In an ESPN.com Insider piece that probably isn't going to be popular with Patriots fans, KC Joyner writes that both the numbers and anecdotal evidence point to Tom Brady as a quarterback in decline. Here is an excerpt:
At first glance, this might not look to be the case. After all, Brady ranked second in the league in Total QBR, fourth in passing yards and touchdown passes and was tied for first in interception percentage.
Good as those figures are, they belie some disturbing trends. Brady's yards per attempt (7.6) and completion percentage (63.0) were his lowest since 2006 and his touchdown percentage (5.3) was his lowest since 2009.
He also showed a significant statistical drop down the stretch, as his December numbers in YPA (7.0), completion percentage (58.5) and touchdown to interception ratio (10-to-5) were the worst monthly totals of his 2012 season.
It isn't just the numbers where Brady started to show some regression.
He looked painfully slow in the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore. This was especially evident on a fourth-and-4 play in the fourth quarter when it looked like Brady had plenty of room to scramble for a first down inside the Ravens' 15-yard line. Instead, he ran sideways, looked behind him to see if anyone was closing in and eventually chucked the ball well short of his receiver in the end zone.
Your turn: Do you view Brady as a quarterback in decline? Vote in the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments section.