It might be different next season, or a month from now, or even by next week, but Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the NFL's all-time leader in regular-season touchdown passes at this very moment.
Heading into the 2020 season, Brady and the New Orleans Saints' Tom Brees were the top two players on that all-time list, with Brees in first place by a half-dozen, 547 to 541. Heading into Week Seven of the 2020 season, Brees was still in first but Brady had closed the gap to just one, 555 to 555. (To be fair, the Saints have already had their bye week, so Brady has played one more game than Brees.)
On Sunday during the early-afternoon games, Brees threw two touchdown passes in his team's 27-24 win over the Carolina Panthers. In the late afternoon, Brady followed up with four scoring throws in the Buccaneers' 45-20 victory in Las Vegas. As such, we now have this:
Most Touchdown Passes, NFL History
Brady's stat line in the Vegas win also included 369 passing yards, a 73.3% completion rate and zero interceptions, leading to a passer rating of 127.0. That marked the 41st team that Brady has finished a game with a passer rating of 125.0 or better. Only two quarterbacks have had more. The names on this list will look familiar.
Most Games with Passer Rating of 125.0 or Better, NFL History
Brady's combination of four touchdown passes and zero interceptions marked the first time a Buccaneer has done that since the 2018 season opener, when Ryan Fitzpatrick had four TDs and no picks in a 48-40 win at New Orleans. This is another category in which Brady and Brees reign supreme.
Most Games with 4+ Touchdown Passes and No Interceptions, NFL History
|Brett Favre||4 teams*||12|
(* Favre played for the Falcons, Packers, Vikings and Jets.)
The 369-yard performance was Brady's 93rd 300-yard game in the regular season. With that effort, he pulled into second place all alone on the all-time list for 300-yard games, though he has a ways to go to catch Brees on that one.
Most 300-Yard Passing Games, NFL History
The first of Brady's four touchdown passes in Las Vegas went to his long-time teammate, tight end Rob Gronkowski. It was the second straight game that those two had hooked up on a scoring play, and that allowed them to pass one legendary QB-WR combination and move closer to another unforgettable duo.
Most Touchdown Passes Between Two Teammates, NFL History
|Peyton Manning||Marvin Harrison||Colts||112|
|Phillip Rivers||Antonio Gates||Chargers||89|
|Steve Young||Jerry Rice||49ers||85|
|Tom Brady||Rob Gronkowski||Buccaneers/Patriots||80|
|Dan Marino||Mark Clayton||Dolphins||79|
Brady's second touchdown pass of the afternoon was a beautiful back-corner strike to Scotty Miller, who hauled in the 33-yard touchdown with 17 seconds left in the first half. That and another 35-yard downfield play in the second half propelled Miller to his first career 100-yard receiving game, as he caught six passes for 109 yards. Miller currently leads the Buccaneers with 365 receiving yards.
Brady's other three touchdown passes, as well as his first-quarter touchdown run and Ronald Jones' dive into the end zone late in the game were all plays of one to five yards. The Buccaneers got into five goal-to-go situations and scored touchdowns on all five. Remarkably, Tampa Bay's offense remains perfect when reaching a goal-to-go, scoring a touchdown on all 20 opportunities. That's the best in the NFL.
Highest Goal-To-Go Touchdown Percentage, NFL
All of those possessions also qualify as red-zone drives, obviously, and the Buccaneers have been among the best in the NFL in that situation, too. Tampa Bay ranks fourth in the league with a red zone touchdown percentage of 78.6% (22 of 28). However, the Buccaneers are one of only two teams that has yet to fail to score after reaching the red zone this season.
Highest Red Zone Scoring Percentage, NFL
All of that success near the goal line, particularly during a 21-point fourth quarter, helped the Buccaneers pull away from the Raiders, turning a four-point game with 13 minutes left into a 25-point final decision. Tampa Bay also defeated the Green Bay Packers by a 38-10 score in Week Six. This marks the first time in the Buccaneers' 45-season franchise history that they have won two consecutive games by 25 points or more.
The Buccaneers' defense helped produce that 25-point winning margin in Las Vegas by holding the Raiders nearly 100 yards below their per-game average coming into Week Seven. Tampa Bay's rush defense was once again very strong, particularly in holding starting running back Josh Jacobs to just 17 yards on 10 carries.
Overall, the Raiders produced just 76 yards on the ground, marking the 13th straight opponent that Tampa Bay has held below 100 rushing yards. The Buccaneers are getting very close to the post-merger record for the longest such streak.
Most Consecutive Games Opponent Held Below 100 Rushing Yards, 1970-2020
|4 tied with||11|
Inside linebacker Devin White led the Buccaneers' defensive charge with 11 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble. White now has four games this season in which he's reached double digits in tackles, which is tied for the fourth-most in the NFL and is just one off the lead. Overall, he has 61 stops, which is the sixth-most in the league. White's combination of tackles and sacks is unique; he is the only player in the NFL with 40 or more tackles and three or more sacks.
Most Tackles by Players with Three or More Sacks, NFL
It's not surprising to see two Buccaneers and two Steelers on that list, as those are the NFL's two best teams at sacking the quarterback through three weeks. Tampa Bay ranks second in the league in sacks, just one off the lead.
Most Team Sacks, NFL
|2. Tampa Bay…25|
On the flip side, the Buccaneers' offensive line has only allowed eight sacks this season, including none in the last two weeks. That's tied for the third-fewest sacks allowed total so far this season.
Fewest Team Sacks Allowed, NFL
|2. L.A. Rams*…7|
|3t. Tampa Bay…8|
|3t. Green Bay…8|
|3t. New Orleans…8|
(* The Rams play the Bears on Monday night to complete the Week Seven schedule.)