Imagine you’re lining up across from Rob Gronkowski at Gillette Stadium on the one-yard-line, and you’re in single coverage. You know what’s going to happen. Tom Brady, with his .870 home winning percentage – best in the Super Bowl era – is going to come after you. At 37, he’s still playing as well as he ever has. He’s connected with over 50 players for touchdowns in his career, but he favors the 6’7″ Gronkowski more than almost anyone else. Brady’s a lion, and you’re his steak. Good luck.

In honor of Brady vs. Manning – Round 16 last Sunday, we’re ranking Brady’s 10 best regular season games. Not surprisingly, Peyton Manning makes an appearance.

#10. Week 5 vs. San Diego Chargers (2001)

So much happened here. This was Brady’s first year starting, and after playing a couple games with the training wheels on, Brady threw the ball over 50 times to keep the 1-3 Patriots in the game against the 3-1 San Diego Chargers, with rookie phenom LaDainian Tomlinson. Boy, did Brady deliver. He threw his first two touchdowns in this game, the second one coming right before the end of regulation. Brady then drove the Patriots down the field for the winning field goal.

#9. Week 6 at Dallas Cowboys (2007)

Brady’s stat line for the game in Dallas: Five touchdowns, no picks, 388 yards passing. Two receivers, Moss and Welker, went over 100 yards receiving. The Patriots won by 21 points. Not a bad day.

#8. Week 7 at Miami Dolphins (2007)

The very next week, again, not in Gillette Stadium, where Brady’s historically indestructible. And yet Brady recorded a perfect passer rating, throwing 21-25 for 354 yards and 6 touchdowns. He completed over 84 percent of his passes. Again, both Moss and Welker had over 100 yards receiving. Yawn.

#7. Week 1 vs. Buffalo Bills (2009)

Brady’s had so many good games against the Bills. This one’s on here because it was Brady’s first game back after missing almost all of the 2008 season with a torn ACL. Pundits weren’t sure Brady would ever be Brady again. Ha. All Brady did was come out and throw for 378 yards, completing over 73 percent of his passes, and throwing for two touchdowns in the final two minutes to get the win by one point. Brady was still Brady.

#6. Week 1 at Miami (2011)

Though we avoided putting the Bills on here multiple times, we couldn’t avoid making the Dolphins repeat offenders. Brady was just too good in these games. In this one, he threw for a Patriots franchise record 517 yards, adding four touchdowns on the day. This doesn’t rank higher because of the interception Brady also threw, making this the only game with an interception on the list.

#5. Week 9 vs. Indianapolis Colts (2007)

This was so huge. Not only was Manning vs. Brady already a household rivalry in the NFL, but both teams came into the game undefeated, the Patriots 8-0, the Colts 7-0. In the midst of a season for the ages, the Patriots couldn’t be stopped. Not only would the Patriots win this game 24-20, but they would go on to beat the Colts record-setting 2004 campaign, just to add a little insult to injury.

#4. Week 8 vs. Chicago Bears (2014)

At 37, Brady’s maybe not his very best every week anymore, but don’t tell him that. See, when the media fuels murmurings that people doubt him, or that he may soon be traded, Brady uses that for motivation and goes off on games like this: 30-35 for 354 yards, five touchdowns, no picks, 85.7 completion percentage, 98.8 QBR. So, yeah.

#3. Week 17 @ New York Giants (2007)

Does it get any sweeter? With the NFL’s first 15-0 team, the Patriots were trailing the Giants 28-16 in the third quarter. Brady then took the Patriots down the field on three consecutive drives for touchdowns, pulling ahead 38-28. Oh, and during those drives, he completed his 50th touchdown pass of the season, an NFL record at the time, to Randy Moss (you might’ve heard of him?), who simultaneously broke the record for receiving touchdowns in a season, with 23.

#2. Week 12 at Detroit Lions (2010)

Brady’s second game with a perfect passer rating. Brady threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns on route to a 42-24 victory on Thanksgiving Day.

#1. Week 6 vs. Tennessee Titans (2009)

Complete, and total domination. Brady threw for 380 yards and six touchdowns, five of those touchdowns coming in one quarter, an NFL record. Brady couldn’t miss, and the Titans couldn’t catch a cold, despite the heavy snow fall during the game. How dominant was Brady? He exited the game for good after the first drive of the third quarter. Imagine his stat line if he had kept playing.

(Image courtesy of Freepik.)