As the Patriots prepare for the 2018 season, they do so with a number of milestones within reach, both individually and as a team. Here’s a look at some of the impressive accomplishments that could be achieved this season.
■ Brady enters the 2018 season with 559 touchdowns overall (488 in the regular season and 71 in the postseason) and needs 21 touchdown passes in 2018 to move past Peyton Manning to become the all-time leader in touchdown passes.
■ Brady has 223 career victories (regular season and postseason) and needs three wins in 2018 to move past former teammate Adam Vinatieri (225) for the most wins all-time by an NFL player. Although Vinatieri is still playing, it’s a safe bet the Patriots will have more wins than the Colts.
■ Brady has thrown touchdowns to 68 different players in his career, two behind Vinny Testaverde’s NFL-record 70 different targets. Given the influx of new receivers, this would seem to be a given.
■ Brady enters the 2018 season tied with Drew Brees for third all-time with 488 regular season touchdowns and needs 12 touchdowns to become the third player to reach 500 touchdowns. He would join Manning (539) and Brett Favre (508). Barring injury, reaching 500 touchdowns and surpassing Favre should be a layup.
■ Brady enters the 2018 season with 66,159 career passing yards. He needs 3,841 yards this season to become the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 70,000 career passing yards. This is within reach, considering that Brady threw for 4,577 yards last season.
■ Brady has started 251 regular season games at quarterback. If he starts all 16 games in 2018, he will move past Manning (265) and be second all-time with 267 starts, behind Favre (298).
■ Brady is entering his 19th season with the Patriots. He will join Jim Marshall (19-Minnesota), Bruce Matthews (19-Houston/Tennessee), Darrell Green (20-Washington), Jackie Slater (20-LA Rams) and Jason Hanson (21-Detroit) as the only players with at least 19 seasons with the same organization.
■ Belichick has an NFL-best five Super Bowl titles as a head coach. If he wins one more championship, he will join George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only NFL coaches with six championships since the league began postseason play in 1933.
■ Belichick enters the 2018 season tied for third all-time with Tom Landry with 250 career regular season wins, behind Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318).
■ Gronkowski has several milestones within reach, provided he stays healthy. He needs one more 1,000-yard season to move past Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten for the most 1,000-yard seasons by an NFL tight end with five.
■ Gronkowski enters the 2018 season with 7,179 receiving yards, ninth all-time among NFL tight ends. He needs 802 yards to move into the top five among all tight ends in NFL history. He needs 281 yards to move past Wes Welker (7,459) into second place all-time on the Patriots receiving yards list, behind only Stanley Morgan (10,352).
■ Gronkowski has 474 receptions entering this season. He needs 26 receptions to become the 14th NFL tight end to reach 500.
■ Matthew Slater has earned seven Pro Bowls as a special teams player, matching former Buffalo Bill Steve Tasker for the most special teams Pro Bowl honors in NFL history. He is the first with seven straight special teams Pro Bowl honors.
■ If Stephen Gostkowski leads the NFL in scoring in 2018, he will set the NFL mark for most seasons leading the NFL in scoring with six, moving past Don Hutson (5) and Gino Cappelletti (5). Gostkowski has led the NFL in scoring in 2008, 2012-14 and 2015.