By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady came out of his bye week a little bit tight, throwing two ugly passes on third downs early against the Vikings.

Yet as Brady tends to do, the quarterback warmed up, eventually reaching a milestone he hadn’t touched for the past two seasons.

With a 48-yard bomb to Scotty Miller and a 2-yard strike to Rob Gronkowski, Brady recorded his 29th and 30th touchdowns of the season. It’s Brady’s first time hitting the 30-TD mark since 2017, when he was the NFL MVP at age 40 for the Patriots.

It’s the eighth time that Brady has reached the 30-TD mark in his career. His single-season career high is 50 touchdowns, which he reached in 2007, and his second-highest single-season total is 39 touchdowns, which he reached in 2011. With three games remaining on the schedule, Brady has a chance to reach one of the highest TD totals of his career at age 43.

Brady threw 24 touchdowns last season, after throwing 29 in 2018. When he reached the 30-TD mark in 2017, he did so in Week 16. He finished that year with 32 touchdowns.

The first touchdown came midway through the second quarter, and it involved Brady letting it rip on a deep shot to Miller. The receiver made a good play to haul in the pass in the end zone, and the PAT gave Tampa Bay a 7-0 lead.

On their next offensive drive, the Bucs benefited by a pair of penalties called on Minnesota. Ronald Jones plunged in from the 1-yard line after a pass interference penalty in the end zone put the ball on the doorstep.

After benefiting from yet another pass interference penalty in the end zone (this one on a Hail Mary attempt to Gronkowski), the Bucs tacked on a field goal before halftime to go up 17-6.

And coming out of halftime, Brady kept the ball rolling. He delivered a heater to Mike Evans on a second-and-9 for a seven-yard gain, before LeSean McCoy chewed up 32 yards on four consecutive carries.

On first-and-10 from the Vikings’ 35-yard line, Brady dropped a deep ball in a bucket for Evans, this one going for a gain of 29 yards.

After a four-yard run by Jones got the Bucs to the 2-yard line, Brady faked a handoff, rolled to his right, and threw a ball to the back of the end zone where he knew his old pal would be able to haul it in for the score.

That was Brady’s 30th touchdown of the season, and it was the fifth of the year for Gronkowski. That marks Gronkowski’s highest touchdown total since 2017 as well.

Gronk celebrated the only way he knows how: murdering the football.

Brady finished the game 15-for-23 (65.2 percent) for 196 yards with the two touchdowns and no interceptions. Thanks in large part to Vikings kicker Dan Bailey missing three field goals and an extra point, the Buccaneers won, 26-14. Brady and the Bucs improved to 8-5 with the win, with two games against Atlanta and a road game vs. the Lions left on the regular-season schedule.

Considering the Falcons entered Week 14 having allowed the fifth-most passing touchdowns in the NFL, and considering the Lions allowed the ninth-most, Brady should have ample opportunity to boost that touchdown number before the 2020 regular season draws to a close.