Not long into his highly anticipated return to the stadium he called home for 20 years, Tom Brady took care of a bit of NFL history.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback became the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yardage in the first quarter of Sunday night’s 19-17 win against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Brady entered the night needing 68 yards to surpass Drew Brees’ high of 80,358. Brady set the mark on a 28-yard completion to wide receiver Mike Evans. He finished with 269 yards on 22-of-43 passing.
“It’s pretty cool,” Brady said in a postgame interview with NBC when asked about setting the record at his former home field. “Nothing in this sport can be accomplished without incredible teammates and coaches. I’ve just been blessed for 22 years to be with some amazing people. The quarterback can’t do anything if the guys don’t catch the ball, and guys did a great job catching the ball for me the last 22 years.”
Brees, the former New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers quarterback who set the mark in 2018, was on hand for Brady’s feat Sunday as part of NBC’s broadcast team.
“I’ve always believed that records were meant to be broken,” Brees told USA TODAY Sports this week. “So I’ve had the chance to break quite a few as well. And I know the feeling. It’s special. … You think about the career that Tom Brady has had, and it’s pretty remarkable.”
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) yells to the crowd as he takes the field to face his the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
The record is the latest in a laundry list of historic accomplishments for Brady. The 44-year-old entered Sunday owning the all-time marks for touchdown passes (591), regular-season wins (232) and Super Bowl titles (seven).
With the victory, Brady also joined Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to beat all 32 teams.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick also became the 100th different NFL coach to lose to Brady at least once.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady breaks NFL all-time record for career passing yards