On paper, the New England Patriots shouldn’t have had much trouble with the New York Jets on Sunday. The Jets had just three wins entering the day, and the Patriots were tied with the Oakland Raiders for the best record in the AFC.
But New England has had some problems in MetLife Stadium in recent years, losing two of their past three games on the road against the Jets.
It was a struggle again on Sunday, with New York – this week with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback – leading 17-13 with just over 10 minutes to play in the game. But Brady, as he’s done 48 times before, led the Patriots to the comeback win with a nine-play, 83-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to rookie Malcolm Mitchell, with former teammate Darrelle Revis in coverage.
The win allowed New England to keep pace with Oakland in the race for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. It was also significant because it marked the 200th victory of Brady’s career, tying him with Peyton Manning for the most all time. Brady, in his 17th season, has 178 regular-season wins and 22 postseason wins (Manning had 186 and 14).
It’s impressive enough that Brady and Manning led their respective teams to that many wins. But even more impressive: Brady has started 261 games. That’s a winning percentage of .766. That’s kind of unheard of.
For comparison, Manning was 200-92 (.685) and Brett Favre, who is third on the list, posted a career record of 199-123 (.618). Brady’s boyhood idol, Joe Montana, comes close at 133-54 (.711).
It wasn’t the only milestone the 39-year-old, who was hobbled by a knee injury that kept him off the practice field for the bulk of this week, hit in the game: In the second quarter, his 18-yard completion to Julian Edelman put him over 60,000 career passing yards.
He is the fifth quarterback to hit that mark, joining Manning (71,940), Favre (71,838), Drew Brees (64,490) and Dan Marino (61,361).