Challenging Peyton Manning's touchdown passing record
Tom Brady's turned in a career-best five touchdown performance on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. He currently has a league best 21 touchdown passes with only two interceptions. Brady is on pace to pass Peyton Manning's NFL record of 49 touchdown passes in a single season set in 2004. Manning had 17 touchdowns after the first six weeks in his record-setting season.
Brady said he's not interested in individual records as long as the team wins.
"The touchdowns are really not that important," said Brady. "I think winning the game is most important. Getting the team in the end zone and making first downs. There were a lot of things that go into playing quarterback and when you win, that's the most satisfying thing, more so than throwing a touchdown pass. I haven't thought about [the record] at all really. I don't set my goals like that. That's not what this team is all about. "
Despite Brady's dismissal of the chance to break Peyton Manning's single-season touchdown record, it has to be in the back of Brady's mind. It is certain to have penetrated his thinking after he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 3 touchdowns in each of his first six games of the season. Still, Brady clung to the team-first mentality which has been the team's mantra from day one.
"I'd love to set plenty of team records," Brady said. "I think all those individual records are all based on opportunities. What's the difference if you throw it in [the end zone] one yard out or run it in? To me, it doesn't make a difference. It's just a touchdown for our offense. That's really what I get excited about."
Randy Moss is Brady's biggest fan, and he had no problem comparing Brady to Manning after the game.
"I've always been a big fan of Tom Brady," said Moss. "I've always had a saying that Peyton Manning has had his wide receivers, why can't Tom have his. Now that Tom has his, we'll see. "
Moss understands the impact of having a quarterback of Brady's caliber throwing the ball and what it can mean to the team's receivers. Yet sandwiched between Brady and veteran Vinny Testaverde when he arrived in New England, Moss bought into the team-first approach.
"I can honestly say at the start of the season, we did not talk about what can be broken and things like that," Moss said. "All we want to do is practice hard week in and week out and try and execute."
-- Tom Brady set a career high with five touchdown passes against Dallas on Sunday. The performance tied a single-game franchise record. The last time a Patriots quarterback threw for five scores was on September 9, 1979 when Steve Grogan did it.
-- Brady's five touchdown passes raised his career total to 168 which put him ahead of Drew Bledsoe (166 touchdown passes) for second place on the Patriots' all-time list. Steve Grogan holds the record at 184 touchdown passes.
-- This is the sixth consecutive year Brady has managed at least 20 touchdown passes in a season. Brady's streak bests Drew Bledsoe's three straight years with 20 or more touchdowns. Brady's career mark is 28 touchdowns in a season (2002).
-- Brady's 388 passing yards against Dallas was the second highest passing performance of his career. He passed for 410 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 22, 2002 in an overtime game.
-- Brady set the NFL record for throwing three or more touchdowns in consecutive games at six. Steve Young held the record at five when he played for the 1998 San Francisco 49ers. This was Brady's 25 regular season game in which he managed at least three touchdowns passes.
-- Brady is on pace to throw for 56 touchdowns in a season. The NFL Record is 49 set by Peyton Manning in the 2004 season.
-- In his 100th career start Brady tied Roger Staubach for the most wins (76) over that period. His 90.9 passer rating trails only Steve Young (102.6) and Joe Montana (92.5). It also moves Brady into fourth all-time for touchdowns behind only Dan Marino (215), Brett Favre (196) and Joe Montana (170).
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Patriots Insider Jon Scott contributed to this report.