TAMPA, Fla. — Needing 164 passing yards Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady became the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 100,000 career passing yards (combined regular season and postseason).
Brady reached the milestone midway through the fourth quarter, with a 15-yard completion to running back Leonard Fournette that led to a 50-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop. Fans cheered as the Raymond James Stadium public address announcer recognized the achievement, although Brady did not look up when the video screen showed him on the sideline, staring down at his iPad as the Bucs trailed 13-9.
Brady went on to engineer a game-winning drive, with the second-latest passing touchdown in regulation of his career leading the Bucs to a 16-13 victory. Brady passed Peyton Manning for the most winning drives since the 1970 merger with 55.
Brady had said last week that the 100,000-yards milestone was just as much about the people around him as it was his own personal achievement.
“I think for me it’s a credit to all the guys that I’ve played with, and who have blocked for me, who have caught passes,” Brady said. “I think I can’t do s— in this league without guys doing what they are amazing at, too.”
It was the latest addition in Brady’s collection of NFL records that in recent years have come in particularly meaningful games.
Last year, in Brady’s Week 4 return to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to face the New England Patriots, whom he led to six Super Bowls in 20 seasons, he set the NFL’s passing yards record (regular season) in a 19-17 victory with a 28-yard pass to wide receiver Mike Evans. The record previously was held by Drew Brees at 80,358 yards.
Then in the Bucs’ Week 13 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills last season, he grabbed the NFL’s all-time completions record that also had been held by Brees, at 7,142, with a 20-yard completion to Evans in the second quarter. In overtime, Brady threw his 700th career touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 700 career touchdown passes.
“They’re great achievements, but for as much as people want to say, ‘Oh, this is what Tom Brady did,’ in my mind, this is what myself and all these other people who have contributed to my life have done as well,” Brady said.
Asked what he would have thought if someone had told him 23 years ago, as the 199th overall draft pick, that he would reach 100,000 passing yards, Brady said, “I think everybody would have said we’re crazy, including me.”
“All these kinds of lifetime achievement awards, they’re great to celebrate with everyone, and one day I’ll look back and think that it was pretty cool, although my kids probably won’t care at all,” he joked. “That’s all right. It’s a credit to all the people that I’ve played with.”
It’s a record that might not fall for decades — if ever — even with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes already amassing 24,531 passing yards entering Week 9 of his sixth season and fifth as a starter, and Bills quarterback Josh Allen at 18,030 passing yards midway through his fifth NFL season heading into Sunday.
The next closest active players are Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan, who has 64,415 passing yards but has been benched this season in favor of Sam Ehlinger, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who had 63,054 passing yards entering Sunday and will turn 39 in December.