EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — TB12 is now QB1.
Tom Brady moved past old nemesis Peyton Manning Sunday and now has the most passing yards in NFL history — postseason included — with 79,416.
Entering the 27-13 win over the Jets, the Patriots quarterback needed 147 yards to bump Manning. He eventually got that on a 16-yard pass to Josh Gordon in the second quarter.
Brady didn’t really want to talk about his latest milestone, preferring, as he usually does, to talk about the team. When asked if there were any of the plethora of records he was particularly proud of, he deferred.
“Just wins,’’ he said. “That’s what we’re here for, to win games. I’m trying to be a part of as many of these as I can and I love being out there with my teammates and working hard and trying to figure out how to get the job done each week. It’s not easy, but we’re just here to win.’’
Brady, who has been dealing with a knee injury, an illness, and a thumb scrape, threw a pair of touchdown passes against the Jets, giving him 578 all time, including the postseason. That’s just one behind Manning for the top spot.
Brady has 3,031 passing yards this season, the 16th time in his career he has reached that number. He’s tied with Manning and Drew Brees for second in that category behind Brett Favre (18).
There was one bit of bad news for Brady. His quest for 1,000 rushing yards was delayed yet again. He lost a yard on a kneeldown to end the game and now has 995 for his career.
The Jets’ final offensive play — a fourth-and-2 attempt from the Patriots’ 4-yard line — went for naught. Cornerback Jason McCourty, playing in his native New Jersey, made sure of it.
Quarterback Josh McCown targeted Jermaine Kearse in the end zone, but McCourty broke up the pass, his eighth pass defended in what has been a solid season for the first-year Patriot.
And Devin McCourty was the first teammate to celebrate the stop with his brother.
“It was awesome. We’re following up where my high school dominated yesterday, won a state championship,” said Devin McCourty, who sported a Saint Joseph Regional pullover at his news conference the day after the Green Knights’ victory. “So to come back and [Jason] end the game, I thought he just did a good job.”
The Jets’ final drive covered 57 yards in 13 plays, 11 of which were pass plays, including a sack by Trey Flowers.
“You get on drives like that, a team down two touchdowns, and it’s just to the ball, throwing, throwing crossing routes, and the secondary, you start getting tired, and I thought that was just a good job for us on third down and fourth down, coming up with two stops just to get off the field and not to give up any more points,” Devin McCourty said.
Safety Obi Melifonwu made his debut as the Patriots needed reinforcements at safety and on special teams with Nate Ebner inactive because of a knee injury.
Melifonwu was signed Nov. 6 after the Raiders released their former second-round draft pick from UConn.
“Coming out here and playing against the Jets and contributing to the win is definitely something I’m going to remember,’’ Melifonwu said.
Ebner’s personal protector role on the punt team was filled by Patrick Chung.
In addition to Melifonwu, linebacker Ramon Humber also played for the first time since the Patriots signed him during the bye week.
Defensive back Duke Dawson, defensive ends Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers, and offensive linemen Matt Tobin and James Ferentz were healthy scratches. Tight end Dwayne Allen (knee) also was inactive.
In addition to rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who was ruled out with a foot injury Friday, the Jets inactives included: receivers Deontay Burnett and Rishard Matthews; safety Marcus Maye; cornerback Derrick Jones; linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu; and guard James Carpenter.
Cordarrelle Patterson found himself under a pile of Jets defenders in the fourth quarter.
Patterson wanted to shed the pile, so he appeared to grab hold of Henry Anderson in a sensitive area until the Jets defensive lineman got off him.
The officials did not call a penalty, but Patterson could be in line for a fine from the league office. He explained the incident, telling Sports Illustrated he was trying to get Anderson off him.
“I’m a grown man,” Patterson said. “I don’t need no one’s [private parts] in my face.”
A number of things
The Patriots are guaranteed to finish with at least a .500 record for 18th straight season . . . Chung had game-high 13 tackles . . . Stephon Gilmore had his second interception of the season . . . The Patriots didn’t turn over the ball for the fourth straight game . . . Since 2003, New England is 47-7 following a loss . . . Since 2001, the Patriots are 50-1 when they have a 100-yard rusher . . . Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was a popular and gigantic figure along the Patriots sideline about an hour before kickoff. He spent some time chatting with Robert and Jonathan Kraft and later Bill Belichick. Towering left tackle, ball-swatting defensive end? Tight end? The possibilities are endless.