In his 18th season in the National Football League, Tom Brady has collected his third NFL Most Valuable Player distinction. The veteran quarterback for the New England Patriots won the award after his 2007 and 2010 seasons. Brady’s three MVP awards put him in elite company. Jim BrownBrett Favre, and Johnny Unitas each won the award thrice during their illustrious careers. Peyton Manning, the ever-present comparison for Brady in the conversation for greatest of all time, maintains a strong lead with five league MVP awards.

The spotlight has followed every one of Tom Brady’s moves this season. From preseason speculation about his aging frame to the fireworks of yet another playoff comeback win, Brady has been a topic of heated debate throughout 2017. He emerged as a favorite to win the award early in the season and never looked back.

At 40 years old, Brady becomes the oldest player in NFL history to take home the award. He beat out Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley. Gurley was announced as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year earlier today after leading the league in yards from scrimmage and rushing/receiving touchdowns. Wentz suffered an ACL tear late in the season, but his stellar play up until the injury kept him in the MVP race until the very end.

The Patriots suffered a number of big-name injuries on both sides of the ball as the season progressed, a microcosm of the NFL’s injury-riddled year. In spite of this, Brady’s outstanding play during the regular season led the Patriots to their ninth straight AFC East Division title and eventually to an NFL-record tenth Super Bowl appearance. He led the league in both passing yards and passing attempts. He ranked in the top three across the league in completions, touchdowns, pass interception percentage, and total QBR. He also cracked the top five for passing touchdown percentage and completion percentage among eligible quarterbacks.

The potential for additional hardware in Brady’s trophy case does not end tonight. Tomorrow, the league’s top player will take the field as the favorite to win Super Bowl LII, what could be his sixth Super Bowl win. Brady was awarded Super Bowl MVP for his miraculous comeback in Super Bowl LI last year.

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