Tom Brady’s Top-10 Career Touchdown Passes Ranked After Sealing 500th TD

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Tom Brady added another illustrious achievement to his cupboard on Thursday Night Football when the New England Patriots signal-caller threw his 500th career touchdown pass. He became the third QB in NFL history to reach the threshold and the first to do so with just one franchise.

Tom Brady added another illustrious achievement to his cupboard on Thursday Night Football when the New England Patriots signal-caller threw his 500th career touchdown pass. He became the third QB in NFL history to reach the threshold and the first to do so with just one franchise.

Brady’s 34-yard hurl in the fourth quarter to Josh Gordon both put the Colts away in an eventual 34-24 win, and carried the 41-year-old further into the history books. Touchdown #500 was a special one, but where does it rank all-time?

That’s easy to speculate, but harder to judge. Few athletes in sports history can match the amount of marque moments that Brady has accumulated between 19 seasons (and counting), eight Super Bowl appearances with five rings, and a career of utter brilliance.

Whether it’s a clutch, championship-sealing touchdown in the Super Bowl or a beautiful touch pass in tight coverage, Brady’s mastery in the pocket knows many forms. He executes unbelievable plays time and time again, elevates those around him and ultimately propels his New England teammates to championship opportunities virtually every season.

While Brady’s acumen and prestige is palpable in today’s NFL, it’s easy to forget some of the insane moments he helped to produce throughout the last two decades. We compiled the GOAT’s most epic moments, from Super Bowls to insane regular-season comebacks, to relive Brady’s top 10 career touchdown passes now that he’s reached the #500 plateau.

10. Oct. 4, 2018: Brady’s 34-Yard Strike to Josh Gordon Seals Career TD No. 500

Brady’s toss to Gordon on Thursday night deserves a spot simply due to the milestone it secured, but this 34-yard throw and catch showcased plenty of precision and confidence with his new star target.

With all day to throw, Brady waited patiently for Gordon’s route to develop – but didn’t wait for him to get open. Two Colts players stood between Gordon and the ball, but the former Cleveland Brown slipped through them to make an insane catch to stymie the Colts’ comeback attempt.

9. Oct. 14, 2001: Brady’s First Career TD Pass Begins Patriots’ Unlikely Run to First Super Bowl

Out of all the moments in Brady’s career that could be defined as the moment that started the Patriots’ dynasty, one must time-travel back to 2001 to truly discover where things began.

Mired in a 1-3 start to the season with Drew Bledsoe injured, an inexperienced seventh-round pick led the Patriots to a 29-26 win over former New England quarterback Doug Flutie and his LaDainian Tomlinson-led Chargers. Brady threw a 21-yard touchdown to Terry Glenn that not only paved the way to a season-altering victory, but marked the first of 500 (and counting) touchdown tosses.

Glenn only caught one touchdown from Brady in that Super Bowl-winning season, but that one catch had quite the ripple effect for the Patriots quarterback.

8. 2018 AFC Title Game: Brady’s Tight-Window Thread to Danny Amendola Clinches SB 52 Berth

For most of the 2018 AFC Championship Game, the Patriots appeared unable to break through the vaunted Jacksonville Jaguars defense. The Jags held a commanding 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter, eyeing one of the biggest upsets in postseason history.

But the Jags failed to put the Patriots away, giving Brady the fourth quarter to orchestrate two touchdown passes to Danny Amendola. The last one came with only 2:48 remaining; an incredible threaded strike in the back of the end zone that ultimately booked the Patriots a ticket to Super Bowl 52.

7. Sept. 12, 2011: Wes Welker Goes 99 Yards for Longest TD in NFL History

Only 13 pass plays in NFL history have gone for 99 yards, and it’s only fitting that Brady has thrown one of them – and to one of his favorite all-time targets, no less.

Wes Welker ranks third among Brady’s career receivers in combining for 34 touchdowns, but none were more memorable than this one. Backed up against the Dolphins in the season’s opening game, Brady floated one toward the left sideline, which Welker ran underneath and separated from his defender before going the length of the field. 

6. Dec. 9, 2007: Randy Moss Nearly Botches Trick Play Before Brady Hits Jabar Gaffney

In the heat of Brady’s record-breaking 2007 season, no defense could keep its focus off Randy Moss. If you thought the Patriots wouldn’t use him as a decoy at some point, then you just don’t know the Patriots.

During a 34-13 blowout of fellow AFC contender Pittsburgh, Brady tossed a lateral to Moss all the way toward the right sideline. Moss fumbled the catch, only to fire it back to Brady on the left sideline before getting clobbered.

