Thomas Edward Brady, Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. After playing college football at Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
He has played in four Super Bowls, winning three of them (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX). He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards (XXXVI and XXXVIII), has been selected to five Pro Bowls (and invited to six, although he declined the 2006 invitation), and holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single regular season. Brady has the sixth-highest career passer rating of all time (93.3) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts. He was named Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsman of the Year in 2005. He also helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–04).
In 2004 and 2007, Brady was named “Sportsman of the Year” by The Sporting News. He was also named the 2007 NFL MVP, as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been honored since Joe Montana won in 1990.
Brady holds numerous regular season and postseason records, including most touchdown passes in a regular season (50), highest single-game completion percentage, regular season or postseason (26/28, 92.9%), most completions in one Super Bowl, most completions in Super Bowl history (career), the highest winning percentage of any quarterback ever during his first 100 starts (76 wins), and the longest streak of games with 3 or more touchdown passes (10 games). Brady is the fourth-fastest player to reach 200 career passing touchdowns (116 games). He is the first quarterback in NFL history to have reached said mark with under 100 career interceptions (he had 88 interceptions).
Born near San Francisco in San Mateo, California to Tom Sr. and Galynn, Brady regularly attended 49ers games in the 1980s, where he became a fan of quarterback Joe Montana; since then, Brady has mentioned Montana as one of his inspirations and an idol.
Brady played college football for, and graduated from, the University of Michigan. He was a backup his first two years, while teammate and future NFL quarterback Brian Griese led the Wolverines to a share of the national championship in 1997 in the Rose Bowl. When he enrolled at Michigan, Brady was seventh on the depth chart and had an intense struggle to get some playing time. At one point, Brady hired a sports psychologist to help him cope with frustration and anxiety and even considered transferring to Cal. Brady battled for the starting job with Drew Henson, ultimately starting every game in the 1998 and 1999 seasons under Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. During his first full year as starter, he set Michigan records for most pass attempts and completions in a season (214). Brady was All-Big Ten (honorable mention) both seasons and team captain his senior year. The Wolverines won 20 of 25 games when he started and shared the Big Ten Conference title in 1998. Brady capped that season with a win over Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl. In the 1999 season, Brady led Michigan to an overtime win in the Orange Bowl over Alabama, throwing for 369 yards and four touchdowns.
Brady was selected with pick #199, a compensatory pick, in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. According to Michael Holley‘s book Patriot Reign, the Patriots were considering Brady and Tim Rattay, both of whom had received positive reviews from then-quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein. Ultimately, the Patriots front office chose Brady. Ironically, even though the Patriots drafted a future superstar in the next to last round, the class of 2000 was a mediocre vintage for quarterbacks: aside from Brady, only Chad Pennington developed into a first-rate pro quarterback as well as Pro Bowler Marc Bulger.
The Patriots made the unusual decision to carry four quarterbacks (instead of three) on the roster. Brady started the season as the fourth string quarterback, behind starter Drew Bledsoe and backups John Friesz and Michael Bishop; by season’s end, he was number two on the depth chart behind Bledsoe. During his rookie season, he was 1-of-3 passing, for six yards.
Brady was thrust into the starter’s role on September 23, 2001, during a Patriots home game against their AFC East rivals, the New York Jets. In that game, Bledsoe suffered internal bleeding after a collision with Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. During the following week, Brady was named the Patriots’ starting quarterback. In his first two games, Brady posted unspectacular passer ratings of 79.6 and 58.7, respectively, in a 44–3 victory over the Indianapolis Colts (in their last season in the AFC East) and a 30–10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Brady played much better during the rematch at Indianapolis, with a passer rating of 148.3 in a 38–17 win. The Patriots won 11 of the 14 games Brady started, entering the playoffs with a first-round bye. Brady finished with 2,843 passing yards and 18 touchdowns with an invitation to the Pro Bowl.
In Brady’s first playoff game, against the Oakland Raiders, Brady threw for 312 yards, and led the Patriots back from a ten-point fourth-quarter deficit to send the game to overtime, where they won on an Adam Vinatieri field goal. A controversial play in that game came when, trailing by three in the fourth quarter, Brady lost control of the ball after being hit by fellow Wolverine Charles Woodson. Oakland initially recovered the ball, but, citing the “tuck rule,” which states that any forward throwing motion by a quarterback begins a pass, referee Walt Coleman overturned the call on instant replay, ruling it an incomplete pass rather than a fumble.
