Nick Foles joined a very exclusive club on Thursday night after guiding the Chicago Bears to a 20-19 comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The win over the Bucs makes Foles only the fourth quarterback in NFL history along with Jake Plummer, Brian Griese and Cam Newton to have multiple career wins over Tom Brady without ever being on the losing side against the six-time Super Bowl champion.
To put the achievement into context, Brady has played 331 games between regular season and playoffs since he entered the NFL in 2000, losing just 77 of them. Of those 77 losses, only nine have come against quarterbacks Brady has never defeated and five of those nine have come against the Denver Broncos.
Foles’ first start for the Bears on Thursday night marked just the second time he and Brady had crossed path since Super Bowl LII, when the now Bears quarterback became only the second quarterback after Eli Manning to defeat Brady in a Super Bowl—Manning pulled off the feat twice, as the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI—and was named Super Bowl MVP after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a surprise win over the New England Patriots.
Of the other three quarterbacks to register multiple career wins over Brady without ever losing to the three-time MVP, Plummer is the only one to have managed it three times. The second-round pick of the 1997 NFL Draft defeated Brady twice in the same season, as the Denver Broncos won 28-20 in New England in Week 6 of the 2005 season, before beating the Patriots 27-13 in the Divisional Round three months later.
The latter win snapped New England’s 11-game winning streak in the postseason and was the Broncos’ first playoff win since Super Bowl XXXIII, despite a relatively average performance from Plummer, who finished with a modest 197 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception while completing 15 of his 26 passes.
Plummer had the better of Brady again the following season, as the Broncos won 17-7 in New England in Week 3.
Before Plummer arrived on the scene, another Broncos quarterback had notched up perfect career record against Brady. Griese led Denver to a 31-20 home win against New England in Week 7 of the 2001 season, before repeating the feat in Week 8 the following year as the Broncos won 24-16 on the road in Foxborough.
Newton, who succeeded Brady in New England this offseason as the latter left the Patriots after two decades, is the only other quarterback yet to lose to the 43-year-old despite facing him multiple times. Newton led the Carolina Panthers to a 24-20 win at home in Week 11 of the 2013 season and then inspired the Panthers to a 33-30 road win in Week 4 of the 2017 season.