LANDOVER, Md. — Tom Brady picked apart lowly Washington, helped the New England Patriots stay unbeaten Sunday and climbed past a former NFL star in the record book.

Brady threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns, and the Patriots got another strong performance from their defense in a 33-7 rout.

Now in his 20th season, Brady whisked by Brett Favre into third place on the career list with 71,923 yards passing. Brady, 42, now trails only Peyton Manning (71,940 yards) and Drew Brees (74,845).

Brady also edged closer to Manning’s record of 539 touchdown passes, connecting with Julian Edelman, Brandon Bolden and Ryan Izzo to bring his total to 527.

Shrugging off four sacks, Brady completed 28 of 42 passes, including a 15-yarder to Edelman in the third quarter to eclipse Favre.

This is the fifth time that New England has started 5-0 and only the second time since 2007.

“We can be a lot better,” Brady said. “That’s how we feel.”

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carries the ball in the second half of the Patriots’ 33-7 win Sunday in Landover, Maryland. AP

Playing for the first time since breaking his leg against Philadelphia last December, Washington quarterback Colt McCoy went 18 of 27 for 119 yards and an interception. McCoy began the season behind Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins Jr., but got the start over the injured Keenum and inexperienced Haskins for Washington (0-5).

Washington had only 220 yards and was 1 of 11 on third-down conversions.

“There is no excuse for what we put out there today,” said McCoy, who was sacked six times.

It’s the first time New England has four straight games with at least five sacks. In addition, the Patriots completed a fifth consecutive game without allowing a touchdown pass, the first team to do it since the 1988 Cleveland Browns.

The defeat kept the pressure on Washington Coach Jay Gruden, whose job status appears to be tenuous. Gruden is 35-49-1 over five-plus seasons with Washington.

“No one’s told me anything,” Gruden said. “I don’t have a concern. If the key works Monday, keep working, go attack the Miami Dolphins and plan on getting our first win next week.”

Washington travels to Miami next week to face the winless Dolphins, who absorbed a 43-0 beatdown from New England on Sept. 15.

Many in the crowd wore dark blue jerseys and cheered for the Patriots. There were plenty of empty seats, a scenario more likely attributable to Washington’s’ poor play this season than because baseball’s Washington Nationals were home for a playoff game Sunday night.

After Brady’s 10-yard TD pass to Izzo with 9:14 left made it 33-7, the chant “Brady! Brady!” rose from the stands while thousands of Washington backers fled to the exits.

“It felt like a home game, just like Foxborough,” New England receiver Josh Gordon said. “It was great to get that support.”

McCoy completed a 12-yard pass on Washington’s first play. Two short runs and a sack followed, but New England’s opening possession also ended with Brady getting dumped in his own backfield.

Washington jumped on top when Steven Sims Jr. scored on a 65-yard end around, but the Patriots led 12-7 at halftime and tacked on two touchdowns in the third quarter.

The difference between the seasoned Brady and untested McCoy (now 1-6 as a starter with Washington) was made evident late in the second quarter. With 58 seconds left, McCoy forced a pass that was intercepted by Jason McCourty, who took it 16 yards to the Washington 11.

Brady cautiously completed a short pass and twice threw the ball away before accepting a field-goal try that kept New England’s momentum flowing into halftime.

KICKING IT

Mike Nugent handled the kicking for the Patriots after Stephen Gostkowski (hip) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Nugent’s first attempt was a botched conversion, but he bounced back with three extra points, and field goals of 37 and 23 yards.

INJURIES

Patriots: Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) didn’t play the second half. … Running back Rex Burkhead (foot) was inactive. … Safety Patrick Chung (heel) and safety Nate Ebner (groin) were inactive. …

Washington: Defensive lineman Daron Payne (knee) left in the second quarter but returned. … Offensive tackle Morgan Moses (stinger) played through the injury. … Cornerback Quinton Dunbar (stinger) left in the fourth quarter. … Keenum (foot) was inactive.

UP NEXT

Patriots: New England faces another NFC East foe, the visiting New York Giants, on Thursday night. The Patriots are 55-14 against NFC teams since 2002.

Washington: The team is presented with an ideal opportunity to nab its first victory against Miami next Sunday.

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