Patriots QB Tom Brady, as the closer, continues to impress teammates – New England Patriots Blog


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Matthew Slater was telling a story in the New England Patriots’ locker room earlier this week that summed up how playing with quarterback Tom Brady can be an uplifting experience, especially in pressure situations with the game on the line.

The story was from Sunday night’s 43-40 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Slater was dejected as he made his way to the sideline, his kickoff coverage unit having surrendered a 97-yard return that led to a quick Chiefs touchdown.

The score gave the Chiefs a 33-30 lead midway through the final quarter when Brady came up to Slater, knocked his fist, and said, “We’re good.”

To which Slater initially thought, “We are? It sure doesn’t feel that way.”

As Slater retold the story, he shrugged his shoulders and laughed. “I guess we were good,” he chuckled.

Then he turned a bit more serious, highlighting how Brady’s confidence in the face of adversity galvanized him and others.

“You can look in a man’s eyes and know, in pressure situations, this guy is not going to be able to handle this, he’s not going to be ready. You look into that guy’s eyes and it’s a laser-like focus,” said Slater, a team captain now in his 11th season with the club. “They haven’t always worked out for us, but you see extreme confidence in his eyes, and that’s because he’s prepared, he’s done it, and he believes in the guys around him.”

At 41 years old, Brady remains one of the game’s best closers, something that means a lot to him.

Two weeks ago, when asked during his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI if he gets better when there is more pressure (such as the playoffs), Brady said, “I don’t think I get worse.”

His teammates have happily taken notice of that.

“He’s always clutch in big moments,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said.

“There are guys that flinch and there are guys that don’t flinch. He doesn’t flinch,” added Slater. “He’s just focused on the situation and executing every play, as its own play, and not worrying about what happened the last play or what’s going to happen the next play. He has a unique ability to do that.”

At the same time, Brady is often the first to point out that any success he’s had is more of a team accomplishment. That often starts in practice.

“Preparation is a big part of that and Coach [Bill] Belichick goes over those situations ad nauseam,” Slater said. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘Man, we’re going over this again?’ And then it always comes up. It’s like he has a crystal ball.”

Brady has thrived in that ultra-detailed setting, with Sunday night’s victory over the Chiefs a shining example of it. This was highlighted in a video posted on Patriots.com, as an on-field conversation between Brady and Belichick is heard after a 39-yard catch by Gronkowski that set up the game-winning field goal.

In the video, Belichick explains that there are 17 seconds remaining in the game, and he wants Brady to center the ball to make the final 28-yard field goal easier for kicker Stephen Gostkowski. That’s when Brady asks Belichick, “Do you want to call the timeout [after that], or me?”

He’s always thinking. Always locked in.

“He obviously embraces the moment and the opportunity to go out there and attempt to do his job under pressure in those types of situations, which I think is the first thing you have to be able to do if you’re going to go out there and have some success,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said, after noting it takes a complete team effort.

“He’s a great leader under pressure like that because he stays calm, he has great poise, he’s very situationally aware. He knows the situation having gone through it a number of times — understanding the difference between having a minute and 10 seconds and no timeouts versus two minutes and 50 seconds and three timeouts. There’s a huge difference in those types of situations, and I think his experience under pressure in those scenarios, he understands what needs to be done and how long we have to do it.”

Offensive tackle Trent Brown, who is in his first year with the Patriots, said Brady’s presence has stood out to him.

“So even-keeled and cool,” he said.

But there’s plenty of fire with that as well — especially in crunch time.

“His overall competitive nature and desire to really be on the field in those situations, those are the things you hope for from your group on offense,” McDaniels said. “And he certainly does a great job of that as one of our captains.”



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Buffalo Bills to start QB Derek Anderson against Indianapolis Colts


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Derek Anderson will start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, coach Sean McDermott announced Wednesday.

