Tom Brady by the numbers: Buccaneers quarterback is off to one of best starts in franchise history


Through four games into his Tampa Bay Buccaneers career, Tom Brady is off to the greatest start for any quarterback in the franchise’s 45 seasons. If it wasn’t for Ryan Fitzpatrick’s improbable run in 2018, Brady would have the greatest four-game start to a season for any quarterback in Buccaneers history.

Brady showcased in Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers he still has some game at 43 years old. Brady surpassed Warren Moon (40 years, 342 days old) as the oldest quarterback to toss five touchdown passes in a game, accomplishing the feat at 43 years and 62 days old. Only three quarterbacks have thrown for five touchdown passes in a game over 40 (Brady, Moon, and Drew Brees) with Brady becoming the first quarterback to do it twice. 

Brady finished 30 of 46 for 369 yards with five touchdowns and one interception (117 rating), throwing all five touchdown passes to five different receivers. The second half was arguably Brady’s best football since he threw for 500 yards in Super Bowl LII, as Brady completed 15 of 17 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns, finishing with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. 

The future Hall of Famer won’t be getting MVP votes for his hot start, but Brady’s play has elevated the Buccaneers to the top of the NFC South — and a Super Bowl contender in the conference. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a rich history of elite quarterback play — even though Brady is doing everything in his power to change that narrative. In this week’s “By The Numbers,” we take a dive into Brady’s strong start with Tampa Bay and the NFL records he is chasing in the next — we won’t say final — chapter of his career with the Buccaneers. 

Most Touchdown Passes — Buccaneers Franchise History (First Four Games of Season)

  1. Tom Brady (2020) — 11
  2. Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018) — 11
  3. Jameis Winston (2019) — 9
  4. Trent Dilfer (1997) — 8
  5. Jameis Winston (2016) — 8
  6. Brad Johnson (2003) — 8

Most Pass Yards — Buccaneers Franchise History (First Four Games of Season)

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018) — 1,356
  2. Jameis Winston (2017) — 1,198
  3. Jameis Winston (2019) — 1,167
  4. Tom Brady (2020) — 1,122
  5. Jameis Winston (2016) — 1,108

Highest Completion Percentage — Buccaneers Franchise History (First Four Games of Season)

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018) — 67.44%
  2. Josh Freeman (2011) — 66.9%
  3. Tom Brady (2020) — 65.16%
  4. Brad Johnson (2002) — 64.83%
  5. Brad Johnson (2003) — 64.38%

Highest QB Rating — Buccaneers Franchise History (First Four Games of Season)

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018) — 114.4
  2. Tom Brady (2020) — 99.4
  3. Jameis Winston (2019) — 95.8
  4. Brad Johnson (2003) — 92.9
  5. Jameis Winston (2017) — 92.4

NFL Pass TD Leaders (2020)

  1. Russell Wilson — 16
  2. Aaron Rodgers — 13
  3. Josh Allen — 12
  4. Tom Brady — 11
  5. Patrick Mahomes — 11

Brady putting up these numbers at 43 years old is impressive, especially considering he’s coming off decade low numbers in touchdown percentage and yards per attempt with five-year lows in completion percentage and quarterback rating. Easy to assume Brady was on the decline as he entered his mid 40s, but the change of scenery — and better offensive personnel — was just what Brady needed. Brady’s touchdown percentage of 7.1% is his highest since his MVP season in 2010 and he’s on pace for 44 touchdown passes — the most he’s had in a season since throwing for a then-NFL record 50 touchdowns in his MVP season of 2007. 

So where does Brady rank among NFL quarterbacks outside of passing touchdowns? Brady is among the bottom-12 in completion percentage and yards per attempt, but is in the top half of the league in other statistical categories. He’s in the top-15 in quarterback rating and 6th in touchdown percentage despite ranking in the top-5 in pass attempts. 

Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback to play in his 40s, owning all the significant records for quarterbacks that have actually played the game at the age of 40 or older. Drew Brees turned 40 last year, but Brady still owns the record for most passing yards (4,577) in a season for any player over 40 years old. Brady is on pace to shatter Brett Favre’s record of most touchdown passes in a season after turning 40 (Favre had 33 touchdown passes in 2009), but Brees having the highest passer rating for a player 40-or-over at 116.3 (2019) appears to remain intact for a long time. 

Regardless how long Brees plays, Brady seems set to own every passing record for quarterbacks over 40 — and he has another year on his contract with Tampa Bay to add on to these impressive numbers. 

Most Quarterback Wins After Turning 40

  1. Tom Brady — 39*
  2. Brett Favre — 13
  3. Warren Moon — 11
  4. Drew Brees — 10*
  5. Vinny Testaverde — 8

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Most TD Passes After Turning 40

  1. Tom Brady — 96*
  2. Warren Moon — 37
  3. Brett Favre — 36
  4. Drew Brees — 35*
  5. Vinny Testaverde — 24

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Most Pass Yards After Turning 40 

  1. Tom Brady — 14,111*
  2. Brett Favre — 5,874
  3. Warren Moon — 5,538
  4. Vinny Testaverde — 5,290
  5. Drew Brees — 3,985*

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Brady is still chasing some of the game’s all-time marks for quarterbacks, which may be his motivation to keep playing — outside of chasing a Super Bowl championship outside of the six he has with the New England Patriots. He just passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for the most regular season wins by any player in league history with Sunday’s win over the Chargers and is within striking distance of Brees for the most touchdown passes in a career. Brady is on pace for 44 touchdown passes while Brees is on pace for 32, so if their current pace keeps up Brady will pass Brees for the record this year. 

As for passing yards, Brees may need to retire and Brady will have to play an extra season to catch and pass him — but the passing touchdown record will be a weekly watch for the remainder of the 2020 season. 

Most Regular Season Wins

  1. Tom Brady — 222*
  2. Adam Vinatieri — 221
  3. George Blanda — 209
  4. Gary Anderson — 201
  5. Jerry Rice — 194

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Career Passing Yards Leaders

  1. Drew Brees — 78,422*
  2. Tom Brady — 75,693*
  3. Peyton Manning — 71,940
  4. Brett Favre — 71,838
  5. Dan Marino — 61,361

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Career Passing TD Leaders

  1. Drew Brees — 555*
  2. Tom Brady — 552*
  3. Peyton Manning — 539
  4. Brett Favre — 508
  5. Dan Marino — 420

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Other all-time records Brady owns in the regular season appear to be intact. Brady would have to lose 10 consecutive games as a starting quarterback for Roger Staubach to pass him for best winning percentage by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era. In other words, the Buccaneers would have to be 3-11 — and that’s highly unlikely to happen with Brady starting. 

Brady also had his 34th comeback victory facing a deficit of 10+ points, extending a NFL record that seems unlikely to be surpassed. Just more proof why Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. 

Best Win Percentage in Super Bowl Era (minimum 50 starts)

  1. Tom Brady — .774 (222-65)*
  2. Roger Staubach — .746 (85-29)
  3. Joe Montana — .713 (117-47)

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Most Comeback Victories (facing a 10+ point deficit)

  1. Tom Brady — 34*
  2. Peyton Manning — 26
  3. Drew Brees — 24*
  4. Eli Manning — 20
  5. Ben Roethlisberger — 19*

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The legend of Tom Brady continues to grow in Tampa, as the Buccaneers are becoming a relevant team again for the first time since Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden were leading the franchise to the postseason on a regular basis. With Brady leading the way, Tampa Bay is primed for their first postseason appearance in 13 years — which would end the second longest drought in the NFL. 





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