Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees Record – Who Is All-Time Best?

brady vs brees history

9 minutes

Last Updated: February 16, 2023


Tom Brady and Drew Brees met on the field eight times in total. Drew Brees won six out of the eight matches.

However, there is much more to discuss when it comes to Brady vs. Brees history, which goes back to 2002 when the two quarterbacks faced each other on the field for the first time.

When it comes to Drew Brees record vs. Tom Brady, Drew Brees has slightly better statistics with 280.0 passing yards per game as opposed to Brady’s record of 272.0.

Brees vs. Brady quarterback rating is 98.7 against 97.6.

In the time-stacked statistics, Brady stands slightly better with a record of 540 as opposed to Brees’ record of 420.

Today we examine all the most important details regarding Brees vs. Brady history, and to do so, we have to back to the early 2000s when the two NFL legends joined the league.

Before we get there, we need to briefly examine the New Orleans Saints game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2020. This was one of the worst Tom Brady performances of the season.

Tom Brady suffered his worst loss in twenty-one years of competing in the NFL and had his third-worst passer rating (40.4). In the same game, Drew Brees finished with 222 yards and led his team to an amazing 38-3 victory.

We could conclude the debate about who is better, Brees or Brady, based on this game alone, and in this case, it would be Drew Brees.

However, identifying the best NFL quarterback of all time is way more challenging, especially considering the fact we have to examine their two-decade-long careers.

Brady vs. Breese History – Beginnings

brees vs brady

Tom Brady was drafted into the NFL back at the beginning of the 2001 season. Before joining the New England Patriots, he played at the University of Michigan for four years, from 1995 until 1999. During this time, Brady was working with Greg Harden.

In his first game for the University of Michigan, Tom Brady led his team to a 35-3 win against the team from UCLA. During the first two seasons, he had a 20-5 record. When Brady was on the team, they won the 2000 Orange Bowl and the 1999 Citrus Bowl.

Despite his amazing college career, Tom Brady was not drafted into the NFL until the sixth round. He was the seventh QB pick by the New England Patriots and spent twenty years playing for the team, competing in twenty-three NFL seasons.

Drew Brees joined the San Diego Chargers back in 2001. After graduating high school, Brees received offers to play college football from Kentucky and Purdue. He decided to accept the offer from Purdue, and this is where he started his college playing career.

Drew Brees was given the opportunity to play for the team during his sophomore year, and this proved to be the best choice made by the team’s head coach Joe Tiller.

In later games, Brees was one of the integral players for the team, especially during the 1998 season.

During that season, Drew Brees finished a game against Wisconsin with fifty-five competitions. In the same season, he also set a record for most pass attempts in a single game. Shortly after, he got the opportunity to join the 2000 NFL Draft but decided to finish his studies first.

Drew Brees was drafted into the NFL by the San Diego Chargers during the 2001 NFL Draft. He competed for the team between 2001 and 2005 before joining the New Orleans Saints, where he remained until 2020.

Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees History – NFL Debut Games 

tom brady vs drew brees

Tom Brady played for the New England Patriots for the first time after joining the team in the 2001 season Week 3. The game took place on the September 23, 2001, against the New York Jets at the Foxboro Stadium.

With 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, the New York Jets led 10-3. On third-and-10, Bledsoe took the snap and scrambled up the right sideline for the first down. Mo Lewis, a Jets linebacker, leveled Bledsoe before reaching the first-down marker.

On the next play, it was Tom Brady, a backup quarterback at the time, who took the game, and the rest is history.

Tom Brady made almost an immediate impact as the starting quarterback. He won his first game the next week. It was a match against the Indianapolis Colts.

Brady led his team to a 44-13 victory. Just several months later, he led his team to the Super Bowl XXXVI Finals.

The underdogs New England Patriots won 20-17 against the favored St. Louis Rams. Needless to say, this game marked the beginning of what can only be described as the New England Patriots NFL dynasty.

When it comes to Drew Brees and his beginnings in the NFL, he joined the San Diego Chargers in 2001 and had his first official game in a match against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This was a rather unexpected move. Brees had his debut in the NFL following Doug Flutie’s injury, and this was when the coach decided to give the young quarterback a chance.

The game went down on November 4, and not even superior Drew Brees could stop the Kansas City Chiefs from winning. Brees played instead of Doug Flutie in sixteen games during the 2001 season.

He finished the season with 221 passing yards. At the beginning of the 2002 season, Brees was the team’s starter instead of Doug Flutie. He started in all sixteen games of the 2002 season. At the beginning of the 2003 season, Flutie replaced him as a starter for a couple of games.