McDermott said rookie quarterback Josh Allen has an elbow sprain and will not play Sunday at the Colts. McDermott added there is no plan for Allen to have surgery.

“Derek is a guy I worked with in Carolina,” McDermott said. “He brings experience, leadership presence to the table and he’s worked hard over the past week to get up to speed.”

Anderson, 35, signed last week with the Bills after spending seven seasons as the Carolina Panthers‘ backup quarterback.



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Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen won’t play against Indianapolis Colts because of elbow injury


Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen will not start Sunday against the Colts because of a right elbow injury, and there is concern he will miss weeks, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Allen was injured in Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Houston Texans.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Allen’s injury is to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. It is not considered major at this time, but his MRI will be sent to noted orthopedist specialist Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, which has become standard operating procedure. One of the Bills’ orthopedic specialists, Dr. Leslie Bisson, completed his fellowship under Dr. Andrews.

No other specific information has been revealed, but the Bills do not want to rush him back, sources told Mortensen, to allow him to properly heal despite his competitive desire to play at less than full strength.

Bills coach Sean McDermott said Monday he and his offensive staff will “work through” whether Nathan Peterman or Derek Anderson would replace Allen.

ESPN’s Mike Rodak and Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.



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New England Patriots QB Tom Brady favored for record 56th straight game


Tom Brady has set plenty of records in his illustrious career. He’ll add one more on Sunday night, courtesy of Las Vegas oddsmakers.



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Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill’s status for Sunday ‘up in the air’


Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill‘s status for Sunday’s game against the Bears is “up in the air right now,” a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brock Osweiler would start if Tannehill is unable to play.

Tannehill was listed as a limited practice participant Friday with a right throwing shoulder injury. He was listed on the injury report for the same issue Wednesday and Thursday but was a full participant in practice.

He suffered the initial injury in the Dolphins’ Week 3 win over the Oakland Raiders. He was listed on the injury report with it leading up to their Week 4 game at New England but was a full participant in practice every day with no apparent limitations. He was not listed on the injury report heading into Week 5 at Cincinnati.

Tannehill has performed poorly in ugly losses the past two weeks, with the Dolphins’ offense scoring only one touchdown in each of the past two games. Tannehill had three turnovers in the second half of last week’s 27-17 loss to the Bengals, with two of them returned for scores.

For the season, Tannehill has completed 85 of 129 passes for 972 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.



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Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hopes to avoid knee brace


GREEN BAY, Wis. — There’s good news and potentially bad news for Aaron Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback could have his top three receivers back together for Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, but he might be a little less mobile than he’d like.

Rodgers experienced what he called a setback with his ailing left knee during last Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, when he took a hit from linebacker Christian Jones on the game’s opening drive.

For the first time since he was injured in the season opener, Rodgers wore a smaller, lighter brace against the Lions. Now there’s a chance he may have to go back to the larger brace that he wore in the three games immediate following the injury.

“I hope not,” Rodgers said. “The goal would be to wear the same brace I wore last week, but I have a lot of faith in our training staff and we’re going to [use] the brace we feel is most safe and allowing me to do exactly what I’m able to do on Monday.”

Rodgers did not practice on Thursday, the Packers’ first of the week in advance of the 49ers game. That followed the same pattern as the last month. He said he hoped to practice on Friday; the past two weeks, he has taken part in that full-pads workout (which is normally on Thursday in advance of a Sunday game).

He did, however, call what happened against the Lions a setback. He threw for 442 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions but was done in by two first-half fumbles on strip sacks, marking only the third time in his career that he lost two fumbles in a game.

“Yeah, kind of a setback last week, the beginning of the week,” Rodgers said. “Got to be in the rehab group again today, got a lot of good work in with [assistant trainer] Nate [Weir] and just hoping I get back out there tomorrow and have a feel-good Friday and a practice [Sunday] and be good to go — hopefully back to where I was in Detroit.”