In the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brady injured his knee, and was relieved by Bledsoe. The Patriots won the game and were immediately instituted by Las Vegas oddsmakers as 14-point underdogs against the NFC champion St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
The score was tied with 1:21 left in the Super Bowl and the Patriots were at their own 15—with no timeouts—when sportscaster and Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden said he thought the Patriots should run out the clock and try to win the game in overtime. Instead, Brady drove the Patriots’ offense down the field to the Rams 31 before spiking the ball with seven seconds left. The Patriots won the game on another Adam Vinatieri field goal as time expired. Brady was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXVI while throwing for 145 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, becoming the then-youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl.
Brady and the Patriots finished the year at 9–7, tied with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins for the best record in the division; however, the Jets won the division on the third tiebreaker, and the Patriots missed the playoffs.
Although posting a career-low single-season rating of 85.7, Brady threw for a league-leading 28 touchdown passes and 921 more yards than in 2001, though his fourteen interceptions would turn out to be a career high. However, Brady played much of the second half of the season with a shoulder injury, and New England head coach Bill Belichick has since indicated that if the Patriots had made the playoffs, Brady would not have been able to play in the first game due to that injury.
In the 2003 NFL season, after a 2–2 start, Brady led the Patriots to twelve consecutive victories to finish the season, thus winning the AFC East. Statistically, Brady’s strongest game of the season was against Buffalo, when he achieved a season-high quarterback rating of 122.9. Brady finished with 3,620 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, and was second in NFL MVP voting to rival Peyton Manning and Steve McNair. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts. On February 1, 2004, Brady led the Patriots to a 32–29 victory over the NFC champion Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time. During the game, Brady threw for 354 yards with three touchdowns and set the record for most completions by a QB in a Super Bowl (32). With 1:08 left in the fourth quarter and the score tied 29-29, Brady engineered a drive to put the Patriots in position for the game-winning field goal.
During the 2004 season, Brady helped the Patriots set an NFL record with 21 straight wins dating from the previous year, an accomplishment honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (though for official records, the NFL considers it an 18-game regular season winning streak; it does not count playoff games). New England’s 14–2 record equalled that of their 2003 season, as well as the best regular-season record ever for a defending champion. The Patriots also won the AFC East divisional title for the third time in four years. Brady threw for 3,692 yards and 28 touchdowns, with a 92.6 passer rating, and was voted to his second Pro Bowl. In the AFC playoffs, Brady led the Patriots to victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady played his best game of the year in Pittsburgh despite requiring intravenous treatment the previous night when he ran a temperature of 103 degrees. Against the NFL’s best defensive team, Brady recorded a quarterback passer rating of 130.5, his highest of the season. On February 6, 2005, the Brady-led Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl XXXIX. Brady threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns, most of which went to Deion Branch, while capturing the Patriots’ third championship in four years.
During the 2005 season, the Patriots were forced to rely more on Tom Brady’s passing, due to injuries suffered by running backs Corey Dillon, Patrick Pass, and Kevin Faulk. Brady also had to adjust to a new center and a new running back: Heath Evans. The results were positive; Brady finished first in the league with 4,110 passing yards and third in the league with 26 touchdowns. At 92.3, his 2005 passer rating was the second-highest of his career at the time, although he equalled his career high for interceptions with fourteen. He also rushed for 89 yards and fumbled a career-low four times. Brady and the Patriots finished with a 10–6 record, winning their third straight AFC East title. Some of the highlights of the season included another game with the Steelers, in which Brady helped lead the team on the game-winning drive. When the Patriots visited the Atlanta Falcons, Brady achieved a regular season-high rating of 140.3.
In the playoffs, Brady led the Patriots to a 28–3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the wild card round; however, on January 14, 2006, the Patriots lost 27–13 to the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field. Brady threw for 346 yards in the game with one touchdown and two interceptions, in the first playoff loss of his career. After the season’s end, it was revealed that Brady had been playing with a sports hernia since December. Linebacker Willie McGinest commented on it and said he knew, but Brady continued on playing. This is the main reason Brady did not go to the Pro Bowl when he was invited.
Brady led the Patriots to a 12–4 record and the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs despite having an almost completely new receiving corps. In the regular season, Brady threw for 3,529 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was not among the players initially selected to the Pro Bowl, although he was offered an injury-replacement selection when Philip Rivers was forced to withdraw (which he declined).
