Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady broke a major NFL record on Sunday, and it hardly got any attention. Perhaps because that record is likely to be broken again the following Sunday — and then broken again the day after that.
The record is the most career passing touchdowns, which is now owned by Brady with 559. The record previously belonged to Drew Brees, who currently has 558.
When Brees and the Saints play on Sunday against the Bears, Brees (who averages about two touchdown passes a game this season) is likely to break the record once again. And then Brady and the Buccaneers play on Monday night against the Giants, and Brady may again break the record.
It’s easy to see Brady and Brees passing the record back and forth several times this season. But that shouldn’t detract from how special the record is, and how decades at a time used to pass without the record being broken. Here’s how the career passing touchdown record has progressed:
Fran Tarkenton broke Johnny Unitas’s career record of 290 passing touchdowns in 1975. Tarkenton held the record through his retirement with 342 touchdown passes.
Dan Marino broke Tarkenton’s record in 1995 and held the record through his retirement with 420 touchdown passes.
Brett Favre broke Marino’s record in 2007 and held the record through his retirement with 508 touchdown passes.
Peyton Manning Broke Favre’s record in 2014 and held the record through his retirement with 539 touchdown passes.
Brees broke Manning’s record in 2019, and Brady was right behind him. Brady broke Brees’s record on Sunday, with Brees right behind him. Expect to see this record continue to fall, and end up with whoever retires last.