Tom Brady's obsession with an obscure milestone explains his bizarre kneel down on final play of Patriots' win

  • Tom Brady eclipsed 1,000 career rushing yards on Sunday after 19 seasons and 265 NFL starts.
  • To ensure he didn't fall back behind the milestone on the final plays of the game, Brady awkwardly scrambled back to the line of scrimmage while kneeling the final seconds off the clock.
  • After the game, Brady acknowledged his accomplishment in a playful Instagram video.

Sunday was another regular day for the New England Patriots in many respects.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led the team to a comfortable, 24-10, victory over the Minnesota Vikings helped along by an impressive effort from the Patriots defense that like so many years before, seems to be coming into its own in the late stretch of the season.

But despite the ho-hum nature of another Patriots victory in December, there were a few things that stood out from the game.

After 19 seasons and 265 NFL starts, Tom Brady finally eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing.

It was a moment fans had been waiting for, and even Brady himself looked excited about it. He stamped his rush with an emphatic "first down" gesture and a smile usually unseen unless hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

See photos from the moment: 

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Tom Brady reaches 1,000 rushing yards after 19 years
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Tom Brady reaches 1,000 rushing yards after 19 years
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady scrambles away from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 2: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady runs for five yards for a first quarter first down that gave him 1000 career rushing yards. The Vikings Mackensie Alexander (20) pursues him in the backround. The New England Patriots hosted the Minnesota Vikings in a regular season NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Boston on Dec. 02, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander (20) pursues during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 02: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after rushing for five yards in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings to reach 1,000 career rushing yards at Gillette Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) signals first down after his run against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Dec 2, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after rushing for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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At the end of the game, it became abundantly clear just how much Brady revered his new milestone. With the Patriots ahead by two scores, all that was left was to kneel the game away and watch the clock expire.

But rather than take a standard kneel down a yard or two back, Brady somewhat bizarrely advanced the ball back to the line of scrimmage before taking a knee. He even pointed to the spot to ensure the officials acknowledged that he hadn't lost a yard on the play.

The scene looked a bit more crowded than your usual final play.

While it might not have been the most aesthetically pleasing of plays, Brady's logic was sound — when the final whistle sounded, Brady had precisely 1,000 rushing yards in his career.

With all of the times Brady has had to kneel down in late-game situations, chances are he could have passed the 1,000-yard mark long ago if the Patriots didn't win so often.

After the game, he celebrated with a post to Instagram, joking that it was the accomplishment he had been working towards his whole career and was now ready to hang up his cleats.

View this post on Instagram

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A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Congratulations to Tom Brady on a milestone well-earned. Cheers to 1,000 more rushing yards in your future.

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