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Is Brady on pace for one of his best statistical seasons ever?

/ by Darren Hartwell
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Tom Brady is making quick work of that steep learning curve.

The 43-year-old quarterback admitted it'd be challenging learning a brand-new Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this offseason after 20 years with the New England Patriots. Those challenges were evident in his first two games with Tampa Bay, in which he threw three touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Since then? Brady has posted gaudy numbers comparable to nearly any campaign from his Patriots heyday.

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Here are Brady's stats through seven games with the Bucs, who boast a 5-2 record:

176 completions (3rd in NFL) 

268 attempts (4th) 

1,190 passing yards (6th)

18 passing TDs (2nd) 

Four interceptions

102.7 passer rating (10th)

And here's some context behind those numbers: Only twice in his career has Brady thrown 18 or more touchdown passes through his first seven games -- in 2007 and 2015.

Brady won NFL MVP in 2007 and led the NFL in passing TDs in 2015.

Brady's fast start begs the question: If the GOAT continues at his current pace, how will his first Bucs season stack up with his best Patriots campaigns?

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Below are Brady's projected numbers this season based on his current pace, followed by where those numbers rank among his best seasons with the Patriots in parentheses:

402 completions (T-most in career)

612 attempts (5th-most)

4,366 yards (7th-most)

41 passing TD (2nd-most)

 

9 INT (T-11th-fewest)

102.7 passer rating (7th-best)

Brady is on pace to complete more passes than in any season outside 2015 and throw more TD passes than in any season outside his record-breaking 2007 campaign.

So, depending on your preferred metrics, the six-time Super Bowl champion realistically could have one of the five best seasons of his 21-year NFL career.

There's obviously still plenty of season left for Brady to taper off. But it's still remarkable that he's playing at such a high level at age 43 on a new team -- all while his former club wallows in QB mediocrity.