While Rodgers worked with the trainers, receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison were surprise participants at practice on Thursday after missing the Detroit game. Both had hamstring injuries; Allison also was diagnosed with a concussion. Coach Mike McCarthy said before Thursday’s practice that Allison had cleared the concussion protocol, but indications were both receivers would be in the rehab group.

Instead, they went through at least part of practice, meaning the trio of Cobb, Allison and No. 1 receiver Davante Adams are on the verge of a reunion. The trio hasn’t played together since Week 3 because Cobb missed the previous two games.

Against the Lions, it was Adams and three rookie receivers. Two of them, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (seven catches for 68 yards) and Equanimeous St. Brown (three for 89) made contributions, but Adams (nine for 140 and a touchdown) did the majority of the work.

“I think we can be one of the best in the league,” Adams said of the trio of himself, Cobb and Allison. “I honestly think that because obviously you know how I feel about myself and my game. Randall’s been doing this thing for a long time, longer than I have. I have the utmost respect for him, and G-Mo goes about his business as good as anybody else in the league. So the sky’s the limit for him. I feel like he has not even come close to reaching his potential. He’s shown flashes, but he can do a lot for us.”

Perhaps that will help the Packers get off to a faster start, something Rodgers has identified as a goal. Although they’re 10th in the NFL in total offense, they are tied for 18th in scoring and tied for 19th in red-zone touchdown percentage. They have been outscored 42-13 in first quarters this season and 76-43 in first halves, while averaging just 23 points per game.

“It’s definitely below, and we’ve kind of been stuck at that number,” Rodgers said. “Scored that a couple of times — 22, 24, way up to 29 in Week 2. Not quite the standard that we’ve set here over the years with the type of offense we think we can have and the type of offense we think we could have coming out of training camp.

“I told you guys Week 1 it’s going to be a work in progress; I don’t think we’re far off. I feel kind of like after Washington a couple of years ago [2016, Week 11]. We are very close to getting things going and like I said then and I’ll say again now, I feel like if we can get off to a better start on offense, it makes the entire squad play with a different type of confidence.

“We need to lead from the front as an offense and as a team and give our defense an opportunity to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback and make them a little more one-dimensional.”

A full complement of receivers and the smaller knee brace could help.



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Tom Brady third QB to reach 500 career touchdown passes


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady became the third player in NFL history to throw 500 touchdown passes, reaching the mark in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Brady connected with wide receiver Josh Gordon on a 39-yard pass with 9:19 left to join Peyton Manning (539) and Brett Favre (508) as the only quarterbacks to throw for 500 touchdowns. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on the cusp of becoming the fourth.

“Things like that, milestones and so forth, there’s so many people who contribute,” Brady said after the team’s 38-24 victory. “I just think of all the people who have really worked hard. A quarterback doesn’t throw them to himself. He needs people to catch, and block, and the defense to make plays, and coaches to coach. These are all great team awards. Pretty cool.”

In joining that exclusive club, Brady became the first player to do so while playing for only one team.

“It’s tremendous. It’s a lot of touchdown passes to a lot of different guys, too. … No quarterback I’d rather have than Tom Brady,” coach Bill Belichick said.

Brady also set an NFL record by throwing at least one touchdown pass to 71 different players, breaking a tie with Vinny Testaverde for the most in NFL history.

Gordon, who was playing in only his second game with the Patriots, said he was honored to be the 71st different player to catch a touchdown pass from Brady.

“To catch any pass from Tom is amazing, let alone some history-making catch,” Gordon said. “I told him, ‘Congratulations’ and I know there are many more from him to come. … So I am looking forward to that and the next history point to make from him. I hope to be a part of it. It was awesome.”

Brady has also thrown 71 touchdown passes in the playoffs, but those don’t count toward NFL record totals. He entered Thursday night with 568 touchdown passes when including the playoffs. Manning threw for an NFL-high 579 total touchdowns when including the playoffs.

