NEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady and Drew Brees will in fact do some thing up coming week that they have hardly ever completed in their storied NFL occupations: encounter every other in a playoff match.
The second-seeded New Orleans Saints will host the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the finale of up coming weekend’s divisional-spherical matchups on Sunday afternoon.
“I guess it was unavoidable,” reported Brees, who reported he realized the Buccaneers would be a significant rival at the time Brady determined to migrate to the NFC South this earlier offseason. “Listen, the moment that he signed with the Bucs and came in the division, you felt like that was gonna be a staff to contend with. That was gonna be a staff that experienced playoff aspirations and beyond, just like us.”
Brees, who will transform forty two on Friday and is envisioned to ponder retirement after this season, reported, “I will not get it for granted. I’m extremely appreciative of the possibility.”
The Saints, who grew to become the initially staff at any time to sweep the NFC South division in the standard season, got the much better of Brady and the Bucs in their initially two matchups — a 34-23 win in New Orleans in 7 days 1 and a breathtaking, 38-3 rout at Tampa in 7 days 9.
Brees and the forty three-calendar year-outdated Brady grew to become the initially pair of quarterbacks at any time to start off from 1 a different at age 40-additionally in a NFL match in these initially two meetings. Now, they’re going to be the initially to do so in a playoff match.
Their rivalry has in fact spanned 4 many years now, dating back again to when Brady’s Michigan Wolverines trounced Brees’ Purdue Boilermakers in 1999.
Brees has in fact won five of their 7 job matchups in the NFL — and Brees ranks No. 1 in league history in passing yardage. Nonetheless, Brady ranks No. 1 in job landing passes and has the supreme mic fall when it comes to Tremendous Bowl rings (6 to 1).
Brady and the Buccaneers have been on a the latest hot streak, profitable five straight, including Saturday night’s 31-23 wild-card victory at the Washington Soccer Group.
But Brees and the Saints’ offense are hoping they’re about to achieve their peak in the playoffs, after they got huge receivers Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris back again from hurt reserve and functioning back again Alvin Kamara back again from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for Sunday’s 21-9 wild-card victory in excess of the browsing Chicago Bears.
Thomas caught five passes for 73 yards and his initially landing of the season after he was constrained to just 7 standard-season games with a nagging ankle injury. Brees and Thomas experienced performed a full of just 10 quarters jointly in the standard season, thanks to Brees missing 4 games of his own from Months eleven to fourteen with a punctured lung and eleven broken ribs.
“It was good [to get Thomas back again]. It was good to get him in the finish zone also. With any luck ,, we broke the seal and there’s a good deal extra wherever that came from,” reported Brees, who threw for 265 yards and two TDs on Sunday but acknowledged that the offense has room to boost after scoring just 7 factors in the initially 40 minutes.
“Listen, we have got some work to do,” Brees reported. “I think even now just sort of the initially time receiving every person jointly again. With any luck ,, we get [wideout] Tre’Quan Smith back again this week, as nicely. You can find just so considerably timing and rhythm that goes into the passing match and so lots of minor nuances of points like that.”
Kamara ran for 99 yards and a TD even with not staying authorized to follow with the staff all week. But he reported he felt like he “did not really overlook a beat” after scarcely suffering from any COVID-19 signs and receiving to abide by the Saints’ tactics by way of live-stream video with coaches miked up.
Kamara reported he and Brees texted and talked through the week about the nuances of the match program.
“I got a initially-spherical bye. I got a bye week,” joked Kamara, who was not ready to participate in in 7 days seventeen after testing good for the coronavirus late previous week. “So it assists, definitely, just acquiring that down time. You have no alternative but to sit and recover and sort of like get your entire body back again proper. So I felt superior out there today.
“With me, it did not really affect me also considerably. Just style and smell thrown off. No true facet consequences, no true signs. I felt high-quality out there today. My wind was not really impacted. Thank God for the health and fitness. It was just some thing I experienced to offer with.”