Tom Brady continues to defy history, as he becomes oldest MVP in NFL history

MINNEAPOLIS — Not that Tom Brady’s résumé needed to get longer, but he’s now the oldest MVP in NFL history. By three years.

The positive history of 40-year-old quarterbacks was basically one great Brett Favre season with the Minnesota Vikings, but then Brady turned 40. Yet again, Brady rewrote history. He led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards and also had 32 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Brady got challenged for the award by Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, and we’ll always wonder if Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz would have won if not for an ACL injury. It’s Brady’s third MVP; he also won in 2007 and 2010. The record for oldest MVP winner was shared by Y.A. Tittle in 1963, Rich Gannon in 2002 and Peyton Manning in 2013. They were all 37 years old.

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The MVP was historic for more than just Brady’s age. The list of players in NFL history to win more than two MVPs is exclusive and impressive: Peyton Manning, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre, and now Brady. Manning has five MVPs, and is the only player with more than three. Brady is still playing so well, catching Manning can’t be ruled out. Brady said this week in the lead-up to Super Bowl LII that he wants to play to his mid-40s.

21 PHOTOS
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick through the years
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Tom Brady and Bill Belichick through the years
CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 18: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick holds a sideline meeting with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe during the fourth quarter of Saturday's NFL preseason game with the Carolina Panthers played in Charlotte. (Photo by John Bohn/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, UNITED STATES: New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick (R) after their win over the St. Louis Rams 03 February, 2002 in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Patriots defeated the Rams 20-17 for the NFL championship. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick and the coaching staff give frantic last second instructions to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the final drive of the game vs. the Chicago Bears 11/10/2002. Brady went on to throw a 20 yd. touchdown pass to wide receiver David Patten to beat the Bears 33-30.� Don Lansu. (Photo by Don Lansu/Getty Images)
NFL Football - New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady against Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Championship at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Penn., on Jan. 25, 2005. Patriots won 41-27. (Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, UNITED STATES: Head coach Bill Belichick (L) of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady (R) talk 06 February 2005 after winning the Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 to win their second straight Super Bowl and third in four years. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick celebrate after 24-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers in AFC Divisional Playoff game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. on Sunday, January 14, 2007. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH - OCTOBER 20: During the Patriots practice on the practice field at Gillette Stadium, coach Bill Belichick (left) talks with Tom Brady. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 22: New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick hugs Tom Brady (#12) after winning the game against Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick applauded New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#12) after Brady's touchdown pass to New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (#85) in the fourth quarter as the Patriots took on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots confers with Tom Brady #12 during a time out in the 2nd half in a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 07: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hits a tee shot on the 13th hole as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks on during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 7, 2014 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 14: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick share a moment as the final seconds tick off the clock in their victory, which gave them their 6th straight AFC East title. The New England Patriots hosted the Miami Dolphins in a regular season NFL game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12, team owner Robert Kraft, and head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws the first pitch before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks on from left at Fenway Park on April 13, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 25: With only three days off between games, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (rear) and head coach Bill Belichick (front) will have very little time to get ready for Thursday night's game against the Dolphins. Here they are pictured on the sidelines during Sunday's game against the New York Jets in a regular season NFL football game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts with head coach Bill Belichick during the fourth quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 30: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 stand onstage during Super Bowl 51 Opening Night at Minute Maid Park on January 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 and head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate a 34-28 overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BOSTON - FEBRUARY 7: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raises a Lombardi Trophy during the rally in City Hall Plaza following the Patriots Super Bowl LI Victory Parade in Boston on Feb. 7, 2017. Head coach Bill Belichick is behind him. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 31: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 chat before a preseason game with the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Brady couldn’t be at the awards ceremony because he’s preparing to play in Sunday’s Super Bowl, his record eighth Super Bowl.

“Tom said he’s very honored and humbled he gets this award for MVP,” said Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who is on injured reserve and accepted the award on his behalf at the “NFL Honors” show. “Also, he wanted to thank his teammates, his friends, family and the Patriots organization.”

It’s somewhat surprising Brady has won just three MVPs. He has consistently played near an MVP level for more than a decade. He has received NFL MVP votes each of the last five years, the only player who can claim that. But he was beaten out the last four seasons by another quarterback: Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and then Matt Ryan. Finally this season Brady got his third.

Brady’s age is a big part of the story. Even with players extending their primes due to better training methods, Brady’s record as oldest MVP might hold up for a long time – and it’s still possible he breaks his own record before he retires. What he did this season was very rare: Among 40-year-old quarterbacks who have started at least nine games in a season, only two before Brady this season posted a passer rating above 76. Favre had a 107.2 rating in 2009 and Warren Moon had an 83.7 in 1997. Brady’s 102.8 rating this season shows he’s playing as well as ever.

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While Brady’s numbers slumped a bit late in the regular season, in the playoffs he put to rest any notion that he’s slowing down. Brady threw for 627 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in two playoff wins. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top-ranked pass defense in the AFC championship game, he threw for 290 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead a fourth-quarter comeback win.

The argument about Brady’s place in NFL history has been pretty much settled. After five Super Bowl wins and 17 years of sustained greatness, his resume is unmatched. A third NFL MVP, especially one at 40 years old, solidifies his legacy even further.

19 PHOTOS
Tom Brady with his children
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Tom Brady with his children
HOUSTON - FEBRUARY 5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds his daughter, Vivian, on the podium as he waits to speak following winning Super Bowl LI. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in overtime in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb 5, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with wife Gisele Bundchen and daughter Vivian Brady after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and his daughter Vivian Brady hug after the game against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. The Patriots won 34-28. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: Tom Brady of the New England Patriots celebrates with his son Benjamin during the Super Bowl victory parade on February 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - FEBRUARY 5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates winning Super Bowl LI with his son. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at NGR Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOUSTON - FEBRUARY 5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and his son celebrate with the Lombardi trophy after the Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after winning Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 17: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#12) embraces his son, John Edward Thomas Moynahan, after today's joint practice with the Chicago Bears. The New England Patriots held a dual practice with the Chicago Bears during Patriots training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Aug. 17, 2016. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 17: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#12) with his son, John Edward Thomas Moynahan, after today's joint practice with the Chicago Bears. The New England Patriots held a dual practice with the Chicago Bears during Patriots training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Aug. 17, 2016. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Tom Brady and kids are seen out in Manhattan on April 28, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Tom Brady step out of his NYC apartment on May 15, 2016 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots kisses his son Benjamin during a Super Bowl victory parade on February 4, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates defeating the Seattle Seahawks with his wife Gisele Bundchen and son Benjamin during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Tom Brady is seen leaving DeSano Pizza with his son Benjamin Rein Bundchen Brady on February 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Pixplus/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 12: Tom Brady is seen at a local playground with his son, Benjamin Brady, and dog Lua on January 12, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Stickman/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 12: Tom Brady is seen at a local playground with his son, Benjamin Brady, and dog Lua on January 12, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Stickman/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 07: Tom Brady and sons John Moynahan and Benjamin Brady are seen on December 07, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Stickman/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 8: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady carries his son Benjamin off the practice field at the end of today's practice with the New Orleans Saints during training camp. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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