In the postseason, the Patriots first hosted their division rivals, the New York Jets, in the wild-card round. The Patriots defeated the Jets 37–16, as Brady went 22–34 for 212 yards and two TDs. In the divisional round, the Patriots traveled to San Diego to take on the Chargers. This was Brady’s first playoff game in his home state of California. Brady and the Patriots struggled against the Chargers, whom many had picked as favorites to win Super Bowl XLI. With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots down by eight points, Brady and the Patriots started a key drive that would ultimately decide the game. After a 49-yard pass play to Reche Caldwell, a Stephen Gostkowski field goal gave the Patriots a 24–21 win.
In the AFC championship, the Patriots faced the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots and Colts had faced each other twice in the previous three postseasons at Foxboro; this game, however, was played at Indianapolis. The Patriots led at halftime, 21–6; however, the Colts staged a comeback, resulting in a last minute interception thrown by Brady, and a Patriots loss.
Playing with a dramatically overhauled receiver corps—in the 2007 offseason, the Patriots acquired wide receivers Donté Stallworth, Wes Welker, Kelley Washington and Randy Moss; tight end Kyle Brady; and running back Sammy Morris—Brady enjoyed what some sports writers have described as the best season ever by a quarterback. Brady, along with Moss, decided to withdraw from the 2008 Pro Bowl. The average score of a 2007 Patriots regular season game would be 37-17 by the end of the year. Brady not only led the Patriots to a 16–0 record, outscoring opponents by more than a 2-to-1 margin, but attained numerous career, franchise, and NFL records and milestones:
- Week 6: Visiting Dallas, he had a career-high five passing touchdowns in a 48-27 win. The win tied him with Roger Staubach for the most wins ever by a starting quarterback in his first 100 regular-season games, with 76.
- Week 7: In a 49-28 win at Miami, he had yet another record day, with six passing touchdowns, setting a franchise record. He also had the first perfect passer rating of his career, and the first in Patriots history.
- Week 8: In a 52–7 rout at home against Washington, he threw three touchdowns, giving him a career-best 30 for the season; his previous best was 28—in an entire season—in 2002 and 2004. The win also gave Brady a victory over every NFL franchise except New England.
- Week 9: In a come-from-behind 24–20 victory at Indianapolis, he threw for another three touchdowns, for a total of 33 on the season; his 32nd touchdown of the season, to Wes Welker, broke Babe Parilli‘s Patriots record of 31 touchdowns in a season—in five fewer games. It was also the ninth consecutive game in which he had thrown three or more touchdowns, breaking Peyton Manning’s NFL record of eight.
- Week 11: Following the Patriots’ bye week, Brady threw for another five touchdown passes in a 56-10 rout of Buffalo, breaking Steve Grogan‘s franchise record for career touchdown passes with 185.
- Week 12: In a 31–28 win over Philadelphia, he only threw for a single touchdown, ending his streak of three-touchdown games at ten, but reached 25,000 regular-season passing yards.
- Week 13: In another come-from-behind win, a 27-24 win against the Baltimore Ravens, he became the fourth quarterback—after Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, and Dan Marino (who did it twice)—to throw 40 touchdown passes in a season.
- Week 14: In a 34–13 victory against Pittsburgh, he threw four touchdowns, putting him third all-time for touchdown passes in a single season with 45, behind Peyton Manning in 2004 and Marino in 1984. It was his eleventh game with at least three touchdown passes, beating Marino’s 1984 record of ten. He also reached the 4,000 yards passing mark for the second time in his career.
- Week 15: Brady, making his 108th consecutive regular-season start at quarterback, surpassed Joe Ferguson for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history, after Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Ron Jaworski.
- Week 16: Brady’s third touchdown of the day was the Patriots’ 71st total touchdown of the season, breaking the NFL record of 70 set by the Miami Dolphins in 1984. This was his twelfth game of the season with three or more touchdown passes, extending his own NFL record. This was also the Patriots’, and Brady’s, 18th consecutive regular-season win, tying the NFL record they set in 2003 and 2004.