When the ball nestled into Brady’s hands, he found a streaking Jabar Gaffney for a 56-yard touchdown that maybe lacked in style points but left no doubt of Brady and the Pats’ collective greatness.

5. Super Bowl XLIX: Brady Drops Beautiful Pass into Gronk’s Breadbasket to Help Win Fourth SB Ring

The stats don’t lie: Rob Gronkowski is Brady’s favorite end-zone target by a country mile. Gronk has caught 76 touchdowns from Brady, almost twice as much as any other player. But none have carried a bigger impact than his late-first-half score in Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle.

With 30 seconds left in the opening half, the Pats looked destined to bang in a late field goal before Gronk beat a Seahawks linebacker on a go-route down the right sideline. Using his unmatched strength and size, the tight end rose up for a 22-yard catch that put the Patriots up 14-7 heading into half.

Brady would throw fourth-quarter touchdowns to Amendola and Julian Edelman to give the Pats a late lead before Seattle’s infamous goal-line interception sealed the game. But the degree of difficulty on his hurl to Gronk gives it the nod.

4. Dec. 29, 2007: 65-Yard Strike to Moss Secures Single-Season TD Record, 16-0 Season

Each of the 23 touchdown passes Brady threw to Moss in that special 2007 season are worth re-living, but none carried the impact of a 65-yard bomb that found its way into the record books. 

The Patriots were about to let a perfect regular season slip through their fingers in a late matchup with the Giants, before Brady went deep down the right sideline to Moss. It marked Brady’s record-breaking 50th touchdown of the season, and the 23rd receiving score of the campaign for Moss.

The former record would be broken not long after by Peyton Manning, but Moss’ record still stands. Of course, things didn’t end quite as cheery for the duo as they were upset by those same Giants in the Super Bowl. 

3. Super Bowl XXXVI: David Patten’s Catch Paves Way to Pats’ First Super Bowl

Long before Brady and his Patriots were the NFL’s Goliath concretely slotted as a Super Bowl favorite, they were David, clawing for an opportunity to take down the Goliath of the time – the St. Louis Rams.

Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf presented a seemingly unassailable opponent for Brady, who came into the Super Bowl less than 100 percent after an injury-ridden postseason. While it’s hard to imagine in today’s climate, fans who pulled for the underdog were firmly in Brady’s corner back in 2001.

But the second-year quarterback showed no nerves, giving the Rams their biggest deficit of the entire season when his 8-yard toss to David Patten gave the Pats a 14-3 lead before halftime. New England would get the Rams’ best punch in the second half, before Brady led an unlikely last-minute drive capped off by Adam Vinatieri‘s game-winning field goal as time expired to deliver the first Lombardi Trophy to Foxborough.

2. Oct. 13, 2013: Last-Second TD to Kenbrell Thompkins Slays Previously Unbeaten Saints

At 4-1, the Patriots welcomed to Foxborough perhaps the only team playing better football at the time – the New Orleans Saints – and took their best punch behind Drew Brees‘ rocket arm. But that didn’t faze Brady in the slightest.

Down 27-23 in the final moments, a field goal wouldn’t do for the Pats. They needed the end zone, and with 10 seconds remaining, Brady fearlessly fired one down the seam to Kenbrell Thompkins for a 17-yard strike that won the game.

With no margin for error against one of the NFL’s best teams, Brady did it again and showed why he’s considered one of the most clutch performers in the game’s history.

1. 2015 Divisional Playoffs: Brady Drops in a Beauty to Brandon LaFell to Outclaw Ravens

Before topping Seattle in one of history’s most climactic Super Bowls, Brady and the Patriots had to navigate past a pesky playoff foe that they knew all too well – the Baltimore Ravens.

Despite a 9-7 regular season, Joe Flacco‘s Ravens gave the Patriots all they could handle and led by two touchdowns in the second half. But nursing a 31-28 lead in the fourth quarter, Baltimore knew it was in trouble with Brady marching down the field.

With no run game to speak of, Brady almost exclusively aired it out and had to deal with air-tight coverage as a result. That didn’t matter on a beautiful 23-yard pass to Brandon LaFell, which Brady dropped into an insane window.

The Patriots went on to win, 35-31, and ultimately won another Super Bowl that wouldn’t have been possible without this throw.

If you combine the clutch factor of all of Brady’s throws with the degree of difficulty, his strike to LaFell that helped to outlast the Ravens may be the one that tops them all.