Brady once again seems set to continue his assault on the NFL record books in 2012. (FILE:USPresswire)

With the Patriots set to battle the Saints tonight, I did a little digging this morning and came across some interesting facts for what both Tom Brady and Drew Brees have the potential to accomplish heading into the 2012 season.

Both are battling for the eighth spot in the NFL record books for passing yards, with Brady needing 4,633 passing yards to surpass Brees (40,742), Kerry Collins (40,922), Dan Fouts (43,040) and Drew Bledsoe (44,611) .

Brees on the other hand needs 3,870 passing yards to accomplish the similar feat. Both players broke Dan Marino’s NFL record for passing yards in a season last year, with Brees throwing for 5,476, while Brady passed for 5,235. Marino set the record in 1984 with 5,084 yards.

Brady also needs 4,000 passing yards to join Drew Brees (6), Brett Favre (6), Dan Marino (6) and Peyton Manning (11) as the only players in NFL history with at least five 4,000-yard passing seasons. In 12 seasons, Brady has four 4,000-yard passing seasons.  Philip Rivers is also in the mix for this, as he’s also thrown for over 4,000-yards four times in his career.

Brady has the edge over Brees in career touchdown passes with 300, tied with John Elway for the fifth most all-time. He needs one touchdown pass to earn sole possession of fifth place, while Brees needs 20.  Brady threw 39 touchdown passes last season, while Brees finished with a career best 46.

The two players can also tie Len Dawson, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Steve Young for the most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes, with both having previously accomplished that three times in their careers.   Brees did it in 2011, 2009 and 2008 (tied with Philip Rivers),  while Brady led the league in 2010, 2007 and 2002).   Also in the mix for that this season could be Peyton Manning, who has also done it three times (2006, 2004 and 2000 [tied with Daunte Culpepper]).

Brees told the media earlier this week that Brady’s been a guy he’s always admired, and he admitted that he’s watched tape of the Patriots’ signal caller to try and make himself a better quarterback.

“I know during the offseason when I’m looking for things that I want to get better at, maybe trying to introduce new concepts in our offense or just thinking about that next season, I very often turn on tape of other quarterbacks in the league to watch what they’re doing,” said Brees.  “Tom has certainly always been one of the guys that I’ve watched.”