You probably know Tom Brady is the GOAT and holds nearly every regular season, playoff and Super Bowl passing record under the sun. Yet there are a few other facts you have to see that will probably make your jaw drop. Below we examine 12 of the wildest facts of Brady’s 23-year NFL career as he officially retired Wednesday at age 45.
1. No NFL team had a winning record against Tom Brady
That’s not a typo. The winningest player in NFL history did not have a losing record against any team, including the playoffs. He is also one of four players to beat all 32 teams, along with Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
2. Brady had three Hall of Fame careers in one
This pretty much speaks for itself, but you should also know Brady had more touchdown passes in his 40s (193) than Troy Aikman had in his entire 12-year career (165).
3. Brady never played a snap where he was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention
Even when he did not make the postseason in 2002, he was not officially eliminated from playoff contention until results on the final day of the season eliminated the Patriots after they had already played.
4. Brady had 50.7 miles worth of passing yards (89,214)
That’s enough to make it up and down Mount Everest four times and back up a fifth time. Mount Everest, the highest point above sea level on Earth, is 5.5 miles up.
Brady also had more passing yards (89,214) than Joe Montana and Steve Young combined (73,675), and nearly 40,000 more than the rest of the 2000 draft class combined (49,548).
5. Brady won a ring for every QB drafted ahead of him in 2000 (six), plus one for himself
Brady’s seven championships are the most in NFL history. Not bad for someone drafted 199th overall in 2000. There were six QBs selected ahead of him (Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, Spergon Wynn), meaning he won enough rings for each quarterback and he would still have one for himself.
6. Brady had a better percentage reaching the Super Bowl than Stephen Curry making a 3
Brady reached the Super Bowl 10 times in 21 seasons as a full-time starter (this excludes 2000 when he was a backup and 2008 when he tore his ACL in Week 1). Thus, he was more likely to make the Super Bowl (48%) than the greatest 3-point shooter of all time — Stephen Curry, who owns a 43% lifetime 3-point percentage — is at making a 3.
7. Six players who began their careers after Brady already entered the Hall of Fame
During Brady’s illustrious 23-year run, six other NFL players were enjoying great careers as well. In fact, those six — LaDainian Tomlinson (2017), Ed Reed (2019), Troy Polamalu (2020), Steve Hutchinson (2020), Calvin Johnson (2021) and Richard Seymour (2021) — all made the Hall of Fame before Brady completed his storybook career.
8. Brady was the last active pro athlete drafted by the Montreal Expos
Brady’s retirement means there are no more active pro athletes drafted by the Expos. He was taken in the 18th round by Montreal in 1995.
9. Brady has the second-most receiving yards in NFL history after turning 40
Brady had six receiving yards in his 40s, thanks to a six-yard catch against the Titans in 2018. That’s still good enough to be the second-highest total after turning 40 in NFL history behind Jerry Rice.
10. Brady will make more as a broadcaster than he did in his NFL career
Brady has the most career earnings in NFL history ($333 million), but is set to make more as a broadcaster.
11. There’s only one holdover on the NFL’s top-10 pass TD leaderboard from 2000
Brady’s career lasted so long that there’s only one player in the top 10 on the all-time touchdown passes leaderboard today, also ranked top 10 when Brady entered the league in 2000. That’s Dan Marino, who was the NFL’s all-time leader in that category when Brady was drafted, and now ranks seventh.
There have been 217 individual 4,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history, and 179 of them (82%) came since Brady entered the league in 2000.
12. Brady won six playoff games when passing 50+ times, double all others in league history combined
Usually when you have to throw 50 times in a playoff game, your team is getting hammered and your racking up garbage-time stats. But for Brady, no deficit was ever out of reach. He was 6-4 (.600) in his playoff career when attempting 50 passes, including a 25-point comeback win in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons when he threw 62 times. All other players in postseason history are 3-34 (.081) when passing 50 times.
Contributions from CBS Sports Research