Unbeknownst to the franchise's decision-makers back in 2001, Brady took a position he'd never relinquish, coincidentally during a Week 2 contest against the Jets. The former sixth-round pick entered the game, a 10-3 loss, in place of the injured Bledsoe, and would later go on to lead the Patriots to their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. He's spent his entire career playing for coach Bill Belichick, winning four titles, and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
"I love winning games," he said after the win over the Jets on Sunday, via ESPN. "I think that's what it comes down to. That's why we all play, and I've just been a part of so many great teams and played with great coaches. Nobody could win a football game by themselves. It takes everybody. ... It means I've been around for a little bit and played with a lot of great players on a lot of great teams."
Brady undoubtedly makes his teammates better, and at 39 years old, isn't showing signs of slowing down soon. His competitive nature ranks among the most fiery in the game, both past and present. His long-standing rivalry with Manning ended with the latter's retirement at the conclusion of the 2015 season, but it seems he continues to battle his ghost and his records, tying this mark that will inevitably become solely Brady's as soon as next week.
With his plans to play past 40, this record might become and remain Brady's for decades to come.