Adam Schefter.