Tom Brady added another milestone to his Hall-of-Fame career on Sunday afternoon. In the midst of a 51-17 blowout win for the New England Patriots over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 38-year-old became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 400 touchdown passes.
Brady threw for 358 yards and a pair of touchdown passes on the day, but his landmark touchdown pass came in the closing minutes of the second quarter when he connected with Danny Amendola on a one-yard toss.
The veteran quarterback joined some exclusive company with the connection: Peyton Manning (533), Brett Favre and Dan Marino (420) are the only other players to top the 400-touchdown pass mark in their NFL careers.
The achievement highlighted another dominant outing for Brady and the Patriots’ offense, as New England (3-0) broke open a tight game with 20 unanswered points spread across the middle two quarters. LaGarrette Blount led the scoring onslaught by rushing for three touchdowns.
Rob Gronkowski had a team-high 104 receiving yards on four catches, while Julian Edelman added eight receptions and 85 receiving yards for a Patriots’ passing attack that wreaked havoc against the overmatched Jaguars (1-2).
Three things we learned:
LeGarrette Blount emerges once more
After seeing only two rushing attempts against a stout Bills run defense in Week 2 during his first game of the year, Blount was a featured part in the Patriots offense on Sunday. The veteran running back split carries with Dion Lewis during the first half but handled a heavier load for the team while they built a sizable lead after intermission and looked good in the process. Blount produced 78 rushing yards via a team-high 18 carries and was reliable around the goal line, scoring all three of his touchdowns on one-yard runs.
Tom Brady is sharing the wealth
Gronkowski and Edelman may get most of the headlines, but Brady is making nearly every skill player in the Patriots’ offense a weapon. Against a Jacksonville defense that played zone much of the day, the quarterback connected with nine different players, including new addition Keshawn Martin for his second touchdown pass of the day. Brady’s ability to spread the ball around resulted in an unstoppable Patriots offensive attack, as New England put up points on all nine of their drives prior to the final possession of the game. The team’s 35 first downs also tied a team record.
Patriots run defense bounces back
The dynamic duo of Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy helped the Bills run wild on the Pats’ front seven in week 2, as Buffalo tallied 160 rushing yards. Despite having a formidable runner in rookie T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville could not find similar success in week 3 against the New England frontline. The Patriots held tough up front all afternoon, limiting Yeldon to just 33 rushing yards on 11 carries. As a team, the Jaguars finished with only 57 rushing yards, creating positive vibes for the Patriots defensive unit as they head into their bye week.