As if Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough weren’t colossal enough, fate has added a historical element to the hyped story line.
The 44-year-old former Patriot returns to Gillette Stadium next Sunday night only 67 yards shy of the NFL’s all-time regular-season passing yardage record. In the wake of his 432-yard performance in Sunday’s 34-24 loss to the Rams (the fifth-highest single-game total in franchise history), Brady now has 80,291 regular-season passing yards.
Drew Brees owns the NFL mark with 80,358.
Of course, milestones arrive as routinely as product endorsements for Brady these days. Here are some other numbers to track as his New England return looms:
⋅ Against the Patriots, he’ll seek the 50th regular-season victory of his career since turning 40. The next four players on the list (Brees, Brett Favre, Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde) combined for 49.
⋅ Brady’s one touchdown pass Sunday gives him 155 (including the postseason) since he turned 40. With 13 more, he’ll eclipse the touchdown pass total he amassed (167) while in his 20s.
⋅ Brady now is nine regular-season touchdown passes shy of 600 for his career. Brees ranks second on the list (571).
By the numbers
1 Career rushing touchdowns by Bucs receiver Chris Godwin, who scored on a 2-yard jet sweep in the second quarter.
14 Brady’s rushing yards (on three carries), which led the team.
26 Career rushing touchdowns by Brady, who scored on a 1-yard sneak in the third quarter.
29 Career 100-yard receiving games by Mike Evans, who had eight catches for 106 yards
35 Rushing yards by the Bucs
41 Penalty yards by the Bucs
44 Venues in which Brady has started an NFL game (playoffs or regular season), according to Elias Sports Bureau. Sunday’s game was Brady’s first as a starter in Los Angeles.
The following athletes, actors and A-listers were spotted Sunday at SoFi Stadium:
⋅ Actor Anthony Anderson
⋅ Hoops legend Magic Johnson
⋅ Hoops legend LeBron James
⋅ Rapper Dr. Dre
⋅ Comedian/writer/actor Larry David
⋅ Cedric The Entertainer
⋅ Actor Jason Sudeikis and the cast of sports-comedy series Ted Lasso
⋅ Boxer Mike Tyson
⋅ Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard
⋅ Rams legend Eric Dickerson
⋅ Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield
... and a Bernard sighting
Bernard, the touted offseason free agent who was barely a factor (five targets) in the Bucs’ first two games, had his most active day as a Buc by far.
He finished with nine catches for 51 yards, the last his 7-yard touchdown catch in which he took a shot to the left knee and flipped into the end zone. But he also got blown up in the third quarter by blitzing linebacker Kenny Young, who ultimately delivered one of three sacks on Brady.
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