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Tom Brady sets Buccaneers franchise record with 34th TD pass during rout over Lions

Tom Brady has rewritten one record in his first season in Tampa.

Brady's second touchdown pass of Saturday's 47-7 win against the Detroit Lions was his 34th of the season and a record-breaking score, resetting the single-season franchise high for passing touchdowns. Brady surpassed former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston's record of 33 passing touchdowns set last season. Brady unsurprisingly one-upped the man he replaced when he connected with Mike Evans on a 27-yard score.

Brady's own single-season high is 50 touchdowns, which he certainly won't reach before the end of the campaign, but his record-breaking Saturday is just another example of the impact of Brady's high expectations on a franchise that hasn't enjoyed success in over a decade. His presence has helped elevate the play of Evans, too, who set his own single-season receiving touchdown high of 13, which is also a franchise record.

Brady reached halftime with a stat line of 22-of-27 passing for 348 yards, four touchdowns, and a perfect passer rating. Brady was incredibly sharp on deep passes, too, completing 5 of 7 attempts of 20-plus air yards for 162 yards and two touchdowns, per Next Gen Stats, making his first-half pass chart look more like the beginning stages of a Home Run Derby spray chart:

Brady's first half performance was just the second instance (since at least 1991) of a player reaching halftime with 340-plus passing yards, four-plus passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. Brady is in a group of one, as he's also the player who did so in the first half of a 59-0 win over the Tennessee Titans back in 2009.

That was enough for Brady to take up a cozy metal seat on the sideline for the second half. Blaine Gabbert replaced him to start the third quarter.

Brady made more history Saturday by simply suiting up. The quarterback became just the fourth non-specialist to play in 300 regular-season games, joining the rare company of Pro Football Hall of Famers George Blanda, Brett Favre and Jerry Rice.

Brady can pass Rice and Favre on the all-time list by playing just a quarter of the 2021 regular season, but he's still far from the incredible 340 regular-season games played by Blanda, who retired at 32 years old before returning to play through his age-48 season.

Brady has said he wanted to play to 45, getting within striking range of Blanda, who set that career games played mark before the NFL expanded the regular-season schedule to 16 games. At 43, Brady is showing few signs of slowing, leading the Buccaneers into prime playoff position and making his impact on a record book yet again.

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