Joe Montana and Tom Brady's Similar Seasons At age 37
Growing up in the Bay Area, Tom Brady idolized 49ers QB Joe Montana throughout his young life. After leaving the University of Michigan and being drafted by the New England Patriots, not even Brady himself could have predicted his career would be so similar to Montana's especially at age 37. In the twilight of both incredible careers, Brady and Montana had less than stellar years statistically, however, more than just age played a part.
It's not surprising that Brady's statitstics are beginning to wane at 37, so did Montana's. In 1993, Montana had a 84.8 QB rating, a 60.7% completion percentage, and 3.6% TD percentage (that's 3.6 TDs per 100 pass attempts). This year, Brady has a 83.1 QB rating, a 60.4% completion percentage, and a 3.5% TD percentage. Montana averaged 194 yards passing per game in 1993 and Brady now averages 198 per game in 2014.
Not only did Montana struggle, but so did his support staff. The Chiefs brought in RB Marcus Allen, but the running game was still a weakness as is with the 2014 Patriots running game. In '93, the Chiefs had the 20th ranked rushing offense averaging 103 rushing yards per game. Today, the Patriots running game is ranked 21st with a mere 97.5 yards per game on the ground. Without a running game, statistic success for a QB is a near impossiblity as is the case with these two legends.
Disappointing defenses are another parallel with these two QBs. Kansas City had the 14th ranked defense in 1993. New England's defense is ranked 15th in the league even with the addition of players like Darrell Revis. Both teams were 14th in the league is points per game allowed, the Patriots 22.3 and the Chiefs 18.8.
After last Monday night's 41-14 drubbing at the hands of, ironically, the Kansas City Chiefs, people seem to think that Hall of Fame QBs aren't allowed to have rotten games every now and then. Montana certainly had his share at age 37. In '93 the Chiefs played the Minnesota Vikings in a game that had playoff implications and Montana had a terrible showing. He went 17-24 for 121 yards with two interceptions and when the game was out of reach Montana was benched and Dave Kreig came in and went 6-9 for 68 yards and a TD. The Chiefs lost 30-10. Monday night, Brady faced a near identical fate going 14-23 with 159 yards and 2 interceptions and when the game was out of reach he was benched and Jimmy Garrapolo came in and went 6-7 for 70 yards and a TD, spooky.
The good news for Brady is that if he continues this current 1993 Montana-like parallel, the future looks bright. Despite his struggle, Montana still lead his team to an 11-5 record and took the Kansas City Chiefs to the AFC Championship game before losing to Buffalo Bills. The bad news if, of course, that Montana only played one more year following that season, but don't tell Brady that.