Fran Tarkenton, not Brady, shows his age

At age 72, Fran Tarkenton still has his opinions on the NFL, but maybe he should start keeping them to himself.

The former quarterback said both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady aren't at the level they used to be. Tarkenton, who was a draft pick of the AFL's Boston Patriots in 1961, told the Pioneer Press that "Brady hasn't looked like Brady in two years."

Tarkenton, who had a great career with the Vikings and Giants, needs to realize just because Manning is getting old, doesn't mean you put Brady in that same category.

Tarkenton has no business putting down Brady to begin with. Tarkenton was 0-3 in Super Bowls. Enough said. If Tarkenton wants to say Brady is a bad scrambler, so be it, but to say the guy is a shadow of himself as a quarterback? Fran might be going senile.

Maybe Tarkenton was referencing Brady's ever-changing hairstyles the last two years. But I'm not willing to give Tarkenton the benefit of the doubt. Could the Patriots have used Tarkenton in the 1960s? Definitely, especially in Boston's 51-10 loss at the San Diego Chargers in the 1963 AFL championship game. But the Patriots don't need Tarkenton's opinions in 2012.

After two games this season, Brady has throw for 552 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. After examining the last two full seasons, it's hard to see where Tarkenton is coming from. In 2010, Brady was the unanimous MVP (the first unanimous winner in league history) and threw for 36 touchdowns and a mere four interceptions. New England went 14-2 and Brady finished the season with a 111.0 quarterback rating, the second highest rating in his career.

Last season, Brady completed 401 passes for 5,235 yards, 39 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 105.6 quarterback rating. The 39 touchdowns were the second highest season total of his career. Brady led his team to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl berth. Brady's completed 65 percent of his passes the last two seasons.

Tarkenton seems to be coming from left field with his statement. But upon further examination, old Fran may be right.

Tom Brady hasn't looked like Tom Brady in two years.

In the last two years, he's looked like a better Tom Brady.