- Week 17: Brady threw two touchdown passes; his second touchdown was his 50th, breaking Peyton Manning’s 2004 record of 49. The pass was also Randy Moss’ 23rd touchdown catch of the season, breaking Jerry Rice‘s record of 22 in a season. The win finished off the first 16–0 season in NFL history, and was the Patriots’ 19th consecutive regular season win, breaking their own 2003–2004 league record of 18. Brady finished 398/578 for 4,806 yards (#3 all-time) and 50 touchdowns (#1 all time) versus only eight interceptions, and a 117.2 passer rating (#2 all-time). His 398 completions were fifth all-time. Brady was named the NFL MVP for this season, as well as Offensive Player of the Year.
In the Patriots’ first playoff game, an AFC Divisional game against Jacksonville, Brady began the game with an NFL postseason record sixteen consecutive completed passes, and finished the game with 26 completions in 28 attempts, a completion rate of 92.9%. That mark is the highest single-game completion percentage (for passers with at least 20 attempts) in NFL history, regular season or postseason. With the win, the Patriots matched the Dolphins as the only team to win 17 consecutive games in one season.
Statistically, Brady did not fare as well in the AFC Championship Game against the San Diego Chargers, throwing three interceptions (including his first interception in the red zone since the playoff loss to Denver). Nevertheless, the Patriots won their 18th game of the season, 21–12, to advance to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven seasons. Brady, with the 100th win of his career, also set an NFL record for the fewest games needed by a starting quarterback to do so: his 100–26 record is sixteen games better than Joe Montana’s.  In Super Bowl XLII, Brady was pressured heavily and sacked five times. The Patriots did manage to take the lead with a Brady touchdown to Moss with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Giants were able to score a last-minute touchdown to upset the Patriots 17–14.
Brady won numerous NFL awards during the season: he was voted FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week (an award for quarterbacks) four times (in Weeks 6, 7, 11, and 17), selected as AFC Offensive Player of the Week five times (in Weeks 3, 6, 7, 14, and 17), and AFC Offensive Player of the Month for both September and October. On 2008-01-05, Brady was named the NFL MVP, garnering a record-tying 49 of 50 possible votes (the other vote went to Brett Favre), making him the first Patriot to ever win the award. He was also named NFL Offensive Player of the Year, receiving 35.5 of 50 votes.
Brady did not play any of the 2008 preseason due to a right foot injury from the previous AFC Championship game. In the Patriots’ 2008 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium, Brady’s left knee was seriously injured midway through the first quarter on a hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard; he left the game and did not return. The team later confirmed that Brady would need surgery, and that he had been placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. It is believed he tore both his anterior cruciate ligament and his medial collateral ligament. The injury ended Brady’s streak of 111 consecutive starts (fourth in the list of most consecutive starts by an NFL quarterback, behind Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Ron Jaworski). Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction at the Los Angeles Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic October 6, using Brady’s patellar tendon graft to replace the torn ligament, and also repaired his medial collateral ligament, through a separate incision in his left knee. An infection in the wound resulted in further debridement surgery several times since the original procedure. Brady underwent IV antibiotics for this infection which, at the time, threatened to delay his rehab.
In his first official game back from injury, Brady threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns in the 2009 season opener against the Buffalo Bills. In the final minutes of the game, the Patriots were down 24-13 before Brady and Benjamin Watson connected on two straight touchdowns to lead the Patriots to a 25-24 win. Brady was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 13th time in his career for his performance.
On October 18, 2009, in an early season snowstorm, Brady set an NFL record against the Tennessee Titans for most touchdowns in a single quarter, throwing five (two to Moss, one to Faulk, and two to Welker) in the second quarter. Brady finished the game with six touchdowns, tying his career best, and 380 yards, completing 29 of 34 attempts, finishing with a nearly perfect passer rating of 152.8. The Patriots’ 59–0 victory over the Titans tied the record for the largest margin of victory since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and set a record for largest halftime lead in NFL history (they led 45–0). He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week again for his performance. In Week 16, Brady set a Patriots regular season record with an 88.5% completion percentage against the Jacksonville Jaguars; he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after the game.
Brady would finish the 2009 regular season with 4,398 yards passing and 28 touchdowns for a 96.2 rating, despite a broken right ring finger and three fractured ribs, all which were suffered over the course of the season. He was selected as a reserve to the 2010 Pro Bowl and named the 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Brady ended the 2009 season throwing 3 interceptions in a Wild Card playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, 33–14, his first career home playoff loss, and the first playoff loss at home by a New England Patriots quarterback since 1978.