Brady has said in the past that the only stat that matters to him is victories, and he tied Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri for most wins by a player Thursday night with 226 (including playoffs).

His teammates marveled at his accomplishments.

“It’s just surreal what he’s doing at his age, how he feels, just the work ethic he has and how he brings it every practice and every game,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said. “He just doesn’t stop. It’s an honor to be out on the field with him.”

Of Brady’s 500 touchdown passes, here are a few notable highlights:

  • His first touchdown pass was to wide receiver Terry Glenn on Oct. 14, 2001.

  • He is one of two players to throw for 50 touchdowns in a season, along with Manning.

  • His longest touchdown pass was 99 yards to Wes Welker, on Sept. 12, 2011, against Miami. There have been only 13 pass plays of 99 yards in league history.

  • He has thrown 76 touchdown passes to tight end Rob Gronkowski, his most to any player. Randy Moss, with 39, is next on the list.

  • He has thrown 68 touchdown passes against the Bills, his highest total against any team.



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New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees journey to breaking NFL all-time career passing yardage record


11/4/01: Week 8 vs. Chiefs

After being drafted with the first pick in Round 2, Brees, 22, plays in just one game as a rookie with the Chargers. He comes off the bench to replace an injured Doug Flutie. The first time he drops back to pass, he fumbles (and recovers). But he rallies and leads the Chargers back from a 19-0 deficit. His first completion is a 7-yard pass to RB Terrell Fletcher. And his first touchdown pass is a 20-yarder to WR Freddie Jones that gives San Diego a 20-19 lead before a 25-20 loss.

9/29/02: Week 4 vs. Patriots

Brees earns a starting job in his second season — and he wins his first four games, including a 21-14 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champs and a fellow young quarterback named Tom Brady. He ends the season with 3,284 yards, 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Head-to-Head: Brees vs. Brady

In five meetings between the future Hall of Fame QBs, Brees holds the advantage over New England’s Tom Brady in multiple categories. Brady does have the lead in Super Bowl titles, 5-1.

9/28/03: Week 4 at Raiders

The Chargers quarterback completes a 17-yard pass to tight end Antonio Gates in the third quarter of a Week 4 loss at Oakland, the start of a prolific pairing. Brees and Gates hooked up for 180 catches, 2,279 yards and 23 touchdowns from 2003 to ’05.

11/2/03: Week 8 at Bears

Brees is stuck on this number, 4,955, for six weeks after he gets benched during a Week 9 loss at Chicago and temporarily loses his job to Flutie. The Chargers started 1-7, and Brees wrote in his autobiography that he was “more disheartened than I have ever been” during that stretch.

10/3/04: Week 4 vs. Titans

This game has long been a career turning point for Brees. After a 1-2 start and some early struggles in Week 4, coach Marty Schottenheimer tells Brees he is one drive away from being replaced by first-round draft pick Philip Rivers. Brees responds by leading the Chargers to a 38-17 rout and a 12-4 record. He makes his first Pro Bowl and is named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Career Stats With Current Teams

The makings of a rivalry were all there when the Chargers made a draft-day trade in 2004 to bring in the quarterback out of NC State, though it never turned into that, as Rivers would spend two years behind Brees. Here are their numbers with the Saints and Chargers, respectively.

12/31/05: Week 17 vs. Broncos

Brees’ tenure in San Diego ends in devastating fashion when he suffers a 360-degree labrum tear and rotator-cuff damage in his throwing shoulder while trying to recover a fumble. The Chargers finish 9-7, and they’re willing to let Brees go since they have Rivers. Only the Saints (with first-year coach Sean Payton) and Dolphins court Brees in free agency. But the Dolphins bow out over medical concerns while the Saints offer a six-year, $60 million deal with $10 million guaranteed.

Dr. James Andrews, who performs the surgery on Brees:

“All expectations were that he had a career-ending shoulder injury. But he had such a good work ethic … He was an unbelievable comeback. And he’s still playing.”

