In just one play Sunday afternoon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady broke two NFL records, adding to his Hall of Fame career.
Brady played just five offensive series for the Bucs in their 30-17 loss to Atlanta; they didn’t need him to play the entire game with the NFC South title already clinched.
In the second quarter, Brady found Russell Gage Jr. for a five-yard pass. Normally, it’s a simple completion for plus yardage, but Brady broke the NFL record for most pass attempts and completions in a single season with that drop back and throw.
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It was the 486th completion of the season for the veteran signal caller, but that was nothing new for Brady. He broke his own record from a season ago with Tampa Bay.
The other record, his 728 pass attempt, broke Matthew Stafford’s record with the Detroit Lions in 2012, though Stafford did it in 16 games.
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Brady certainly has enough records and milestones to create a long list for his career resume, and while he only needed seven completions and 12 rebounds, reporters asked head coach Todd Bowles after the game why the starters played so long. .
«We can improve on many things that we need to work on,» he responded via Yahoo! Sports, «and we don’t need to take our foot off the accelerator.»
It’s true that the Bucs haven’t looked like themselves compared to the first two seasons Brady has been under center. They were 15th in total offense during the regular season, averaging 346.7 yards per game, most of which came through the air. They put up 269.8 yards per game while only rushing for 76.9 yards.
The Bucs have also struggled on the offensive line all season due to injuries and poor play. That has hurt the offense’s ability to allow plays to unfold downfield, forcing Brady to get the ball out fast.
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Brady also reached a milestone that he won’t flex on in his Hall of Fame speech (although it’s still pretty impressive). Going 8-9 on the year, Brady had the first losing season of his career in 23 years.
Still, the poor play throughout the NFC South worked in Brady’s favor, allowing him to make another trip to the playoffs, and they’ll have at least one home game against the Dallas Cowboys next Monday for Wild Card weekend. .
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Brady finished the regular season with 490 completions and 733 attempts, while throwing for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns for nine interceptions with a 66.8 completion percentage.