Immortality doesn't come easy. Tom Brady averaged 6.26 passing yards per attempt in 2002, his second season as an NFL starter. That ranked him 25th in the league, behind guys like Tim Couch, Patrick Ramsey and Rodney Peete.
One spot behind Brady in yards per attempt during that campaign: Drew Brees. The following season, Brees' third in the league, coach Marty Schottenheimer started Doug Flutie over Brees -- then with the Chargers -- for the final five games. Flutie was 41 years old.
This season's 25-and-under quarterbacks have battled through their share of adversity, with Robert Griffin III about to get benched. It hasn't been all that smooth for young signal-callers who have played well, like Andrew Luck and Cam Newton.
Luck and Newton, who physically mirrored one another during their performances at the NFL Scouting Combine, share a similar burden this December. They have to carry offenses with plenty of flaws.
The Colts are tough to watch at this point, which is remarkable for a team with such an entertaining quarterback. The offensive line can barely operate for stretches. Indianapolis is counting on wide receivers like LaVon Brazill and Da'Rick Rogers to step up down the stretch.
Cam Newton is supported by an outstanding defense, but Carolina's offense is worse overall than a season ago. No team has fewer explosive plays in the passing game. Newton has limited his mistakes and is good for five to six incredible plays a game, but the Panthers' offense is methodical at best. (Schottenheimer would love it.)
We want these young quarterbacks to be top-five players right away, but that's usually not how it works. Newton and Luck's progress this season has been impressively steady, but not spectacular. The lack of offensive pieces around them don't help.
Nothing revolutionary, but certainly some perspective.