By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
FOXBORO (CBS) — It was within Tom Brady’s grasp. He was oh-so-close to reaching that ever-elusive mark. One-thousand rushing yards was his; all he had to do was take it.
But then … Brady started moving backward.
And so, the #TB1K quest continues.
“Rushing — I went backwards tonight a few times, so it’ll mean more videos, I guess, from my Instagram guys,” Brady joked after the 31-17 Patriots win over the Packers.
Brady, who rushed for eight yards last week to pick up a first down in Buffalo, has shared some tongue-in-cheek social media posts in recent months about his quest for 1,000 yards. He created the #TB1K hashtag for the occasion.
Brady, obviously, doesn’t often break off big runs, which only makes it more memorable when he does take off running. His juke on Brian Urlacher in 2006 probably lives on as his most famous regular-season rush:
One of his most important rushes was his touchdown scramble in the Snow Bowl back in the 2001 playoffs. Brady has rushed for 140 yards in his postseason career, including a 15-yard scramble in Super Bowl LI to convert a third-and-8 when the Patriots trailed 28-3.
While Brady would never be confused with Michael Vick, he reasonably would have reached this milestone long ago if it hadn’t been for all of the victories Brady’s celebrated in his career. That’s because all of the kneeldowns Brady has taken — either before halftime or to ice out victories late in the fourth quarter — have substantially cut into his career yardage. While exact statistics on kneeldowns can be tricky to precisely nail down, Pro Football Reference had Brady taking a knee 194 times for a loss of 207 yards entering Sunday. Those numbers can now move to 198 and 211.
Brady entered Sunday night needing just three yards to hit the ever-elusive 1,000-yard rushing mark, and after a two-yard gain on a QB sneak on the opening drive, all he would need for the rest of the night was just three more feet to hit four digits.
But it didn’t happen. Brady ended up taking four kneeldowns — one before halftime, three to ice away the game — to bring his rushing total to minus-1 yards on the night.
And so, Brady will enter next week’s game needing four yards to reach the millennium mark.
Considering Sunday night’s game included the Packers stuffing the Patriots on a goal-line series, Bill Belichick quipped that the 1,000-yard mark might have been helpful had Brady been able to reach it.
“I don’t know, did he pass the rushing record this week? No, he didn’t get that? OK, but yeah, that’s alright,” Belichick said. “That’s not that important of a record. But we could’ve used the yard. We could’ve used the extra yard tonight.”
Sounds like Brady’s next #TB1K has a backing soundtrack.