Brady dated actress Bridget Moynahan from 2004 until late 2006. On February 18, 2007, Moynahan confirmed to People magazine that she was more than three months pregnant with her and Brady’s child. Brady and Moynahan ended their relationship sometime in early December 2006, around the time Moynahan became pregnant. Brady was present when the baby, John Edward Thomas Moynahan, was born on August 22, 2007 at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. The baby has Brady’s first and middle names as middle names, though in reverse order (Moynahan’s father’s first name is Edward, however).
Brady married Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen on February 26, 2009 in an intimate ceremony in Santa Monica, California. On June 19, 2009, reports surfaced that Bündchen was pregnant. On September 11, 2009, Brady confirmed to ESPN that they were indeed expecting, and that Bündchen was due in December 2009. On December 8, 2009, Bündchen gave birth to the couple’s first child together, a son. On December 18, 2009, Bündchen posted a message on her website indicating that their son’s name is Benjamin. In the April 2010 issue of Vogue magazine, Bündchen confirmed that his name is Benjamin Rein Brady and that his middle name is a shortened version of her father’s name Reinoldo.
Two paparazzi photographers claim they were shot at by security guards after Brady and Bundchen renewed their wedding vows in Costa Rica on April 5, 2009. Photographs appeared in the Boston Herald of the shattered rear window of a vehicle belonging to one of these two paparazzi. The photographers, Yuri Cortez and Rolando Aviles, filed a lawsuit in New York against Brady and Bündchen seeking over $1 million in damages over the incident.
- Highest total passing touchdowns in a regular season: 50 (2007)
- Highest total passing touchdowns in a season: 56 (2007)
- Highest total passing touchdowns in a single quarter: 5 (2009)
- Highest completion percentage in a single game: 92.9% (2007)
- Largest touchdown to interception difference: +42 (2007)
- NFL record for most consecutive wins in post season: 10 (2001, 2003, 2004)
- Tied for most completions in a Super Bowl: 32 (XXXVIII)
- Most career Super Bowl completions: 100 (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII)
- Most games with three or more touchdown passes: 12 (2007)
- Most touchdown passes in a month: 20 (October 2007)
- Only quarterback to start and win 3 Super Bowls before his 28th birthday.
- Most career overtime wins without a defeat: 7-0
- Most consecutive playoff wins by a quarterback: 10 (2001, 2003, 2004)
- Most consecutive completions to start a career without an interception: 162
- Only quarterback to have 3+ passing touchdowns in 10 straight games.
- Highest single-game quarterback rating: 158.3 (at Miami, October 21, 2007) Perfect Rating
- Highest single-season quarterback rating: 117.2 (2007) 2nd highest all-time
- Highest single-game completion percentage: 92.9% (vs. Jacksonville, January 12, 2008) NFL Record
- Highest total passing touchdowns in a game: 6 (at Miami, October 21, 2007 and vs. Tennessee, October 18, 2009)
- Highest total passing touchdowns in a quarter: 5 (vs. Tennessee, October 18, 2009) NFL Record
- Highest total passing touchdowns in a regular season: 50 (2007) NFL Record
- Highest total passing yards in a game: 410 (vs. Kansas City, 2002)
- Highest total passing yards in a season: 4,806 (2007)
- Lowest interception total, season (minimum 2 starts): 8 (2007)
- Largest touchdown to interception difference: +42 (2007) NFL Record
21-game win streak statistics (including post-season)
- 690 passes attempted
- 412 passes completed
- 4,953 passing yards
- 34 passing touchdowns
- 13 passes intercepted
- 20.29 passing attempts per touchdown
- 53.07 passing attempts per interception
- 59.71 completion rate
- 90.3 passer rating
- 97–30 (regular season), 111–34 (career) as a starter
- 7–1 (career) in overtime games
- 30–6 (career) vs. NFC teams
- 29 game-winning drives after a Patriots’ fourth-quarter tie or deficit
Post-season records and statistics
- NFL record for most consecutive wins in post season: 10 (broke record of Green Bay’s Bart Starr).
- Most consecutive post season wins (college and professional combined): 12
- 3 Super Bowl victories
- 2 Super Bowl MVP awards
- Most completions in a Super Bowl (32 in Super Bowl XXXVIII)
- Most career Super Bowl completions (100 in four games)
- Highest completion percentage in a single game, minimum 20 attempts (26 of 28, 92.9%, against Jacksonville in 2007 AFC Divisional round)