Tampa Bay Buccaneers Data Crunch: Tom Brady made the most of his record-setting 300th start Thursday night, throwing for 379 yards and four touchdowns and setting some records along the way Scott Smith
Let's be serious: You knew Tom Brady wasn't going to let his 300th career start go by without punctuating it with something special.
Brady actually made several notable pieces of NFL history in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 31-29 win over Dallas in Thursday's NFL Kickoff Game, but let's get to that 300th start first. Which is exactly what Brady did, becoming the first quarterback - or player at any position - in league history to start 300 career regular season games.
Most Regular Season Starts, NFL History
Most Regular Season Starts by a QB, NFL History
Brady got those records by playing into his age-44 season (with no end in sight) and he started his 22nd NFL campaign with a bang, throwing four touchdown passes in a single game for the 34th time in his illustrious career.
Most Career Games with 4+ Touchdown Passes, NFL History
Brady's teams have won 33 of the 34 games in which he's tossed a quartet or more of touchdown passes, which equals Brees for the most victories in such contests. Brady is 33-1 under those circumstances; Brees was 33-4; Manning was 32-3; Rodgers is 27-3; and Favre was 20-3.
A four-touchdown game is also a three-touchdown game, obviously, and Brady has now done that 94 times in his regular-season career. That moved him ahead of one all-time great and within striking distance of the other all-time great in the lead.
Most Career Games with 3+ Touchdown Passes, NFL History
Overall, Brady completed 32 of 50 passes for 379 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions against the Cowboys. That gave him his eighth 300-yard passing game as a Buccaneer in the regular season and pushed his career total to a nice round number of 100. Only Drew Brees has done that more often.
Most Regular Season 300-Yard Passing Games, NFL History
Brady has only worn a Buccaneers uniform for one season and one game, but he's already rapidly moving up the team's all-time passing charts. In fact, he cracked the top 10 in passing yards on Thursday night (that was fast!).
Brady hooked up with his long-time pal Rob Gronkowski on two of his four touchdown passes, just as that pair did in Super Bowl LV last February. Combining their time together in New England and Tampa, Brady and Gronkowski have now produced 86 touchdowns together during the regular season. That's the third-most prolific TD combination in league annals.
Most Touchdowns by a QB-Pass Catcher Pair, NFL History
Brady's other two touchdown passes went to wide receivers Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin. Brown reached 80 touchdowns on his regular-season career; he and Gronkowski are two of the most prolific scorers in the passing game over the past decade-plus-one-game.
Most Touchdown Receptions, NFL, 2010-21
Godwin's scoring grab was the 25th of his career, tying him with Mike Williams for seventh-most in franchise history. Godwin also recorded his 12th career 100-yard receiving game, with 105 yards on nine receptions, giving him the fifth-most 100-yard receiving games in team annals. The four ahead of him are Mike Evans (28), Mark Carrier (15), Kevin House (14) and Vincent Jackson (13).
The Buccaneers' Kickoff Game win was largely an offensive shootout, featuring seven touchdown passes and nearly 900 yards between the two teams. Still, there were a few defensive accomplishments worth noting.
For one, cornerback Carlton Davis had a key interception in the third quarter, leading directly to a Buccaneer touchdown, and finished the game with three passes defensed. Since the start of the 2019 season, Davis has the most passes defensed in the NFL and it's not even close.
Most Passes Defensed, NFL, 2019-21
Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett recorded the Buccaneers' only sack of the night on Thursday, a big play that helped keep Dallas from tacking on points just before halftime. Barrett narrowly missed another sack on the very next play when he chased Dak Prescott out of bounds for a gain of one yard. Barrett has rapidly climbed up the Bucs' all-time sack chart since arriving as a free agent in 2019 and is now ninth on that list, right behind a current teammate.
Most Sacks, Buccaneers History
A couple other notes:
- Lavonte David played in and started the 138th game of his regular-season career for the Buccaneers. His 138th start broke a tie with former Tampa Bay great Mike Alstott for fifth all-time in franchise history. The only defensive players with more starts in Buccaneers history are Ronde Barber (232) and Derrick Brooks (221). David led the team with 11 tackles on Thursday night, marking his 36th double-digit tackle game. That's the third-most in the NFL since David arrived in 2012.
- Bradley Pinion's 65-yard blast in the first quarter on Thursday night tied for the fifth-longest punt in franchise history. Pinion pinned three of his four punts inside the Cowboys' 10-yard line.
- The Buccaneers won the game on Thursday night despite allowing more than 450 yards and committing four turnovers on offense. That marks just the 11th time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the first time in the NFL since 1996 and the first time in Buccaneers history that a team won while allowing 450-plus yards and committing at least four turnovers.