Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will return to New England on Sunday night and achieve an impressive accomplishment: He’ll break the all-time NFL record for career passing yards.
Brady currently has 80,291 passing yards in his career, meaning he needs just 68 yards to break the all-time record of 80,358 yards, held by Drew Brees.
How unlikely is it that the Patriots will keep Brady from passing for 68 yards? Consider that in Brady’s 347 career starts (302 regular season and 45 postseason), he has only finished with less than 68 yards once, and that was in a meaningless Week 17 game when the Patriots had already clinched their playoff seed and Brady only played briefly. Even in the game when Brady tore his ACL in 2008, he had 76 yards before his injury.
The career passing yardage record changed hands from Brett Favre to Peyton Manning in 2015 and from Manning to Brees in 2018, so with Brady poised to break it in 2021, it’s been broken every three years. But once Brady breaks the record, he’s going to own it for many, many years. Brady is showing no signs of slowing down, so he’ll likely add many thousands of passing yards to the record, and no one else is particularly close: Ben Roethlisberger, who’s second behind Brady among active players, is almost 20,000 yards behind Brady. And Roethlisberger doesn’t look like he has 20,000 more yards left in him.
It’s a record Brady will own for many years, and it’s appropriate that he’s breaking it in New England.