Forget the slow starts that have eluded Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.
With a playoff berth on the line Saturday for the first time since 2007, the 43-year-old quarterback threw four touchdowns in the first half against the Detroit Lions, with Leonard Fournette tacking on a fifth on the ground, giving the Bucs a franchise-record 410 total yards. It was the most first-half yards by any NFL team since 2010.
Brady’s 348 passing yards were also the most of his career for a first half and second-most of any half (367, second half vs 49ers in 2012), according to ESPN Statistics & Information.
Brady found Rob Gronkowski on a fade route for a 33-yard touchdown on the opening possession — the pair’s 96th all-time touchdown connection. It was the first time the Bucs had scored a touchdown on the opening drive since Week 4, and it marked Brady’s 33rd touchdown for the Bucs’ this season, tying Jameis Winstons’ 2019 mark for most touchdowns in a Buccaneers’ single season.
— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2020
Brady then hit Mike Evans on a go-route for a 27-yard score. A diving Chris Godwin would catch TD No. 3 with one-hand on a 7-yard crossing route, with TD No. 4 coming from Antonio Brown on a 12-yard strike to make it 34-0 at the half.
Brady joins Baker Mayfield as the only quarterbacks with four passing touchdowns in a half this season (Mayfield has done it twice). This is the first time since 2014 Brady has had at least four touchdown passes in the first half of a game, according to ESPN Statistics & Information. And including the playoffs, it’s the seventh time in Brady’s career he has at least four touchdown passes in the first half of a game.
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