ATLANTA — Tom Brady holds so many NFL records, he's now gathering them up two at a time.
Midway through the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, Brady fired a quick 5-yard pass to Russell Gage. The completion gave Tampa Bay a first down and it gave Brady two NFL records: most attempts and most completions in a single season.
The completion gave Brady 486 completions on the season, breaking the record set by ... Tom Brady in 2021. The attempt was Brady's 728th for the season, breaking the record of 727 held by Matthew Stafford in 2012 (he did it in 16 games). Brady needed nine completions and 12 attempts to break the two records, and thanks to a successful initial drive for a touchdown, he got both at once.
Tampa Bay has already clinched the NFC South and will host at least one home playoff game despite losing 30-17 on Sunday. Given that Sunday's game was meaningless for anything beyond stats accumulation, it's reasonable to ask why Brady and the rest of his starters were in the game at all.
"We can get better at a lot of things that we need to work on," Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said Monday, "and we don't need our foot off the gas."
Starting the game gave Brady a chance to set a couple more records. Finishing it would likely be an exercise in futility.
Contact Jay Busbee at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jaybusbee.