Tom Brady caused the hearts of more than a few fans across New England to drop after he joked that, in having secured his latest milestone, he was making the choice to walk away from the game of football on Monday, December 3.
ESPN recorded Brady as having completed 24 of 32 passes with a touchdown en route to the Patriots’ 24-10 Week 13 win over the Minnesota Vikings. But in spite of the five-time Super Bowl champ totaling 300-plus yards through the air for the first time in over one month, it wasn’t his prolific throwing arm that grabbed the headlines this time around. Neither was it the clutch play-calling that has seen him once again solidify Bill Belichick’s squad atop the AFC East with a 9-3 record. Rather, it was Brady’s legs and the five measly yards he’d put on the ground that brought him all of the glory.
According to Pro Football Reference, Brady became the 72nd quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards thanks to the handful he picked up on a first-quarter scramble. During his post-game presser with the media, he’d admit that there was really no desire in him to save the ball. But in spite of the fact that he’d now need to do what took him 265 games in 19 seasons to do (five times over) if he wants to top Michael Vick’s QB record of 6,109 yards rushing – Brady wasn’t deterred from ensuring that he sealed the mark.
Rather than take a step backwards to run the clock out with a knee in the final seconds of the game, he made the rare move of taking a knee forward so that negative yardage wouldn’t take the distinction away.
For Brady, rushing yards may be low on the totem pole of stats he’s stacked up along his Hall of Fame career, but its significance wouldn’t prevent friends, teammates, rivals, and even the league’s front office from poking at him about the milestone. NFL.com has gone so far as to put together an episode of A Football Life dedicated solely to the 5.28/ 40-yard-dash running QB’s quest to join the 1,000-yard club. And apparently, even Brady himself finds the entire ordeal comical, as he’d eventually join in on the fun via social media.
“The only reason I’ve been playing 19 years was to get to that thousand yards and I did it, so that’s it! I’m out! Time to ride off into the sunset,” Brady says in a video clip that has gone viral from his Instagram page.
Thankfully, just as soon as he starts his Aston Martin up in the recording, the G.O.A.T relieves viewers by revealing that he was only bluffing. “Nah, gotta get back to work,” Brady said.