Patriots

Tom Brady is set to break the NFL’s passing yards record against the Patriots

Brady needs just 68 yards to pass Drew Brees for the most passing yards in NFL history heading into Sunday night's game against the Patriots.

Tom Brady Patriots
Oddsmakers project Tom Brady to have a big performance against the Patriots. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a historic air about it already based on hype alone.

For one thing, it wouldn’t be remotely surprising to see the matchup between Brady and his old squad become one of the most-viewed NFL regular season games in history.

But there’s also some NFL history on the line as well.

After this past Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Brady enters this week with 80,291 career passing yards — just 68 yards behind Drew Brees for the most passing yards in NFL history.

That means the man widely thought of as the GOAT is all but certain to become the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards at some point during Sunday’s game, assuming he plays the whole game.

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And he’ll do it against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots — the team he won six of his seven Super Bowl titles with.

It’d be like Michael Jordan getting his 30,000th-career point against the Chicago Bulls, or what it would be like if LeBron James became the NBA’s career points leader against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Given that Brady is averaging 362.3 yards passing through three games this year, his breaking the record against the Patriots is basically inevitable. The only question is when it happens.

If you account for Brady averaging about 7.7 yards per attempt, that roughly sets the over/under at 8.5 attempts as far as when Brady sets the new mark. That means he could certainly do it by the end of the first quarter, maybe even on Tampa’s first offensive drive.

What will happen during the game should Brady make that bit of history? No one knows for certain.

The Patriots have yet to respond to a Boston.com inquiry made to the team’s public relations department Monday asking if the team has plans to honor Brady in any way should he break such a significant record on their field.

As with other notable records, like Emmitt Smith breaking Walter Payton’s all-time rushing mark, referees halted the Saints-Washington game where Brees passed Peyton Manning for the all-time lead in passing yards back in 2018.

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Of course, that happened while the Saints were at home. Brady, for all his history with Gillette Stadium, is on the road against the Patriots.

Regardless of what happens when the record falls, Patriots fans should prepare themselves: the moment is coming, and it’s going to take place with Brady as an adversary during arguably the most anticipated NFL regular-season game ever.

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