Everyone knows the big records Tom Brady’s set over the course of an 18-year career. He owns the most playoff wins and Super Bowl rings of any NFL quarterback. He’s thrown for more yards and touchdowns between the regular season and playoffs than anyone else who has ever played in the league. He’s won 16 division titles, single-handedly demoralizing the AFC East in the process.
But Brady’s greatness can’t be contained by the league’s tidy statistical categories alone. As he heads into his ninth Super Bowl, his wizardry and impossible presence has leaked into a handful of lesser-known buckets of accomplishment. His postseason resume is untouchable as a quarterback. It even outpaces the bulk of the league’s franchises.
So how exactly do you put his consistency in focus? Here are some of the numbers that won’t show up in the league’s official records that help define just how valuable he’s been for a once-moribund New England team.
Tom Brady has played in more Super Bowls than any non-Patriots franchise in the NFL
- New England Patriots: 11 Super Bowls
- Tom Brady: 9 Super Bowls
- Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys: 8 Super Bowls
Tom Brady has played in more postseason games than 18 NFL teams
Super Bowl 53 will mark Brady’s 40th playoff game. There are 18 franchises that haven’t played that many, including old-money teams and former champions like the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs. When he takes the field Feb. 3, he’ll have made at least twice as many postseason appearances than eight NFL clubs — the Saints, Lions, Bengals, Panthers, Cardinals, Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Texans.
Tom Brady has won more playoff games than 27 franchises
Brady has won 29 playoff games in his 18-year career. If he beats the Rams in the Super Bowl, he’ll be just one win behind his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Patriots would take over first place with the most (37) postseason victories in NFL history. He’s won more in the playoffs than the Eagles, Vikings, Raiders, Broncos, Giants, or Colts. He’s won more playoff games than the Lions, Cardinals, Bengals, Buccaneers, and Texans combined.
Hell, his 29 postseason victories are as many as the Browns had in the regular season between 2010 and 2017 combined.
Tom Brady is tied for the Arrowhead Stadium record for most playoff wins (via Reddit’s u/saulfineman)
Brady has one postseason win as a starting quarterback in Kansas City. So do Steve DeBerg (he beat Todd Marinovich!), Joe Montana, Jim Harbaugh, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, Marcus Mariota, and Patrick Mahomes.
... this record probably won’t last.
Tom Brady is the only 41-year-old to ever throw a pass in the playoffs
He’s dropped back for 90 attempts this January. That output in two games alone would constitute the ninth-most attempts of any player aged 40 or older in the Super Bowl era. His 1,380 passes since turning 40 are the most of any NFL player in his fifth decade of existence.
He isn’t the oldest player to throw a pass in the postseason, however. That honor belongs to Hall of Famer George Blanda, who threw 32 passes and two touchdowns (and kicked two extra points and a field goal) in the 1971 AFC Championship game at age 43.
Tom Brady is the only starting quarterback not to be sacked in the 2019 NFL Playoffs
The Patriots’ offensive line came together at the perfect time to keep its finely aged quarterback upright. Brady hasn’t been sacked in either of his playoff games this winter and has only been hit three times. If his offensive line can turn in another clean sheet, he’ll be the first quarterback to go without a sack in 2+ postseason appearances since ... Tom Brady in the 2003 season — his second Super Bowl championship.
Tom Brady has thrown more postseason touchdowns than Jared Goff has in his entire career
Brady has found the end zone 73 times in 39 playoff games. Those 73 touchdowns are more than 90 quarterbacks who were once NFL first-round draft picks have had in their entire NFL careers — though that cohort includes active players like Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes, and his Super Bowl 53 opponent Jared Goff, who has 67 in 41 starts including the playoffs.
That group includes No. 1 overall picks like Tim Couch, David Carr, and JaMarcus Russell. The 199th overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft also has more postseason touchdowns than top-five picks Rick Mirer, Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, and Vince Young had over the course of their football lives.
Tom Brady has more Super Bowl passing yards than 32 first-round quarterbacks had in their entire NFL careers
Brady has thrown for 2,576 yards in the Super Bowl, a number that was significantly smaller before 2018’s 505-yard performance in a loss to the Eagles. Extrapolated out to a 16-game season, his Super Bowl resume translates to a 5,152-yard, 36-touchdown year. That eight-game sample size is impressive — and better than the career output of 32 former first-round picks (which could become 33 if Paxton Lynch can’t fulfill his potential after washing out in Denver).
Tom Brady has 2,576 passing yards in the Super Bowl.— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) January 22, 2019
*just* the Super Bowl.
that's more than 32 other no-longer-active first round quarterbacks had in their entire NFL careers, including:
Yep, that’s another tough beat for poor Todd Marinovich.