9/10/06: Week 1 at Browns

Brees’ first completion with the Saints is an 11-yard pass to rookie RB Reggie Bush on third-and-10. His first touchdown pass is a 12-yarder to rookie WR Marques Colston in the third quarter. And the Saints kick off with a stunning 3-0 start. A funny side note: Brees still has a ball commemorating that first TD pass — and Colston’s first name is spelled wrong. Colston was an unheralded seventh-round pick, but he went on to catch 706 passes for 9,709 yards and 72 TDs from Brees.

Two Teams, Two Sets of Stats

Brees’ career with New Orleans stands out in a big way from his short time in San Diego. Here are his stats with each team, including 13 seasons and a Super Bowl title with the Saints (at left) and five seasons with the Chargers.

End of 2006 season

Brees ends his first season in New Orleans with a career-high 4,418 passing yards (a number he has since topped nine times). And the Saints stunningly reach the NFC Championship Game just one year removed from a 3-13 season before losing at Chicago. Brees is a co-recipient of the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award to recognize all that he did both on and off the field to help revive New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Brees on overcoming his height:

“A lot of it is feel as opposed to actual vision. People may not believe it, and maybe it’s different for taller guys — I don’t know — but there’s times where I don’t see it. I can’t see it visually with my eyes. But I can feel it.”

10/26/08: Week 8 vs. Chargers

Traveling across the globe, Brees gets his first chance at revenge against his former team at London’s Wembley Stadium. He throws for 339 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 37-32 win. Brees has never lost to the Chargers in three meetings since he left the team.

12/28/08: Week 17 vs. Panthers

Brees becomes just the second player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season — falling 15 yards short of Dan Marino’s former record of 5,084 yards. Brees goes on to surpass 5,000 yards four more times in his career (5,476 in 2011, 5,177 in 2012, 5,162 in 2013 and 5,208 in 2016). No other quarterback has ever done it twice.

Most 5,000-yard seasons

The Saints quarterback has five of the nine 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history, last surpassing the mark following the 2016 season.

9/13/09: Week 1 vs. Lions

A sign of great things to come: Brees starts the season with the first six-TD performance of his career, throwing for 358 yards in a 45-27 rout of Detroit. And the Saints keep rolling after that, starting 13-0 before ultimately winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history.

10/25/09: Week 7 at Dolphins

The 6-foot-tall Brees leaps over the goal line for a first-half touchdown and shows off his hops again by dunking over the goal post following a second-half touchdown run.

Brees when asked if he was surprised he had that dunk in him:

“There are times in a game when a team needs an emotional lift … and I felt like I had to do something to get everybody hyped up. Obviously, you don’t see that a lot from a 6-foot guy.”

11/30/09: Week 12 vs. Patriots

This proves to be the signature performance of Brees’ career — in the regular season, anyway. On MNF against Brady, Brees scores a perfect passer rating of 158.3, completing 18 of 23 passes for 371 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 38-17 win. It remains the only perfect passer rating of Brees’ career, and some analysts have called it the best single-game statistical performance in NFL history considering the stakes and results.

Brady on Brees:

“He’s got everything it takes. I think that’s why he’s thrown for 5,000 yards five times.”

2009: End of regular season

Brees sets the NFL record for single-season completion percentage (70.62) — a record he later topped in 2011 and again in 2017. Then he is nearly perfect in the playoffs, with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions as he becomes the Super Bowl MVP. His signature drive comes in the fourth quarter of New Orleans’ 31-17 win against the Colts, as he completes all eight pass attempts to eight different wide receivers, including a touchdown to Jeremy Shockey and a two-point conversion to Lance Moore.

10/17/10: Week 6 at Buccaneers

Brees completes his first pass to rookie tight end Jimmy Graham — another former basketball player like Gates. The duo went on to combine for 383 catches, 4,725 yards and 51 touchdowns from 2010 to ’14.

