Tom Brady Has Passed for 100,000 Yards. Sort Of.
In the wake of the New England Patriots’ 42-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, I was struck by how few of the game’s highlights the quarterback would later credit with his success. During his first season following his torn ACL, Brady threw 33 touchdowns. In the next season, he threw 34. In a span of nine games between the seasons, he added 11 more. His overall record, which included the Patriots’ postseason performance, was 29-3. He never threw for fewer than 300 yards in a game.
In 2012, Brady threw for 478 yards against the Green Bay Packers, and in 2013, he threw for 474 against the Chicago Bears. His other records, however, have been set by other quarterbacks.
On December 19, 2009, Brady set the NFL record for most passes thrown during a season with 35 in a game. He also set a league record for most passes thrown in a season with 24, breaking Roger Staubach’s record of 23 set in 1965 and held by Joe Montana.
He did it the same way that he set the record for most passes thrown in a season—he threw six passes in the game’s final two minutes.
His six passes, to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, were a first since 2005, when he threw them vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At the time, Brady held the record for most career 30-yard pass plays with 515 (since tied by his ex-teammate and fellow Patriot, Drew Brees, who got 527). However, he tied Roger Staubach by taking 27 consecutive 30-yard passes in a row. He tied his own record for most consecutive completions of 30 yards or more in a career, which he set in 1982, with his 34th pass on December 22, 2011. Brady’s 41 touchdown passes in 2005 and 2006 tied Staubach for the record.
This is the same way in which he has held the record for most consecutive completions of 300 yards or more in a season. (He won it in 2006 with his 33 completions, which left him with a total of 307 completions in a season, breaking the previous record of 306 set by Dan Marino in 1988.)
It’s very striking. It tells you two things: One, that he is a fantastic quarterback, and that he can