FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — There was no fanfare, no game stoppage. Well, not by the league, anyway.
With 6:10 remaining in the first quarter Sunday night and the man he took the record from on a sideline in a sharp suit, Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader.
A 28-yard completion to Mike Evans gave the seven-time Super Bowl champion 80,358 career passing yards.
Brady took a timeout immediately after the play, but it was to reset his offense as it tried to get its first touchdown of the game.
There was no fanfare, unless you consider a very quick slide shown on the big screens inside Gillette Stadium, with pictures of Brady in his Buccaneers uniform and his New England uniform, and an acknowledgement of the record from the in-house announcer which spurred an exceedingly brief, “Brady! Brady!” chant.
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2021
The Bucs couldn’t finish the drive with a touchdown, but took the lead on a 29-yard field goal from Ryan Succop, and things moved on.
Brees, who had held the passing yardage record since 2018 when he broke Peyton Manning's mark, told ESPN Buccaneers reporter Jenna Laine this past week he's all for Brady — whom he's known since the two were Big Ten college quarterbacks, Brady at Michigan and Brees at Purdue — eclipsing him.
"I'm a firm believer that records are meant to be broken," Brees said.
One thing Brees had going for him is that he broke the record at the Superdome, in front of Saints fans, with a 62-yard touchdown on "Monday Night Football."
Brady was in the weird position of breaking it in New England, but in a uniform different than the one he'd worn for 20 years and six Super Bowl wins.
"We're going to try to stop him from gaining too many yards passing the ball," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Friday.
Given Brady came into Sunday night averaging 362.3 passing yards per game over the first three games of this season, even a valiant effort by the Patriots' defense trying to prevent Brady from gaining many yards was almost certain to come up short.