How successful are quarterbacks after the age of 40?

With the 42-year old Tom Brady signing with the Bucs to be their starting quarterback for the next two seasons, I was intrigued by how many other quarterbacks later in their career have signed with another team?

What kind of success did they have?

Brady will be 43 years old when the 2020 season starts. He is a 20 year veteran and has played his entire career with the New England Patriots.

He will go down as the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL.

He has won six Super Bowls.

But what kind of success can we expect from a 43 year old quarterback who is the twilight of his career?

There have been a handful of NFL quarterbacks who played into their 40’s with little success

Matt Hasselback, Joe Ferguson, Jim Hart, Warren Moon, Vince Evans, and Mark Brunell have all played into their 40’s with limited success.

A few have gone on to have a great season or two after the age of 40 but not many.

There also have not been many quarterbacks who have switched teams late in their career and gone on to have great success with their new team after the age of 40.

How about the gunslinger Brett Favre who had an outstanding career with the Green Bay Packers? 

Favre won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 1995, but left Green Bay after Aaron Rodgers was awarded the starting job for the 2008 season. 

Favre played for the New York Jets during the 2008 season, before going to Minnesota for the 2009-2010 seasons. 

The 40 year old Favre had one of the best seasons in NFL history for a quarterback over 40, leading the Vikings to a 12-4 record in 2009.

Favre passed for 4,202 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

In 2010 father time caught up with Favre who was 41 at the time and he went 5-8 as a starter throwing 11 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. 

Favre was 17-12 as a starter after the age of 40.

Let’s look at 40 year old Drew Brees. Even though Brees missed six games with a broken thumb in 2019, he still led the Saints to an 8-3 record as a starter with 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions.

Pretty remarkable for a 40 year quarterback who will be 41 when the 2020 season begins.

Brees will be back for his 20th season in 2020 and will be matched against Tom Brady twice this season.

Earl Morrall who was 38 years old in 1972 leading the Dolphins to a 9-0 record as a starter on the Super Bowl winning team passed  for 1360 yards with 11 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

Morrall played his last game in 1976 at the age of 42 going 10/26 for 128 yards.

Mark Brunell who had a very good career with the Jacksonville Jaguars finished his career with the New York Jets in 2010 and 2011. Brunell threw his last pass in 2011 at the age of 41 and threw just 16 passes his last two seasons with the Jets.

Warren Moon who was 44 at the time played in two games with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000 completing 15/34 passes for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Moon went 15-18 as a starter after the age of 40.

Vinny Testaverde, the Buccaneers number one pick in the 1987 draft, took his last snap with Carolina Panthers in 2007. In six games Testaverde went 2-4 as a starter throwing for 952 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Testaverde played in 32 games after the age of 40 going 8-17 as a starter.

George Blanda played until the ripe old age of 48 retiring from the Oakland Raiders in 1975.

Blanda was used primarily as kicker late in his career, but did throw 235 passes after the age of 40 completing 119 with 23 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions.

Steve DeBerg  has  the distinction of the oldest quarterback ever to start an NFL game.

DeBerg was with the Atlanta Falcons and made a start on 10/25/98 against the New York Jets at the age of 44 years, 249 days.

DeBerg’s Falcons lost to the New York Jets 28-3 going 9/20 for 117 yards and one interception.

Now lets look at Tom Brady. As a 42 year old quarterback with the Patriots last season, Brady passed for  4,057 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

So what can we expect from Tom Brady this season as Buccaneer quarterback?

Brady is 36-12 as a starter since he turned 40, with 85 touchdown passes and 27 interceptions. Brady will just continue to add to those numbers this season.

Brady won his last Super Bowl in 2017 and is the only quarterback over the age of 40 to win a Super Bowl. 

Brady is in phenomenal shape. He takes great care of himself and is still one of the hardest working players on the team.

Father time has a way of catching up with all of us. But playing with the best group of receivers and tight ends he has ever played with, Brady is primed for a good season.

This offensive line is an upgrade over what Brady had to work with last season.

Many are already predicting a deep playoff run for the Bucs.

The Bucs are 14:1 odds with Dallas as favorites to win the Super Bowl this season.

Brady should have another great season, continuing to add to his stats and legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time.

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