Tom Brady's all-time passing yards record that includes playoff games is a farce

Alex Reimer
November 26, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Tom Brady will retire with scores of NFL records attached to his name. He doesn’t need a phony one, too. 

The Patriots’ quarterback passed for 283 yards in New England’s 27-13 win over the Jets Sunday, pushing his career passing total to 79,280 yards in the process. As a result, Brady surpassed Peyton Manning for the most total passing yards in league history, combining the regular season and playoffs. 

And therein lies the issue with this record: it puts the quarterbacks on an uneven playing field. Brady has played in 37 career playoff games, which is seven more than any player in league history. Peyton Manning participated in 27 postseason contests, and Brett Favre played in 24. Next to Brady, Ben Roethlisberger is the quarterback who’s played in the most January games, with 21 playoff appearances.

While Brady deserves lots of credit for the Patriots’ playoff fortunes, obviously, it’s unfair to solely blame other quarterbacks for their clubs’ postseason failures. Drew Brees, for example, should not be penalized for the Saints only playing in 12 playoff games during his decade in New Orleans. 

Speaking of Brees, he’s the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader in the regular season, with 73,580 yards to his name. Brady is fourth with 69,190 yards. 

When Brady was asked about the significance of this record with "Mut & Callahan" Monday, he said he "didn't even know" he was the new leader until after the fact. Sounds about right. There are lots of opportunities to celebrate Brady’s Hall of Fame accomplishments. No need to lessen those with one that involves some pretzel logic.