1,000-yard seasons with Brees

Here are all the wide receivers, from both the Saints and Chargers, who have had 1,000-yard seasons on passes from Brees.

10/23/11: Week 7 vs. Colts

The Saints’ offense sets an NFL record with 7,474 yards in 2011 that stands to this day. They were never more dominant than this Sunday prime-time game, beating Indianapolis 62-7. Brees has five TDs and completes 31 of 35 passes for a completion percentage of 88.6 — the highest of his career.

Time needed to break passing record

Here are all of the QBs on the Saints’ 2018 schedule. Their projections are based on each of their career passing yards per game as a starter and assuming no missed games.

Name, Age Games Year
Ryan Fitzpatrick, 35 202 2030
Tyrod Taylor, 29 308 2037
Matt Ryan, 33 109 2025
Eli Manning, 37 79 2023
Alex Smith, 34 187 2029
Joe Flacco, 33 150 2027
Kirk Cousins, 30 197 2030
Jared Goff, 23 297 2036
Andy Dalton, 30 193 2030
Carson Wentz, 25 264 2034
Dak Prescott, 25 293 2036
Jameis Winston, 24 232 2032
Cam Newton, 29 200 2030
Ben Roethlisberger, 36 78 2023

12/26/11: Week 16 vs. Falcons

Not only does Brees break Dan Marino’s single-season passing yardage record — he shatters it. Brees passed Marino in Week 16 before finishing the season with 5,476 yards, 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. “There may be only one name that goes in the record book, but it’s all about you guys,” Brees says during a postgame speech in the locker room, crediting everyone from teammates to coaches, owners, equipment managers and trainers.

Record Seasons: Brees and Marino

The Dolphins’ Marino carries the single-season passing yardage record for 27 long seasons — until Brees passes him in 2011. Here’s a look at each of their record-breaking seasons.

110.6

Passer rating

108.9

10/7/12: Week 5 vs. Chargers

This becomes a lost season for the Saints in the wake of Bountygate, but Brees sets one of his most impressive records along the way, breaking Johnny Unitas’ 42-year-old mark of 48 straight games with a touchdown pass. Brees breaks it with a 40-yard TD pass to longtime Saints WR Devery Henderson — against his former team, the Chargers, no less.

11/30/14: Week 13 at Steelers

Brees throws for 257 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions against Pittsburgh. He has thrown for at least five TD passes 10 times in his career (most in NFL history) — and he ranks fourth in NFL history with 496 TD passes for his career. He’s 43 behind Manning for first place all time.

Brees’ Passing Touchdowns by game

In nearly half of the games Brees has played in during his 18-year career, he has thrown for a touchdown or two. Here is a breakdown of Brees’ TD games.

9/27/15: Week 3 at Panthers

For the first time since high school, Brees misses a game because of injury after suffering a bruised rotator cuff. Brees returns the next week and still leads the NFL with 4,870 yards for the 2015 season.

11/1/15: Week 8 vs. Giants

Brees provides one of the most memorable moments of his career, becoming the eighth player in NFL history to throw seven touchdown passes in a game to outduel Eli Manning and his six TD passes in a 52-49 thriller. Brees completes 39 of 50 passes for 505 yards — the second-highest total of his career.

Brees’ single-game passing ranks

The total number of games Brees threw for each yardage category, and where he ranks among quarterbacks all time in that category.

1
150

9/11/16: Week 1 vs. Raiders

Brees opens the season with the longest pass of his career, a 98-yard touchdown to dynamic speedster Brandin Cooks. The duo also connects on an 87-yard TD later this season — the second-longest pass of Brees’ career.

