By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady can now lay claim to being the NFL’s all-time leading passer. Sort of.
With 283 passing yards on Sunday in a win over the Jets, Brady increased his combined total of passing yards in both the regular season and postseason to 79,416. In doing so, he passed Peyton Manning, whose combined regular and postseason passing yards total was 79,279. No NFL quarterback has ever thrown for more yards than Tom Brady.
But the “sort of” caveat must be included, because generally, all NFL records are based solely on regular-season numbers, as postseason opportunities vary greatly from player to player. And by virtue of winning so many playoff games, Brady has been able to play in 37 playoff games. Manning played in just 27 playoff games.
The two have nearly the same number of regular-season starts. Sunday was Brady’s 262nd start, and Manning retired having started 265 regular-season games. Manning threw for 71,940 yards in his regular-season career, which stood as the all-time regular-season record until Drew Brees beat that mark this year. (Brees has started 259 regular-season games, and just 13 playoff games.)
Brady still ranks fourth on the all-time passing yards list in the regular season, behind Brees, Manning and Brett Favre.
Yet in terms of regular season and postseason, Brady stands above everyone else.
NFL All-Time Passing Yard Leaders (Reg. Season And Postseason Combined)
Tom Brady: 79,416
Peyton Manning: 79,279
Drew Brees: 77,789
Brett Favre: 77,693
Earlier this month, Brady passed Manning for most total yards — passing and rushing, regular and postseason combined.
Brady can now set his sights on the record for most combined touchdown passes in the regular season and postseason. With two touchdown passes in Sunday’s win, Brady is now just one touchdown pass shy of Manning’s all-time mark of 579.
After the victory, Brady was asked about the new record, and which records mean the most to him in his career.
“Just wins,” Brady replied. “I mean that’s what we’re here for — to win games. I’m trying to be a part of as many of these as I can. I love being out there with my teammates and working hard at trying to figure out how to get the job done each week. It’s not easy, but I’m just here to win.”
In terms of wins, that’s a record Brady already owns — by a wide margin. His 204 victories are 44 more than second-place Favre, and his 27 postseason victories are 11 more than second-place Joe Montana.