FOXBORO, Mass. — Danny Amendola didn’t have a clue.
Tom Brady fired a 1-yard touchdown strike to Amendola in the second quarter of the New England Patriots’ 51-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Amendola immediately turned around and handed the football to a fan, not realizing he just gave away a piece of history.
The touchdown pass was the 400th of Brady’s illustrious career.
“I didn’t realize it until halfway back to the sidelines, that I gave the 400 ball away,” Amendola said of the milestone mishap. “But we got it back and (Brady) got it, so it’s good.
“It was a great pass, a great play and we ended up getting six points out of it. It was a solid start to the game.”
Brady became just the fourth player in NFL history to reach 400 career touchdown passes — he joined Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino — so it would have been understandable if the Patriots quarterback wanted the souvenir. It seemingly was the furthest thing from Brady’s mind after Sunday’s blowout, though. In fact, he probably wouldn’t have been too broken up if the ball never was retrieved.
“I don’t care. It’s just a ball,” said a laughing Brady, who also threw career touchdown pass No. 401 in New England’s win. “But I had a lot of fun. Danny can do whatever he wants, so he made a great catch.”
The fans at Gillette Stadium chanted Brady’s name following his touchdown toss to Amendola, and the crowd reaction likely was more meaningful than the accomplishment itself. Because while 400 TD passes is nothing to sneeze at, the future Hall of Famer is more focused on winning games than piling up individual accolades.
“We’ve had some great support here over the years. I always say I hope we can give them something to cheer about out there,” Brady said after the Patriots’ victory, which improved New England’s record to 3-0. “We’ve got great fans, and it was great. It was a special day.
“I’ve been a part of so many great teams and played with so many great players. I’ve always said I don’t care whether we run it in or we throw it in. As long as we score points and we’re winning, it makes it fun for me, so I was happy.”
So, in other words, Brady doesn’t care about stats other than wins. Is that really a surprise?
Now, if Amendola gave away a Super Bowl ring, perhaps it’d be a different story.
Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images