Jump to the present day and Brady leads the way in career passing touchdowns with 591, while Brees is second at 571.
Yet Brees still has the upper hand in another category even though he retired following the 2020 season.
That category is all-time passing yards, where Brees leads the way with 80,358.
Right behind him is Brady, with 80,291.
That means Brady’s return to New England this Sunday will also feature a record-breaking moment for the fans in attendance.
As if there was not enough anticipation for Tom Brady’s return to play the Patriots next week already, there’s also history on the line.
Brady needs just 68 passing yards to pass Drew Brees (80,358) for the most in NFL history.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 27, 2021
Setting this record in New England is fitting given all his success there before heading south to Tampa Bay.
Finally Cementing His Spot
Brady surpassing Brees means his record his going to be safe for a long time.
The two legendary quarterbacks are the only ones in NFL history to reach the 80,000 mark.
In fact, only two others have even eclipsed 70,000 yards.
The next closest active quarterback to Brady is Ben Roethlisberger, with just over 61,000 yards.
So he is obviously not going to catch up before he hangs up his cleats for good.
Matt Ryan follows him, with right over 56,000 yards.
As for young quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes will be one to keep an eye on as his career progresses.
The NFL has added a 17th game, meaning his quest got a bit easier.
But he is still sitting at just over 15,000 yards and he needs to piece together a legendary career to catch Brady.
The point here is that what Brady and Brees accomplished is almost mind-blowing.
It took Brady until the age of 44 to reach this point, while Brees himself played into his 40s.
That is simply not possible for so many players, and plenty may not even want to play that long.
This speaks to the drive and intensity seen from Brady as his career continues on.
How Far Can He Go?
Brady’s next quest is to reach 90,000 career passing yards.
He can certainly get there if he plays through the 2023 season and continues to finish with around 4,000 yards per year.
Health is going to be the key factor for him, because one injury is the thing that changes his desire to never retire.
If he does reach 90,000 yards, a 17th game may not matter for those trying to chase the record.
One would have to copy Brady’s strategy of being elite for over 20 years, while avoiding injury and wanting to play well past the age of 40.
Brady breaking the passing yards record in Gillette while not employed by the Patriots. Pain.
— TCL (@TitleTalkTCL) September 26, 2021
There is a reason why Brady is considered one of the best professional athletes of all time, and it will be a historic moment to see him set this record and continue to build his lead.
Doing so in New England is just too perfect.