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Monson: Are there ANY signs that Tom Brady is declining?

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass as offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs (78) blocks Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib (94) at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I once saw decline in Tom Brady. On June 2, 2014, an ESPN article declared that he was no longer a top-five NFL quarterback. But now, going on seven years later, Brady is as good as he’s ever been.

What makes it all the more remarkable is that he reportedly played all last year — his first career stint with a new team — on a fully torn MCL. Brady’s performance last season was already remarkable given the circumstances that were public knowledge, so to throw a torn knee ligament into the mixture pushes his storyline into legend.

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Brady's unwillingness to let age overtake him is perhaps most evident when looking at the volatility that Bruce Arians' system — high-risk, aggressive deep passing — produces from its quarterbacks in Year 1. The largest number of turnover-worthy plays (TWPs) PFF has recorded over a single season is 40. It has happened three times since the start of 2006, and on all three occasions, it was a quarterback in his first year under Arians — Andrew Luck (2012), Carson Palmer (2013) and Jameis Winston (2019).

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