Tom Brady and his 50 Receivers

Elsa

Taking a quick look at the players who have caught a Tom Brady touchdown pass.

With his first touchdown reception as a Patriot yesterday, Danny Amendola became the 50th NFL player to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady. It was a great read and throw on a busted coverage that helped to swing the momentum over to New England side of the field, where it would stay for most of the game.

Quickly after that touchdown, we all learned that Tommy B has now thrown a TD pass to 50 different guys throughout the years. Of course, that fact quickly led to questions as to who the other 49 were and just how many TDs they caught from Tommy B over the years. As expected, ESPN Boston's Field Yates didn't waste any time breaking out the list of every Patriot to have caught a Brady-thrown touchdown, which you can read in full here.

Reading this list was something of a mini stroll down memory lane, as it brought to mind a number of memorable receptions. David Patten in the end zone during Super Bowl XXXVI. Jabar Gaffney over Anthony Smith on a Brady-to-Moss-to-Brady trick play. Brandon Tate on a comeback route against the Brett Favre-led Vikings. The Brady-to-Moss bomb against the Giants that simultaneously gave Tommy B the record for most TD passes thrown in a single season and Moss the record for most TD receptions in a season. Brady has certainly thrown some memorable touchdowns over the years, some of which I had completely forgotten about (everyone remember Tim Dwight?).

But perhaps what surprised me most about Yates's list was that, out of the 50 players who have caught a Brady touchdown, only 12 ever caught more than 10. Brady has thrown so many touchdowns in his career, I was surprised to learn that so few guys had double-digit scoring receptions. Here is that list:

Deion Branch (24)
Troy Brown (15)
Kevin Faulk (10)
Christian Fauria (13)
David Givens (12)
Daniel Graham (17)
Rob Gronkowski (39)
Aaron Hernandez (18)
Randy Moss (39)
David Patten (16)
Ben Watson (17)
Wes Welker (34)

Also surprising is that 35 of the players on this list caught less than five Tom Brady touchdowns:

Sam Aiken (2)
Danny Amendola (1)
Tom Ashworth (1)
Chris Baker (2)
Kyle Brady (2)
Reche Caldwell (4)
Larry Centers (1)
Cam Cleeland (1)
Alge Crumpler (2)
Andre' Davis (1)
Corey Dillon (2)
Aaron Dobson (4)
Tim Dwight (2)
Marc Edwards (2)
Heath Evans (1)
Doug Gabriel (3)
Terry Glenn (1)
Donald Hayes (2)
Chad Jackson (3)
Bethel Johnson (4)
Chad Johnson (1)
Charles Johnson (1)
Brandon Lloyd (4)
Laurence Maroney (1)
Matthew Mulligan (1)
Patrick Pass (1)
Antowain Smith (3)
Donte Stallworth (4)
Brandon Tate (2)
David Thomas (1)
Kenbrell Thompkins (4)
Shane Vereen (1)
Dedric Ward (1)
Jermaine Wiggins (3)
Danny Woodhead (4)

This list goes a very long way in showing both the insane amount of turnover at the receiver position that the Patriots have experienced, but also one of the things that makes Tommy B so good at what he does. For most of his career, he has found a way to hit whoever is open, whether that be one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game or a linebacker-turned-lineman-turned-tight end (Mike Vrabel hauled in eight Tom Brady touchdowns). And with one notable exception, none of the guys who have been on the receiving end of 10+ TD passes ever went on to duplicate the kind of success they enjoyed in New England.

You won't find many experts who don't value consistency and continuity from year to year when it comes to team building, and for good reason; being able to establish trust, build a rapport, and stay on the same page is vital to running an effective offense. That Tom Brady has still found a way to not only generate wins, but to do it with a veritable revolving door of receivers (many of them nobodies) only further cements his spot on the Mount Rushmore of NFL quarterbacks.

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