Patriots

Patriots

At the young age of 42, Tom Brady earned the top spot on Pro Football Focus' quarterback rankings heading into the 2019 season. 

Steve Palazzolo, PFF's senior analyst, broke up every starting quarterback into four tiers, putting Brady with just Drew Brees and Pat Mahomes in Tier 1. Brees and Brady have been in the NFL for a combined 37 seasons and have both thrown for over 70,000 yards and 500 touchdowns, so the fact that they're still playing at an elite level is a testament to their greatness. 

Here's what Palazzolo had to say on Brady entering his sixth Super Bowl defense:

Tom Brady took a bit of a step back last year, but his three-year grade is the highest in the NFL by wide margin as is his five-year grade and his last 10-year grade, so Brady has been the best in the NFL over the last decade.

Brady had a down year to his standards in 2018, where he threw for 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, which was his highest total of picks since 2013. The Patriots leaned on the running game to set up play-action without significant receiving threats on the outside, but with the additions of Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon and N'Keal Harry, Brady has a better chance to have a bounce-back year statistically. 

After Tier 1, which Had Brady, Brees and Mahomes ranked in that order, Tier 2 consisted of six quarterbacks. 

TIER 1

Brady
Brees
 
Mahomes

 

TIER 2

Aaron Rodgers
Russell Wilson

Matt Ryan
Ben Roethlisberger

Phillip Rivers
Baker Mayfield

Rodgers probably belongs in the top tier, but after two years where he missed the playoffs in Green Bay, he'll probably have to prove himself to get back in Brady and Brees' territory. 

The last two tiers were headlined by young quarterbacks who have yet to launch themselves into elite company. Tier 3 is led by Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and Jared Goff, while Tier 4 featured Kyler Murray, Nick Foles and Sam Darnold. 

We'll see how different these rankings look once the season ends, but you can probably bank on Brady staying in the top tier until he decides to retire. 

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