Brady vs. Brees: A matchup for the ages and aged
The NFL has by no means seen a playoff matchup fairly just like the upcoming one between Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints.
A pair of quarterbacks of their 40s nonetheless thriving on the playoff stage at an age when almost each different nice passer in NFL historical past was already having fun with retirement.
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Brees will take the sphere for the Saints on Sunday two days after turning 42 because the younger gun on this matchup towards the 43-year-old Brady, who has shattered almost each file for longevity within the NFL.
Brees has thrown for extra yards than any QB within the common season with 80,358 and ranks second in TD passes with 571. Brady holds the mark for touchdowns with 581 and trails solely Brees in yardage with 79,204.
This marks simply the second time since a minimum of 1950 that the NFL’s high two gamers in profession yards passing will meet within the playoffs. Second-ranked John Elway’s Denver Broncos beat then-leader Dan Marino and the Dolphins 38-Three within the divisional spherical following the 1998 season.
This would be the first time since a minimum of 1950 that the 2 profession leaders in TD passes will meet within the postseason.
The mixed age of the beginning quarterbacks will likely be an NFL-record 85, surpassing the 84 from their two begins within the common season this season. The earlier playoff file for mixed age of beginning QBs was 78 when 41-year-old Brady outdueled 37-year-old Philip Rivers two years in the past within the divisional spherical.
Brady, who’s looking for his file seventh Tremendous Bowl title and 10th look, has already lapped the sphere on the subject of playoff wins. He received his 31st postseason begin final week and might double second-place Joe Montana’s profession complete of 16 this week. Brady’s 75 TD passes within the playoffs are already 30 greater than Montana had.
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THIRD TIME’S A CHARM: It seems it’s simpler to beat the identical crew 3 times in a season than it’s to win within the playoffs after getting swept within the common season.
The Saints-Bucs sport marks the 23rd postseason matchup within the Tremendous Bowl period after one crew swept the season sequence like New Orleans did towards Tampa Bay.
The crew that swept the common season sequence received 14 of the earlier 22 matchups, which bodes nicely for the Saints this week.
The Saints have been on the fitting facet of certainly one of these matchups the final time it occurred, beating Carolina 31-26 within the wild-card spherical after sweeping the Panthers within the 2017 common season.
The final time a crew reversed a daily season sweep within the playoffs got here within the 2007 playoffs when the Giants did it towards Dallas in a postseason run all too acquainted to Brady. Eli Manning and New York then received the NFC title sport in Inexperienced Bay and beat Brady and the Patriots within the Tremendous Bowl, spoiling New England’s bid for an ideal 19-Zero season.
YOUNG GUNS: Whereas the outdated guys are dominating the NFC playoffs, the AFC is highlighting the following technology of star quarterbacks.
When Buffalo hosts Baltimore on Saturday night time it is going to be a matchup of a pair of 24-year-old quarterbacks in Josh Allen of the Payments and Lamar Jackson of the Ravens.
The quarterbacks taking the sphere the following day in Kansas Metropolis are every a 12 months older with Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs going through Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield.
This would be the first time a convention could have 4 quarterbacks age 25 or youthful begin on identical the weekend of the playoffs.
STREAKING: The Ravens had one spectacular streak prolonged final week whereas one other was snapped. J.Ok. Dobbins ran for a TD in his seventh straight sport in Baltimore’s 20-13 win over Tennessee, tied for the second longest streak ever for a rookie. Solely Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew has an extended one, having finished it eight video games in a row in 2006.
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed a 52-yard area purpose within the fourth quarter of the win over the Titans, ending his streak of 48 consecutive made area targets within the fourth quarter and additional time within the common season and playoffs.