Tom Brady and Drew Brees still have something to prove in their 40s.
That’s how Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre sees it. Favre – who played until he was 41 – says both quarterbacks clearly still have the desire to compete at the highest level.
Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion in New England, will do that in his new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brees, the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes, signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints this offseason.
There is another chance for both to prove it in 2020.
“That’s what motivates a player like Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning and guys that played later in their careers.” Favre told Sporting News. “As much as they’ve accomplished; that’s what kind of what drives them. They want to go over and beyond what you come to expect of them.”
Brady and Brees expect to lead their teams to Super Bowl LV. They will meet in “America’s Game of the Week” on FOX at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday when Tampa Bay travels to New Orleans.
Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees
From a statistical standpoint, this is the greatest matchup of all time. Brees ranks first in NFL history in passing yards (77,416) and passing TDs (547). Brady is second in yards (74,571) and TDs (541). Manning and Favre are the only other two quarterbacks with at least 70,000 yards and 500 TD passes for their career.
Brees owns a 98.4 career passer rating. That ranks third all time behind Aaron Rodgers (102.4) and Russell Wilson (101.2). Brady is fifth at 97.0; which is a touch behind Tony Romo (97.1).
Brady passed for 4,057 yards, 24 TDs and eight interceptions last season. Brees missed five games but still finished with 2,979 yards, 27 TDs and four interceptions.
Oldest QB matchup ever
Brady, 43, and Brees, 41, will make history on Sept. 13. This is the oldest quarterback matchup in NFL regular-season history since the 1970 merger. Brady and Brees will be a combined 84 years, 283 days.
That will shatter the record Favre (38) and Vinny Testaverde (44) set when they were a combined 82 years, 44 days when they met in a matchup between the Packers and Panthers on Nov. 18, 2007.
The fact two future Hall of Famers in their 40s will be on the same field twice this season is nothing short of amazing.
How many season has Tom Brady played in the NFL?
Tom Brady is in his 21st season in the NFL. He made his NFL debut on Nov. 23, 2000, taking over for starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in a blowout Thanksgiving loss to the Lions.
How many seasons as Drew Brees played in the NFL?
Drew Brees is in his 20th season in the NFL. He made his NFL debut on Nov. 4, 2001 with the Chargers, taking over for starting quarterback Doug Flutie in a loss to the Chiefs.
First head-to-head matchup
Brady and Brees had their first head-to-head matchup on Oct. 2, 1999 in a Big Ten matchup between No. 4 Michigan and No. 11 Purdue at Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines won in a decisive 38-12 blowout. Brady finished 15 of 25 for 250 yards and two TDs. He threw both TDs in the first quarter to give Michigan a quick 14-3 lead.
Brees was 20 of 49 for 293 yards, a TD and an interception.
Brady vs. Brees head-to-head NFL matchups
Brees and Brady have met head-to-head in the NFL five times. Here is a closer look at those matchups:
San Diego 21, New England 14 (Sept. 29, 2002)
Brees (104 yards, TD) benefitted from a monster game from LaDainian Tomlinson, who had 217 yards and a pair of TDs. Brady had 353 passing yards, two TDs and two interceptions in the loss. Strangely, neither team made the postseason.
San Diego 41, New England 17 (Oct. 2, 2005)
Brees was 19 of 24 for 248 yards and two TDs in a one-sided blowout at Gillette Stadium. Brady finished with 224 yards, a TD and an interception in the loss. The Chargers did not make the playoffs that season. Brady lost his first playoff start to Denver in the AFC Divisional round.
New Orleans 38, New England 17 (Nov. 30, 2009)
The Saints routed the Patriots in the Superdome. Brees put on a show with 371 passing yards and five TDs. Brady finished with 237 yards and two interceptions. New Orleans won Super XLIV that season.
New England 30, New Orleans 27 (Oct. 13, 2013)
The Patriots won a thriller at Gillette Stadium when Brady hit Kenbrell Thompkins for the game-winning TD pass with five seconds left. Brady finished with 269 passing yards. Brees had 236 passing yards with a TD and an interception. Both teams fell short of the Super Bowl that season.
New England 36, New Orleans 20 (Sept. 17, 2007)
Brady led a victory at the Superdome with 447 yards and three TDs. Brees finished with 356 yards and two TDs. The Patriots lost Super Bowl LII to the Eagles. The Saints lost to the Vikings in miraculous fashion in the NFC Divisional round.
Brady or Brees in 2020?
In those five head-to-head matchups, Brees averages 263 passing yards per game with 11 TDs and one interception. Brady, meanwhile, averages 306 passing yards with seven TDs and six interceptions.
The added wrinkle this year is both teams are among the top-five favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Saints are fourth at 11/1, and the Buccaneers are fifth at 14/1. The only teams with better odds are the Chiefs (6/1), Ravens (13/2) and 49ers (11/1).
The first matchup in Week 1 will set the tone for a hot division race between two ageless quarterbacks who still play at the highest level. The second matchup on Nov. 8 on Sunday Night Football will be just as interesting, and not just because it will break the record for the oldest quarterback matchup for the second time in one season.
It could determine seeding for a potential playoff matchup between the two quarterbacks.
Now that’s something we all want to see.
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