Football is often described as a young man’s game. Not surprising when the average career lasts for less than three years. But this season has seen several veterans continue to dominate their opponents despite approaching their twilight years. Let’s take a look at six veterans who are tearing it up this season.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Despite injuries to his playmakers and taking a beating behind a struggling offensive line, Brady still led the Patriots to their 12th AFC East title in 14 years and has New England primed for another top two seed in the AFC. Brady leads the league in passing yards and touchdowns with 4138 and 33 respectively. Brady looks like the epitome of defying Father Time, playing some of his best football despite being 38 years old and is one of the leading candidates for the MVP award.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer is second only to Brady in both passing yards and touchdowns with 4003 and 31 respectively. Palmer is a legitimate MVP candidate despite being overshadowed by both Brady and Cam Newton this season, even though Palmer has the Cardinals positioned as the virtual lock for the NFC’s second seed. After bouncing back from an ACL tear last season, Palmer is this year’s leading Comeback Player of the Year candidate.
Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers
Part of the reason why Carolina are undefeated is a dominant, disruptive defense. And part of the reason why Carolina’s defense is so dominant and disruptive is Thomas Davis. In his 11th season Davis leads the Panthers with 88 tackles and four forced fumbles. He also has 5.5 sacks, three interceptions and five passes defensed. Davis should be in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation, but is overshadowed by both his own team-mates and J.J. Watt.
Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets
The move for Marshall may be one of the best moves of the offseason, typically not an area in which the Jets operate. Marshall gives the Jets a true number one receiver, something they haven’t had since Don Maynard and George Sauer in the last 60s. Marshall is on course to become the first Jets receiver ever to have 100 receptions in a single season, and is also on pace to break Maynard’s 1967 franchise record of 1434 yards. Marshall is currently 5th in the league with 1187 yards.
Charles Woodson, S, Oakland Raiders
At 39 years old, Woodson is tied for 3rd in the NFL with five interceptions. He also has 14 passes defensed and a forced fumble. Not bad for a player in his 18th season. Woodson has been Oakland’s best playmaker in the secondary this season, and has also recovered three fumbles for the Raiders.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Williams has kept Pittsburgh’s running game relevant despite Le’Veon Bell’s absences. He may be 32 and a veteran of 10 seasons of punishment, but Williams is running harder and better than ever before. He is averaging 4.7 yards per carry with eight touchdowns and ranks 12th in the league with 773 rushing yards despite starting just seven games. Williams runs with great patience and vision just like Bell, meaning that the Steelers have not missed a beat. Want to read more? Check our some of our latest posts
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