Brady moved ahead of Manning in the first quarter for second place on the all-time list, and that milestone was part of the reason why Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gave a game ball to his starting quarterback after the 35-14 win.
Belichick, in a conference call Monday with reporters, explained what was behind his decision.
"Well, I mean Tom breaks a record every week, so we could really probably give him the game ball after every game," Belichick said. "But, I think this one's – I mean, in terms for what he's accomplished in terms of total career passing yards, it's pretty noteworthy. And, I thought he played well in the game. We, offensively, had to kind of keep it together here with some limitations in the second half. I thought he showed a lot of leadership and toughness and just passing ability and accuracy that helped us win the game."
The Patriots, as a result of injuries to wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Josh Gordon, were forced to play out of only one personnel grouping on offense during the second half of their win against the Giants. New England still outscored New York 14-0 in the second half to improve their unbeaten record to 6-0. Brady completed 31 of 41 pass attempts for 343 yards and two rushing touchdowns in the victory.
The veteran quarterback admitted Monday during his weekly appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" that he was surprised to receive the game ball from Belichick, but thought it was a "very kind" gesture by the legendary head coach.
Brady could pass Manning for another impressive milestone later in the season. The 42-year-old quarterback needs just 13 touchdown passes to break Manning's record for the most passing touchdowns in league history (regular season only). Breaking that mark definitely would be worthy of receiving another game ball.