FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady moved into a third-place tie with Brett Favre and Drew Brees on the NFL’s all-time list for most game-winning drives, notching his 43rd in Sunday night’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
To wide receiver Josh Gordon, nothing seemed different in the huddle when the Patriots took over at their own 25-yard line with 3:03 remaining.
“He has a certain calmness to him in a high-pressure situation. Not everybody has that,” Gordon said. “I think when he displays that, other guys feel better about what they’re supposed to do, knowing that we’re in good hands.”
The Patriots have been feeling that way since 2001.
Consider what else Brady accomplished Sunday night:
He became just the fourth player, and first quarterback, to reach 200 regular-season wins. He trails George Blanda (209), Adam Vinatieri (206) and Gary Anderson (201).
He moved into first place for most career wins including the playoffs with 227, breaking a tie with Vinatieri.
He finished 24-of-35 for 340 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions, and is third in NFL history with 84 300-yard games (behind Drew Brees’ 112 and Peyton Manning’s 93). The Patriots are 70-14 when he throws for at least 300 yards.
He moved past Favre into second place for most passing yards all time (including playoffs), needing 50 entering the game. He now has 77,984 passing yards, with only Manning (79,279) ahead of him.
“I have the ultimate respect for Tom and everything he did this game and his whole entire career,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who nearly outdueled him in a 43-40 loss. “He’s had success in this league because he’s won games with last-minute drives like that.”
And now Brady is closing in on another mark, one that he playfully referenced on his Instagram account last week – 1,000 yards rushing in his career. He needs 17 to hit the mark, helping his cause with a determined 4-yard scramble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t know what happened,” Brady said. “They doubled three guys on the play, and I’m just glad. I got close to the goal line and figured I’d just try to get it in.”
Bill Belichick called it a “big touchdown run” and “not the guy you think you’re going to get that from.”
Already this season, the 41-year-old Brady has become the third quarterback in NFL history to throw 500 career touchdowns, and he has thrown at least one touchdown to 71 different players, the most TD targets by a quarterback.
And a bit more: Brady is in his 19th season with the Patriots, joining Jim Marshall (19, Minnesota), Bruce Matthews (19, Houston/Tennessee), Darrell Green (20, Washington), Jackie Slater (20, Rams) and Jason Hanson (21, Detroit) as the only players with at least 19 seasons with one NFL team.
When Brady came to New England, rookie running back Sony Michel was 5 years old. What Michel was part of Sunday night looked familiar to him.
“That’s how he always finishes out the game," he said, "even from when I was growing up watching him.”