The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the New Orleans Saints in the NFL play-offs at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Sunday and fans will be in for a treat when Tom Brady faces Drew Brees. It will be the oldest quarterback match-up in NFL history, with the players having a combined age of 85.
Brady is 43 and Brees will move past 42 this Friday. The duo also set the previous record for the oldest quarterback duel when their teams met twice in the regular season. Brady had also helped to set the previous record, which came when he was at the New England Patriots.
Brady was 41 when his Patriots met Phillip Rivers, 37 at the time, and his LA Chargers. Brady is now the oldest quarterback to have played in a play-off game, after leading his Bucs to a 31-23 victory at Washington on Sunday. The Bucs now head into Sunday’s game at New Orleans on the back of five straight wins.
Bucs vs Saints is a mouth-watering match-up
That win sets up the mouth-watering clash in New Orleans on Sunday, when Brees and Brady will face each other in a play-off game for the first time ever. The Saints are the second-seeded team in the play-offs while the Bucs are the fifth seed. The Saints, who swept the NFC South in convincing fashion during the regular season, have already beaten the Bucs twice this season – in Week One and again in Week Nine.
Brees and his Saints won 34-23 in New Orleans in the season’s first week and thrashed the Bucs 38-3 in Florida in Week Nine. They head into Sunday’s game on the back of a convincing 21-9 home win over Chicago Bears last weekend. There were still issues for Brees and his team to work on, though, which is hardly surprising given the toll that injuries have taken on the team over the course of the year.
Brady’s rivalry with Brees actually covers, somewhat incredibly, four decades now. Brady will have fond memories of when the two players met in their college days. His Michigan Wolverines beat Brees and his Purdue Boilermakers in 1999.
Saints receivers return to action
The two veterans have faced each seven times in total in the NFL, with Brees coming out on top on five occasions. Brees is ranked number one on NFL history for passing yardage. Brady, though, is number one when it comes to career touchdown passes. He also, significantly, owns six Super Bowl rings to Brees’ one.
The Saints were boosted at the weekend by the return of wide receivers Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris from the injured list. Running back Alvin Kamara also returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list for the game. Thomas caught five passes for 73 yards and his first touchdown of an injury-hit season on Sunday, and his combination with Brees looks like causing the Bucs some problems.