Brees’ career completion percentages

2001 55.6 59.000
2002 60.8 59.6
2003 57.6 58.8
2004 65.5 59.8
2005 64.6 59.5
2006 64.3 59.8
2007 67.5 61.2
2008 65 61
2009 70.6 60.9
2010 68.1 60.8
2011 71.2 60.1
2012 63 60.9
2013 68.6 61.2
2014 69.2 62.6
2015 68.3 63
2016 70 63
2017 72 62.1

End of 2017 regular season

The Saints return to the playoffs after a three-year drought, thanks to one of the best rookie classes in NFL history. Brees finishes with the fewest attempts (536), yards (4,334), touchdowns (23) and interceptions (8) of his 12-year tenure in New Orleans — while setting the NFL record for completion percentage for the third time (72.0 percent). Brees also ranks first in NFL history for career completion percentage at 67.1 percent.

9/23/18: Week 3 at Falcons

Brees proves he has some “Superman” left in him when needed, leading the Saints to a thrilling 43-37 overtime victory with three TD passes and two TD runs — including an improbable spin move out of a sure tackle late in the fourth quarter. Brees has had 42 comebacks in the fourth quarter or overtime in his 18-year pro career.

Brees vs. Manning: Yards By Age

For the past three seasons, this record has been held by two-time Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning, who retired in March 2016 after 18 NFL seasons. As the 39-year-old Brees continues on in his 18th season himself, here are the career passing yards by age for each quarterback.

20,645

25-30 years

21,639

24,823

30-35 years

20,902

Evolution of passing yards record

A look at the NFL’s career passing yards leaders, their total yards and the years they each held the record.

Name Yards Years Total
Peyton Manning 71,940 2015-18 3
Brett Favre 71,838 2007-15 8
Dan Marino 61,361 1995-07 12
Fran Tarkenton 47,003 1976-95 19
Johnny Unitas 40,239 1966-76 10
Y.A. Tittle 28,339 1964-66 2
Bobby Layne 26,768 1959-64 5
Sammy Baugh 21,886 1943-59 16
Arnie Herber 8,041 1932-43 11



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San Francisco 49ers not interested in trading for high-profile QB, believe C.J. Beathard is best solution


In the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo‘s season-ending injury, the San Francisco 49ers are not interested in signing or trading for a high-profile quarterback because they don’t see a better solution than C.J. Beathard, sources tell ESPN.

San Francisco has five prime-time games remaining on its schedule, and some people within the league are hoping that the Niners trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, according to a source.



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One-on-one with Jets QB Sam Darnold: Pizza, Will Ferrell, no surfing – New York Jets Blog


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sam Darnold went from being a college student and Heisman Trophy hopeful in Los Angeles to a perceived franchise savior in New York.

It has been a whirlwind, coast-to-coast year for the New York Jets quarterback, who is adapting to life in the Big Apple after spending his entire life in Southern California.

In a not-so-serious interview with ESPN, Darnold shared some thoughts on the transition and his new life.

What do you want to do in New York that you haven’t done yet?

Sam Darnold: I haven’t had the great pizza that everyone is talking about. So that’s one thing I want to do. Other than that, I haven’t gone to the Jersey shore. I don’t know if that’s a New York thing. You know what I want to do? I want to go to the 9/11 Memorial. I heard that’s amazing and crazy to look at, an amazing museum. So I haven’t done that. I’d like to do that.

Describe the last time you got recognized by a fan in public.

Darnold: It was actually [Monday]. Me and Josh [McCown] went into Panera Bread. We were just kind of sitting down and having our sandwiches, and this guy came out. I thought he was about to faint because he was so excited to see the both of us. He took a picture. It was kind of funny.

Do you get recognized more in New York or Los Angeles?

Darnold: Oh, definitely here, especially with Jets fans. They’re everywhere. I mean, the USC thing is pretty crazy, too, but there are a lot of things in L.A. New York is kind of like L.A. If I walk around, not everyone is going to notice me because not everyone watches football, especially in New York. But I feel like everyone in Jersey is a Jets fan, and I always get recognized here.

What do you miss about California?

