In the National Football League, Tom Brady is a very old man.
When he takes the field Sunday night — with his Tampa Bay Buccaneers still hoping to make the postseason — he will be 45.4 years old, six years older than the next-oldest starter in the N.F.L. and the oldest starting quarterback in the league for the seventh season in a row.
In a league where most quarterbacks last about four seasons, Mr. Brady is in his 23rd. It is safe to call him the top 1 percent in terms of age for starting quarterbacks, or even the top 0.1 percent. He is, himself, the end of the distribution.