New England Patriots’ All-Time Passing TD Leaders
The New England Patriots began play in 1960 as the AFL’s Boston Patriots, merged into the NFL in 1970, and then moved to Foxboro to be renamed New England Patriots in 1971. The Patriots are a storied franchise, having reached the Super Bowl six times, winning three of those, all under Bill Belichick and with Tom Brady at the quarterback helm. Here is a short list of the Patriots’ all-time leaders to date in touchdown passes:
Tom Brady (234)—After being drafted 199th overall in 2000, Tom Brady came into a game for the injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001, and never relinquished the gig, winning three Super Bowls along the way—well, save for the 2008 season in which Brady got hurt in Game 1 and Matt Cassel took his place for that entire season. But Brady leads the Patriots all-time with 234 passing touchdowns, and he may have at least another 234 in that right arm of his. Brady’s best season by far was 2007, when he had career highs in passing yards (4806) and touchdown passes (50) with just 8 interceptions. The yards and TDs led the NFL that year, and the 50 TDs are an NFL record Brady holds, and might hold for a very long time.
Steve Grogan (182)—Steve Grogan played for the Patriots from 1975 to 1990, and he ranks second in franchise history with 182 touchdown passes. Grogan was part of a quarterback tandem with Tony Eason for several years, but it’s no surprise that his best season was 1979, when he started all 16 games. That year, Grogan had career highs in passing yards (3286) and touchdown throws (28) with 20 interceptions. The 28 TDs led the NFL that season as well.
Drew Bledsoe (166)—Drew Bledsoe played for the Patriots from 1993 to 2001, and if it weren’t for the injury that opened the door for Tom Brady, Bledsoe might still be the Pats’ QB as I write this in 2010. Bledsoe ranks third in team history with 166 touchdown passes, and his best season was with New England in 1997. That year, Bledsoe threw for 3706 yards with a career best 28 TDs and 15 picks.
Babe Parilli (132)—Babe Parilli played for the Boston Patriots from 1961 to 1967, and he ranks fourth in Patriots’ history with 132 touchdown passes. Parilli had his best season in 1964, when he was a first team All Pro with career highs in passing yards (3465) and touchdown throws (31), despite a career best 27 interceptions as well. All three also led the AFL that season.
Jim Plunkett (62)—Jim Plunkett played for New England from 1971 to 1975, and he ranks fifth in franchise history with 62 touchdown passes. Plunkett had a career high 20 TD passes with the Raiders in 1983, but his best season with the Patriots was 1971. That year, Plunkett threw for 2158 yards, 19 touchdown passes and 16 picks.
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