The combined age of these legends of the sport — they occupy the top two spots in nearly all quarterback records — will be 85 years and 169 days old on Sunday when the New Orleans Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
That’s the oldest combined age of opposing starting quarterbacks in a single game — regular-season or postseason — in league annals.
Brady joked that he will have to overcome an age difference with Brees if he wants to win on Sunday.
Old, but not out
They may well not have the years ahead of them like their superstar quarterback rivals Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen might do, but Brady and Brees are certainly no slouches.
Having moved to Tampa Bay after 20 years with the New England Patriots, Brady has guided the Buccaneers to the postseason at the first time of asking, throwing for 4633 yards and 40 touchdowns in his 21st season in the league.
However, although he’s formed a productive connection with the host of superstar wide receivers at his disposal, games against the Saints this season have proved a problem for Brady and co.
The two sides have faced off twice this season, with the Saints winning on both occasions. And if they are to advance to the next round of the playoffs, the Buccaneers will have to defeat the Saints in Louisiana as well.
The last game between the NFL teams ended in a resounding 38-3 win for the Saints, but that was over two months ago and, in that time, Brady believes the Buccaneers have “certainly come a long way.”
“The more we’re together, the more we’re talking about football, the more we’re trying to be on the same page, the better it is. It’s a complex game — there’s a lot of moving parts (and) there’s a lot of coordination involved between a lot of different positions.
“We’re just going to keep trying to make improvements. We’ve got a big test this weekend (against) one of the great teams in the NFL [who has] consistently been one of the great teams for a long time. We’re going to have to go play a great football game.”
While Brady is attempting to make a playoff run with a new team, coach and players for the first time in his storied career, Brees and Saints head coach Sean Payton are in complete synchronicity after 15 years together.
Having led New Orleans to the Super Bowl XLIV title in 2009, the pair appear to be making a final push to claim that elusive second championship ring together with rumors circulating that Brees could step away after this season.
And when Brady moved to the same division as him in the summer, a clash between the two older statesmen was something Brees “envisioned.”
“So what was that nine months ago, eight months ago, I envisioned this game happening because I knew our aspirations as a team, to be in the playoffs and beyond.
“And I certainly knew what he was bringing to the Bucs and that talented roster. And so I think this is probably where we all envisioned being at this point in season.”