Darnold: It’s starting to rain here a little bit — so the weather. No, I mean, I love it here. I think the biggest thing about California is the people, especially my friends and family. That’s what I miss.

As the USC quarterback, you must have met some celebrities. Who?

Darnold: I met quite a few people. Will Ferrell is up there. I got a chance to meet and hang out with Sam Hunt. He’s actually a pretty cool dude. I got to go to a concert a couple of years ago. He actually played at UAB (quarterback, 2005-07). He was coached by Tyson Helton, who coached me in college at USC. So it kind of came full circle and I was able to hook up with him and hang out for just a little bit. Russ [Vitale] the Rapper, I met him.

You had Will Ferrell as a guest on your weekly podcast last year at USC. What’s he like?

Darnold: So he’s a funny dude. I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan. I met him at the Cal game. He actually came out to watch us at Cal a couple of years ago. He’s just a normal dude. A lot of people think, oh, he must be hilarious all the time. Nah, he’s just kind of chill. Very relaxed dude, but when he sees an opportunity to make a joke or say something funny, he always does. He’s a good dude.

What about celebrities in New York?

Darnold: I mean, I’m friends with Gary V [Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and avid Jets fan], which is pretty cool.

What do you do for fun away from football?

Darnold: I just like hanging out with my friends, honestly. I mean, as long as I’m in good company and with cool people and we’re just hanging out and having a good time, that’s usually what I like to do. When I’m home, if you want to go to the beach or anything like that, I’m always down. When I’m here, I’ll hang out, grab a bite to eat. I’ll play a video game every now and then. But not too many video games. I’m open to a lot of things, but the biggest thing is just having cool people to hang out with.

Tell us something about you that people don’t know.

Darnold: I mean, everyone knows pretty much everything about me already. Did you see how Kawhi [Leonard] answered that, by the way?

A lot of people think you’re a surfer, and you’re not, right?

Darnold: Yeah, I’m not a surfer. A lot of people think I am. That might be one thing. It’s funny, I did a commercial for Toyota, and they had a surfboard on top of the car I was driving in the commercial. I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t surf.’ Everyone thinks I surf. All my friends give me crap when someone says, ‘Oh, Darnold surfs.’ They’re like, ‘Dude, you can’t keep telling people you surf. You know you can’t surf.’ All my friends surf.”

What kind of music do you listen to before a game?

Darnold: It kind of depends, actually. I don’t have a superstition or anything, but before every game I have to listen to “15th and the 1st” by Gucci Mane. You don’t know that song? You should listen to it. It’s a good one to listen to right before you go to bed [joking]. I’ve listened to that song since senior year of high school. Yep, right before the game, that was the first song I listened to. But after that, whatever I feel like.”

What is something that would surprise people to see in your apartment?

Darnold: (long pause) I don’t know. I just have a normal apartment, dude. I don’t have anything for you.

Any big splurges with your signing bonus, either for you or your family?

Darnold: I mean, I did a little thing with Kay Jewelers and I was able to get my mom a few thousand bucks, which was cool. They put together a lot of stuff with that in terms of redesigning our house and doing some stuff there in California, which was really cool.

What about for yourself?

Darnold: One thing people should know about me is I’m a simple, simple guy. Some people can probably already guess that. I mean, I don’t need anything to make me happy. I already have all that I want, so I’m definitely the guy who’s probably not going to spend any of his NFL money.

So we’ll never see you driving a Porsche?

Darnold: That’s the only thing, I might drive a nice car. [smiling] But I’m definitely not going to go crazy and buy chains and a bunch of jewelry. Until I get a girlfriend or a wife, that’s never going to change.

Best thing you ever purchased?

Darnold: To be honest, I get a lot of stuff for free. You would think once you become a professional, you’re going to get all this money and spend it, but there are so many different perks. I get a bunch of free stuff from Nike all the time, so I don’t need to be spending money. So I haven’t bought anything crazy.





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