In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN's Stats & Information writes on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his 2011 season. Lundblad dissects the numbers to put Brady's terrific season in context.
Tom Brady is having one of the greatest seasons in NFL history. So why will no one remember it?
Perhaps that's an exaggeration. More accurately, no one will think of Brady when looking back on 2011.
Quite simply, Brady picked a bad season to be historically good.
Brady is 213 passing yards shy of his single-season Patriots record set in 2007. What happens in Week 17 will just be icing on the cake. It's also in the final week that Brady will likely hit 5,000 yards, a milestone previously reached twice in NFL history. Dan Marino set the record with 5,084 in 1984. Drew Brees provided the only legitimate challenge with 5,069 yards in 2008.
Lundblad includes a few different categories within the piece -- "Precedent for Clustered Greatness" and "Year of the Quarterback" -- before coming to this conclusion:
Only 14 of 32 opening-week quarterbacks have started every game this season. Yet, it's not just the Big Three putting up crazy numbers. Of those 14, seven are on track to set a franchise record in yards. That doesn't even include Cam Newton, who will set the rookie passing record on Saturday.
The year of the quarterback has been so widespread that it will take a Super Bowl for Brady's season to stand above the rest.