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Tom Brady surpasses Peyton Manning for second on passing yardage list

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady entered Thursday night's game against the New York Giants needing 18 yards to pass his longtime rival Peyton Manning and move into second place on the NFL's all-time passing yardage list.

Brady did it quickly with a 19-yard completion to Sony Michel at 14:20 of the first quarter. Brady ended the night 31-of-41 for 334 yards and an interception as the Patriots breezed to a 35-14 win.

The performance put Brady at 72,257 yards for his career. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees holds the top spot with 74,845 yards. Official NFL records account for only the regular season. When including the playoffs, Brady is No. 1.

Over the course of his 20-year career, Brady has regularly deflected praise about such milestones.

"I think having a lot of perspective on things like this is where I like to come from. I don't believe football is an individual sport," he said Monday during his weekly radio interview on Westwood One. "So any individual accomplishment, to me, is always a team accomplishment. There is nothing you can accomplish in football without everybody else doing their job. I think I've always taken to football because of that."

Brady, 42, has posted 90 career games in which he has thrown for 300 or more yards. Only Brees (116) and Manning (93) have more.

In 2018, Brady became just the fourth NFL player to reach 6,000 completions, joining Brees (6,621), Brett Favre (6,300) and Manning (6,125). He is also one of four quarterbacks to throw 35 or more touchdowns in a season four different times, along with Manning, Brees and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

Brady said he doesn't play for such records.

"I'm not a golfer. I don't play tennis. You look at some of these individual sports, and yeah, it's amazing and there's great accomplishments. But I think the joy in sports for me is the relationships I've built with my teammates, my coaches and the organization I've represented," Brady said in the radio interview this week. "Because I've been fortunate to play in the same place for 20 years, with great teammates, I've been able to pile up a lot of individual statistics. But the reality for me, all of those I share with all the guys I play with."

Brady reflected on being interested in records as a baseball fan growing up in the Bay Area, following which players might break the mark for most home runs in a season.

"I always enjoyed watching those great home run battles. I remember being in college when it was Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. They had that great summer of home runs. And obviously, being a San Francisco Giants fan and Barry Bonds being [from] my high school, I was a huge fan of Barry and what he accomplished," Brady said on the radio.

"I don't know so many football ones. I didn't think about those. There have really been some incredible ones. I've watched this show on ESPN+, with Peyton, called Peyton's Places and I watched one the other day, 'Unbreakable Records.' It was very cool to just see so many of these different records that are still standing. Emmitt Smith's career rushing yards. Jerry Rice's career receiving yards. Some of these things, I don't think will be broken for a very, very long time, if ever."

Asked by host Jim Gray on Westwood One what the best record to have is in football, Brady said, "If you look at individual seasons, those are pretty unique because it's just one snapshot. I think when you look at career yards, it's totally different. Peyton Manning's 55 touchdowns in one year -- that was incredible. I remember watching that. I had held the record at that point, at 50. ... They just had a prolific offense. It's pretty amazing when you have seasons like that."