Almost two decades to his first NFL start, which was the birth of the New England Patriots dynasty. Arguably, one of the greatest runs in professional sports history. This past Sunday night, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady broke the league’s career passing yards record in his return to Gillette Stadium.
Brady had 80,291 career passing yards heading to the game against the Patriots. His first time stepping foot back in New England since the departure of 2020. His last pass inside the Patriots stadium was an interception for a touchdown. He only needed 68 more yards to surpass future Hall of Famer Drew Brees who had 80, 358 passing yards.
Brady’s Honored but Not Content
Brady broke the record with a 28-yard completion to Mike Evans during the first quarter. Unlike when Brees broke the record in 2018, there wasn’t much of a stoppage or celebration by the crowd of his peers. Many acknowledged the record, but prior to kickoff, the Patriots did play video tribute to Brady, per ESPN. Not to mention, the warm standing ovation that was given to Brady as he ran onto the field.
Still, Brady had a very tough game battling through that stubborn Patriots defense and the weather conditions. Nonetheless, he was able to finish with 269 passing yards with 22 completions on 43 attempts and a victory over the Pats, 19-17.
“I just think it’s an amazing statistic in that so many people can share in it with me,” said Brady, who brought the football to his postgame news conference. “Quarterback doesn’t throw and catch. The quarterback can just throw it. It’s yards. Passing yards have to be caught, so I just hope that everybody who caught passes from me over the years just had a little smile on their face tonight knowing they contributed to a very cool record.”
“There are some people who have kind of preceded it by name. Drew Brees, who I look up to, is a hell of a guy, a great player. Peyton Manning — one of my all-time favorites — Brett Favre, Dan Marino, but obviously, my teammates who caught all these passes over the years mean an awful lot to me,” Brady continued.
The Meaning of the Game to Tom Brady
Overall, the way the record was broken was poetic and extremely memorable for the long-time Patriot quarterback. The fact the record was broken all in the place in which he started, making this event much more special.