10/25 01:14 CDT Tom Brady's latest milestone is another untouchable one
Tom Brady's latest milestone is another untouchable one
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) --- Tom Brady's latest milestone is another untouchable one.
Brady became the first player to throw 600 career touchdown passes and then
tacked on two more in Tampa Bay's 38-3 rout over Chicago on Sunday.
Seven Super Bowl rings, 602 TD passes, 81,479 yards passing.
And, he's still going strong at age 44.
"Yeah, the numbers, they're staggering and they'll probably never be broken,"
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. "I say that, but who knows when the next
Tom Brady is going to come. They are staggering, but when you watch him
practice every single day, you don't see the age."
Brady is on pace to throw a career-best 51 TD passes this season as the
defending champions (6-1) aim for a repeat. Even if he called it quits now, 602
seems quite safe.
Consider this: Aaron Rodgers is fifth on the all-time list and trails Brady by
175 TD passes. Rodgers, who turns 38 on Dec. 2, would have to average 35 TD
passes per season for five more years after Brady retires to catch him. Ben
Roethlisberger (403), Matt Ryan (359) and Matthew Stafford (301) round out the
top five among the active QBs. They have no chance.
Russell Wilson is next on the active list with 277 TD passes. He's injured and
turns 33 on Nov. 29. Wilson averaged 30 TD passes over his first nine seasons.
That wouldn't cut it. He would need to throw 36 per season for nine more years
once Brady hangs up his cleats to surpass him.
Patrick Mahomes is way behind with 132 TD passes, but has been so prolific that
he could potentially challenge the record if he stays healthy and keeps playing
for at least another decade. The 26-year-old Mahomes averaged 38 TD passes his
first three seasons as a starter and is on pace to throw 44 this year despite
his recent turnover struggles. Mahomes would need to average 38 TDs for 12 1/2
more years once Brady is finished playing.
With passing numbers on the rise across the NFL and an extra game added to the
regular season, it's realistic to think single-season records will be broken
whether it's Peyton Manning's mark of 5,477 yards or his 55 TDs.
But topping Brady's career numbers requires longevity and sustained excellence.
Brady's accomplishments are unprecedented in team sports. His teammates
throughout his 22 years deserve plenty of credit. Arians made sure to spread
some praise around.
"I doubt seriously that there will be another team like the one he was on for
all those years and the one he's on now because he has a bunch of individual
records in a team sport," Arians said, referring to Brady winning six Super
Bowl titles with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. "I always harp
about it, it's not just Tom, there's 10 other guys out there with him and 11 on
defense. That defense he had in New England and the defense he's got here has
helped him win a bunch of games --- those guys up front keeping him clean."
Brady doesn't miss a chance to credit his teammates.
"There's nothing about this sport that you do by yourself," Brady said. "It's
the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally,
every week, every day of practice. This is not a sport you can just go out
there and mail it in. It takes 100% of what you have every single day to go out
there and be successful. I'm just grateful to have amazing teammates, coaches.
To be able to do it for as long as I have is really an incredible blessing in
Brady set an another record Sunday by simply showing up to face the Bears and
22-year-old rookie Justin Fields, making it the largest age gap between
Fields, the 11th overall pick in the NFL draft, had a miserable day. He threw
three interceptions and fumbled three times, losing two.
Meanwhile, Brady tossed four TD passes on a day he wasn't particularly sharp.
He tied a career-high with six consecutive incomplete passes at one point right
after connecting with Mike Evans for No. 600.
"There's a lot of room to improve on what we're doing, so we're just going to
keep trying to get better," Brady said.
It's that mindset of never being satisfied, not even after a 35-point victory,
that separates Brady from everyone else.
He's done it all and he's not done doing more.
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