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Tom Brady Sets NFL's All-Time Passing Yards Record, A Mark He Will Hold For A Very Long Time

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

FOXBORO (CBS) -- You can add one more significant notch to Tom Brady's list of career accomplishments.

On Sunday night, in his former home in Foxboro, Brady became the NFL's all-time leader in regular-season passing yards.

Brady got the record in the first quarter of Sunday night's game, when he connected with Mike Evans for a gain of 28 yards, when he needed exactly 28 yards to pass Drew Brees.

Brady entered the night needing just 68 yards to pass Brees in the top spot, after Brees retired with 80,358 career passing yards.

There wasn't too large of an acknowledgment inside the stadium when Brady set the mark, mostly because he got the exact number of yards needed to pass Brees on the 28-yarder to pass Brees. Brady ended up having to call a timeout before the next snap, and it was only after that timeout that an image popped up on the video boards acknowledging that Brady had become the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards. Brady and the Bucs were already at the line for their next play, so the crowd didn't really create a moment of recognition.

Brees earned that top spot in 2018, when he passed Peyton Manning's mark of 71,940 yards. Manning had been in the top spot for nearly three years, having passed Brett Favre's record of 71,838 yards in 2015. Favre had become the all-time leader in 2007, when he passed Dan Marino's record of 61,361 yards.

Brady entered the night with the all-time touchdown lead well in hand, with 20 more than Brees' 571. The closest active quarterback to Brady entering Sunday was Aaron Rodgers at 418, followed by Ben Roethlisberger at 399 and Matt Ryan at 351.

Brady's also the all-time leader -- by a country mile -- in playoff passing yards and playoff passing touchdowns, owning leads of more than 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns in those categories.

Though the passing yardage record has changed hand quite a bit since 2007, it's now set to belong to Brady for quite some time. Brady is almost 20,000 yards clear of the 39-year-old Roethlisberger, who's currently second in passing yards among active quarterbacks. Brady has a nearly 24,000-yard lead over the 36-year-old Ryan, who's third, while the 37-year-old Rodgers trails Brady by more than 28,000 yards.

The 17-game season should give the next generation of quarterbacks more of an opportunity to gain some extra ground each year, but they've all got a very, very long way to go before 80,000 yards becomes a realistic goal. The 26-year-old Patrick Mahomes entered Sunday with 15,092 yards, the still-inactive Deshaun Watson is at 14,539 yards.

Appropriately, Brady set the record in Foxboro, where he accumulated 36,611 passing yards as a member of the Patriots from 2000-19. Though this accomplishment came when he was a visitor, Patriots fans got one extra chance to cheer for Brady for writing yet another chapter in NFL history at Gillette Stadium.

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