New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had to carry the team down the final stretch of 2015 due to injuries across the offense. The team lost Dion Lewis to a knee injury, wide receiver Julian Edelman to a foot injury, and also had to overcome short-term losses of tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Danny Amendola.
It wasn’t supposed to be pretty, but somehow Brady found a way to compete.
In fact, Brady posted the 2nd highest passer rating in the 4th quarter and overtime in 2015, behind only Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. Brady completed 106 of 164 pass attempts for 1,367 yards, 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
And that shouldn’t come as a surprise. No quarterback has generated more fourth quarter and overtime touchdowns than Brady over the past five years. Brady has a league-leading 53 touchdown passes in late game situations, and has tacked on an extra six rushing scores.
Brady will miss the first four games of the season, but he should have the offense back on track shortly after his return.
The Patriots quarterback has the opportunity to reach a few milestones of his own this year. Brady has collected 194 wins in the regular season and postseason combined, and needs just seven more to pass Peyton Manning (200) and Brett Favre (199) for the most all time.
Brady is also jockeying with Drew Brees for position in the record books for both passing yards and touchdowns. Brady needs 3,334 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino (61,361) for 3rd most all time, but Brees will likely beat Brady to the mark.
Brady and Brees are currently tied for 3rd in all time touchdown passes with 428. They need 80 to match Favre for second place, so this record won’t fall. But Brady and Brees have both led the league in touchdown passes four times over their careers, and either could be the first in NFL history to lead the ranks in five different seasons.
Brady’s attack on the record books will likely fall behind Brees because of the suspension, but he’ll continue to toil away. Brady will continue to compete in the playoffs, when the team needs him the most, and that’s where he’ll extend his records in pretty much every quarterback category.