Brees vs. Brady History and Career Records

drew brees record vs tom brady

When discussing Brees vs. Brady history, we need to look into their career statistics. First of all, Drew Brees holds the NFL record for the highest career completion with a 67.7% percentage. Tom Brady’s career completion percentage stands at 64.3%.

Drew Brees also holds the record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (54) and the highest completion percentage in a single game (96.7%).

Discussing Drew Brees’ NFL records, we also have to mention his record for the most touchdown passes in a single game (7), tied with Sid Luckman.

In addition, Drew Brees holds the record for the highest completion percentage in a single season (96.7%). Tom Brady’s record is 68.9%.

Tom Brady holds quite a few NFL records as well, including the record for the most quarterback wins (251) and the record for the most passing attempts (12,033).

Drew Brees is fourth-placed on the list of the most quarterback wins with 172 career wins after Peyton Manning (186) and Brett Favre (186).

Drew Brees’s record for the most passing attempts is 10,170. Tom Brady also holds the record for the most career passing completions (7,740). Brees is second placed on this list with 7,142 career passing completions.

Discussing Tom Brady’s NFL records, we have to mention his record of 648 career passing touchdowns. On this list, Drew Brees is also second placed (571), followed by other legendary NFL players, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers.

Tom Brady also holds the record for the most career passing yards (89,130), and he is followed by Drew Brees (80,358), Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Favre (71,838), and Ben Roethlisberger (64,088).

Other Notable Records & Accomplishments

brees vs brady history

Brady also set the record for the most pass completions in a single season back in 2021 (485). Drew Brees is once again second-placed after Tom Brady with a record of 471 pass completions in a single season.

Another record held by Brady is for the most time sacked (565) and the longest touchdown pass (99 yards). Drew Bree’s record is 98 yards, while he got sacked 420 in his extremely successful NFL career.

It also should be noted that Tom Brady was a starter in 299 NFL games, while Brees was a starter in 286 games. Drew Brees holds the record for the most NFL games with 300 and more passing yards. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are both second-placed with 93 games.

When discussing interesting Brees vs. Brady career statistics, it should be noted that Brees was the top player in the NFL based on passing yards at the end of seven seasons. On the other hand, Tom Brady was on top of the league’s passing yards statistics for two seasons, in 2005 and 2007.

Accuracy is naturally one of the most important indicators of any quarterback’s effectiveness, and Drew Brees comes out on top.

Tom Brady may have more NFL records, but Drew Brees has been superior when it comes to his accuracy statistics.

For instance, Drew Brees was at the top of the league’s competition percentage rank for six seasons, while Tom Brady achieved the same only once, at the end of the 2007 season.

Statistics for the 2020 season are also more on Brees’ side. At the end of the 2020 season, Brees had a record of 70.5% completed passes, while Brady’s record for the same season was 65.7%.

However, Tom Brady has been superior during the 2020 season regarding scoring. Tom Brady finished the season with 40 touchdown passes, while Drew Brees had 24 touchdown passes. However, Brees played fewer games, so this is something to take into account.

Tom Brady has intercepted 191 passes, which represents a 1.8% pass interception rate. Brees has been intercepted 243 times, and this represents a 2.3% success rate.

Even worse for Brees, Brady’s highest single-season interception total is fourteen for 2002, 2004, and 2005 seasons whereas Brees has thrown at least fourteen interceptions in ten seasons. Brees also led the league during the 2012 season with nineteen picks.

Brees vs. Brady Success in the Postseason

The two players, often regarded as the best NFL quarterbacks of all time, have won almost everything there is to win playing in the NFL.

Playing for one of the most successful NFL coaches of all time, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady led his team to seven Super Bowl titles.

The team competed in nine Super Bowls in total. The most successful New England Patriots player of all time was also named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player five times.

The seven-time Super Bowl Champion was also named the Most Valuable Player three times, in 2007, 2010, and 2017, as well as the Offensive Player of the Year two times, in 2007 and 2010.

Tom Brady is also a five-time NFL passing touchdowns leader and a four-time NFL passing yards leader.

At the same time, Drew Brees won the Super Bowl title with his team New Orleans Saints once in 2010. He is also a one-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year named in 2008 and 2011.

Back in 2006, Drew Brees was also named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2004. He is also a seven-time NFL passing yards leader and a four-time passing touchdown leader.

With this being said, Tom Brady is superior when it comes to his success in the postseason. Tom Brady also leads with 230 wins as opposed to Drew Brees and his record of 171 wins.

The Brees vs. Brady debate will probably never reach any kind of a conclusion. Either way, both deserve all the praise they get as the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

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