October 5, 2021
(Reuters) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards during Sunday’s 19-17 win at New England and the 44-year-old thanked current and former team mates for helping him reach the “amazing statistic”.
Brady was back at the Patriots’ home for the first time since he left them in 2020 after two trophy-laden decades, during which he picked up six of his seven Super Bowl titles.
He marked his return by surpassing Drew Brees’ mark of 80,358 yards, his 269 yards against the Patriots giving him a career total 80,560.
“I think it’s an amazing statistic in that so many people can share in it with me. A quarterback doesn’t throw and catch. A quarterback can just throw it,” Brady told reporters.
“Passing yards have to be caught so I hope that everybody who caught passes from me over the years just had a little smile on their face … knowing they contributed to a very cool record.
“There are some people that have preceded it, Brees who I look up to, hell of a guy. Peyton Manning, who’s one of my all-time favourites. Brett Favre, Dan Marino. My team mates who caught these passes over the years, mean an awful lot to me.”
Home fans at Gillette Stadium also chanted Brady’s name when he took the field.
“I tried not to predict what was going to happen and how I would feel,” he said. “I had a few emotional moments just thinking about the people that have really meant so much to me in my life and that are a part of this community.
“Just grateful for an amazing time here. My football journey took me somewhere else, but I’m really enjoying that and great to get a win.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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