Tom Brady records biggest half of his career, Buccaneers TD record

Forget the slow starts that have hindered Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

With the Buccaneers' first playoff berth since 2007 on the line Saturday, the 43-year-old quarterback threw four touchdown passes in the first half against the Detroit Lions. Leonard Fournette tacked on a fifth TD on the ground, and Tampa Bay posted a franchise-record 410 total yards by halftime. It was the most first-half yards by any NFL team since 2010.

Brady's 348 passing yards were the most of his career for a first half and second most of any half (367, second half versus 49ers in 2012), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Brady found Rob Gronkowski on a fade route for a 33-yard touchdown on the opening possession -- the pair's 96th touchdown connection since 2010. It was the first time the Bucs had scored a touchdown on the opening drive since Week 4, and it marked Brady's 33rd touchdown pass for the Bucs this season, tying Jameis Winston's franchise mark from 2019.

Brady then hit Mike Evans on a go-route for a 27-yard score. A diving Chris Godwin caught TD pass No. 3 with one hand on a 7-yard crossing route, with TD No. 4 coming from Antonio Brown on a 12-yard strike to make it 34-0 at the half.

Brady joins Baker Mayfield as the only quarterbacks with four passing touchdowns in a half this season. (Mayfield has done it twice.) This is the first time since 2014 Brady has had at least four touchdown passes in the first half of a game, according to research by ESPN Stats & Info. Including the playoffs, it's the seventh time in Brady's career he has at least four touchdown passes in the first half of a game.