Tom Brady Has Passed for 100,000 Yards. Sort Of.
Most of us have probably seen at least a few NFL games in which Tom Brady has been the hero. The Patriots tight end has been in the spotlight since his breakout game against Indianapolis back in 2002. It hasn’t always been pretty. There have been plenty of high scoring games, but few memorable moments. At his best, Brady has had to overcome the doubters and the critics. The Patriots have had a number of star tight ends over the years, including Oher, Gronkowski, and Hernandez. They always seem to get the ball to Brady for easy touchdowns.
The Patriots have a history of using their star tight end in the regular season but using him as a substitute for an injured running back. In week seven, they had Gronkowski run for 19 yards. The week before that, Oher ran for 7 yards in the same situation. It may sound like a stretch, but remember that the Patriots led the Jacksonville Jaguars on their way to winning 16-10. It’s possible that Gronkowski ran for a few more yards if Jacksonville had been able to run the ball against the Patriots.
Tom Brady had to play on two good teams because of injury. He had to play on a bad team because he was injured.
In 1999, the San Francisco 49ers were the NFL’s worst team and Brady was injured during a 10-9 loss. The following year, the Patriots were the NFC’s best team and Brady injured in a 10-3 loss. He was still a solid quarterback, but in the playoffs, he was playing hurt. On a playoff game in 2001, Brady was injured and his replacement, Troy Brown rushed for only 38 yards and the Patriots lost 17-16.
In 2002, Brady was injured and the Patriots were playing the Houston Texans. He returned in week five and was a monster. He ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-10 win. The next year, the Patriots were playing in the AFC Championship and Brady returned in week six to play in a game that was