Tom Brady turns 41 years old today.
As it turns out, he has thrown touchdown passes to 70 different players (not counting pick-sixes). So I thought it would be nice to go down the list and rank them as a nice jaunt down memory lane over 17 years.
This is a ranking of those players. This is not just a ranking of how they did playing with the Patriots. It’s a ranking of the overall careers of everyone who has crossed paths with a touchdown. Some guys, of course, latched on to New England at the end of careers. Congratulations if you can remember half of these from memory.
#1 RANDY MOSS
Randy Moss becomes the first player to enter the Hall of Fame who has caught a touchdown from Tom Brady. He caught 39 of his of 156 career regular season touchdowns from Brady in New England.
#2 ROB GRONKOWSKI
Rob Gronkowski has caught more than twice as many touchdowns from Brady as any other player (75 in the regular season, 12 more in the playoffs).
#3 WES WELKER
Welker went to New England for the 2007 season and was an instant success working with Tom Brady. He led the NFL in catches three different times in five seasons playing with Brady at QB. (Tom, of course, missed almost all of the 2008 season).
#4 CHAD ‘OCHO CINCO’ JOHNSON
Chad Johnson didn’t click with Brady, but he did manage to catch one touchdown pass in 2011. It’s the only one he caught outside of Cincinnati.
#5 COREY DILLON
Corey Dillon had over 11,000 rushing yards in his NFL career and managed to catch two touchdowns in New England.
#6 MIKE VRABEL
Mike Vrabel, now the Tennessee Titans coach, served as a goal line tight end in addition to being a pro bowl outside linebacker, and had eight touchdown catches from Brady.
#7 TERRY GLENN
Terry Glenn’s career with New England ended poorly in 2001, as he was deactivated by Bill Belichick. He did, though, catch the first touchdown pass thrown by a young Tom Brady.
#8 LARRY CENTERS
Congratulations if you remembered that Larry Centers made a cameo in 2003 with the Patriots at age 35.
#9 NATE SOLDER
Nate Solder, who protected Brady for 7 years before moving to the Giants this offseason, caught a touchdown in the playoff destruction of the Colts. You know, the game that gave us Deflategate.
#10 ALGE CRUMPLER
Alge Crumpler made four pro bowls in Atlanta, and had six catches in New England in the last season of his career.