Tom Brady has many distinctions to his name. He has more Super Bowl rings than any player, more passing touchdowns and more wins, among many others.
The one note he has yet to add to his lengthy list of accomplishments: beat all 32 teams in the league at the same time.
Brady spent the first 20 years of his NFL career with the Patriots before switching conferences from the AFC to the NFC with the Buccaneers. In his Super Bowl-winning 2020 campaign, Tampa Bay never faced New England. On Sunday, however, Brady will get the chance to pick up the win against the only team against which he has never faced.
There have been only three quarterbacks in the NFL’s history to beat all 32 teams. All three are active — or future — Hall of Famers. Here’s the QBs with wins against all 32 teams.
The only one of the three quarterbacks not in the Hall of Fame yet, Brees often feels like he was a Saints lifer. But he spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Chargers.
He wound up picking up wins against 19 different teams while with the Chargers, including the Saints, whom he beat Nov. 7, 2004, 43-17. It took him until his third year with the Saints to beat his former team, when on Oct. 26, he won against the Chargers 37-32.
It wasn’t until 2018 that he finished off his trip around the league, when he beat the Ravens on Oct. 12 24-23.
Favre was the first quarterback to run the table on the NFL’s 32 teams. With the Packers, starting in 1992, Favre took down all but two teams in his first 10 seasons: the Chiefs and the Packers.
Favre began his career 0-3 against Kansas City until he finally picked up his first win against them on Nov. 4, 2007, when the Packers won 33-22. He won against them again the following year as a member of the Jets.
In 2009, when he joined the Vikings, he picked up not one, but two wins against his old team, beating the Packers first on Oct. 5 30-23 and then agains on Nov. 1 at Lambeau Field in a 38-26 win. He lost both times the Vikings played the Packers in 2010, his final season in the league.
Manning took the Favre approach to hitting all 32 teams. While Brees spent more time with his second time, Manning spent the bulk of his career with the Colts, and thus did not have a chance to play them until he returned from a neck injury that cost him the 2011 campaign with the Broncos.
As would be expected of a quarterback with two losing seasons in his career, Manning didn’t take long to start whittling away on the NFL’s 32 teams. With Indianapolis, he finished checking off 31 teams in 2007, when on Oct. 28, the Colts beat the Panthers 31-7.
Manning faced Indianapolis only once in his NFL career, when the Broncos hosted the Colts on Sept. 7, 2014, to open the year in Week 1. The Broncos won 31-24 to wrap up Manning’s circle around the league.
Where does Tom Brady stand?
Brady is one of five quarterbacks with wins against 31 teams, and he’s best positioned to become the fourth to reach 32. His Buccaneers, the reigning Super Bowl champions, are going to be heavy favorites to beat New England in Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
While it will have taken Brady the longest of the four QBs to hit that mark, he was the quickest of the four to reach 31. He had checked off each team by Week 8 of 2007, when he beat the Redskins, meaning it took him just seven years to check off every team in the league besides his own. Manning took 10 years to beat each team except the Colts, Brees reached 31 in 10 seasons and Favre took 16 years to beat every team except Green Bay.
Active QBs that could accomplish the feat
Along with Brady, four other quarterbacks came one team shy of beating all 32 teams: Kerry Collins (Dolphins), Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Ben Roethlisberger (31) and Alex Smith (Chiefs), according to Pro Football Reference.
Rodgers and Roethlisberger are still active, but would have to leave their current teams and come back to beat them in order to accomplish the feat. Rodgers, in particular, looks like he could be playing his last season in Green Bay, and after winning MVP in 2020, he doesn’t look like he’s getting any closer to retirement. Roethlisberger has struggled in Pittsburgh this season, however.
There are a few other QBs in the league that could potentially achieve this. Russell Wilson has beaten every team except the Chargers and the Seahawks. Joe Flacco needs to beat the Ravens and the Seahawks. Andy Dalton still needs to win against the Panthers, Cowboys and Bears. Matt Ryan is missing the Falcons, Patriots and Steelers.
Has any QB lost to all 32 teams?
There has never been a quarterback that has lost to all 32 teams in the NFL. Seven quarterbacks are tied with losses to 30 different teams (Drew Bledsoe, Matt Hasselbeck, Jon Kitna, Carson Palmer, Brees, Favre and Smith), according to Pro Football Reference.
Of the QBs with wins against all 32 teams, Brees has never lost to the Saints or Chargers, Favre never lost to the Texans or Redskins and Manning never lost to the Browns, Cardinals, Lions, Vikings or Buccaneers.
Brady still has lost to just 27 teams as well, with the only teams unable to get the better of Tom Terrific being the Falcons, Cowboys, Vikings, Patriots and Buccaneers.
There are five active quarterbacks that have lost to more teams than Brady, all at 28. Derek Carr is only missing the Panthers, Saints, Giants and Raiders; Ryan Fitzpatrick is missing just the Lions, Packers, Saints and Buccaneers; Flacco hasn’t lost to the Lions, Rams, Ravens or Buccaneers; Roethlisberger hasn’t lost to the Panthers, Lions, Steelers or Rams; and Matt Ryan is undefeated against the Falcons, Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins/Football Team.
Fitzpatrick came into the year with perhaps the best chance of accomplishing the feat. On top of already having lost to the team on which he is currently, the Football Team plays the Saints on Oct. 10, the Packers on Oct. 24, and the Buccaneers on Nov. 14. They are not currently scheduled to face the Lions in 2021. However, an injury that has him sidelined will likely cost him a shot at losing to the Saints and Packers, and it’s possible Taylor Heinicke keeps the reins of the starting QB job upon Fitzpatrick’s return.