One day, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will both have busts in Canton. However, the legendary quarterbacks will face each other at least one more time as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
While Brady has won six Super Bowl titles in his record-setting career, Rodgers has put up monster numbers and won a ring of his own. Despite their stylistic differences, even Brady—who is widely considered the greatest quarterback of all time—can appreciate his contemporary’s rare abilities. In fact, the four-time Super Bowl MVP just delivered a strong statement about Rodgers just days before the two future Hall of Famers square off in Tampa.
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have put together Hall of Fame careers
Both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers entered the NFL as undervalued assets. The former had to wait until pick No. 199 to hear his name called. The latter experienced an infamous draft-day slide that allowed the Packers to find their successor to Brett Favre. Despite their unceremonious welcome to the NFL, both quarterbacks have gone on to become all-time greats.
Brady went from a sixth-round flyer to the driving force behind the New England Patriots’ unprecedented 20-year run of success. The three-time NFL MVP routinely performed at his best in the biggest moments, which helped turn New England into a dynasty.
Of course, after two dominant decades working alongside Bill Belichick, Brady left the Patriots this spring. The 43-year-old has already thrown 12 touchdowns in his first five games with the Buccaneers after tossing just 24 in his final year in Foxborough.
Like his new NFC foe, Rodgers entered the season with a point to prove. Despite earning two MVP trophies himself, the 36-year-old watched the Packers draft his possible successor in April. Intentional or not, the move seems to have motivated Rodgers to rediscover his vintage form.
Like Brady, the Packers QB is on pace to shatter his touchdown output from a year ago. Rodgers has thrown 13 TD through four games. His MVP-level play has helped Green Bay get off to an undefeated start heading into Sunday’s matchup against Tampa.
Brady delivers a strong statement on Rodgers
Through the first quarter of the season, both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have looked terrific. While the former Patriots star did commit a costly mental mistake against the Bears, he has certainly quieted critics who thought his lackluster 2019 season proved he was finished. Meanwhile, Rodgers has the Packers looking like a top Super Bowl contender despite all their injuries at wide receiver.
His nearly-flawless play shouldn’t be much of a surprise. After all, many consider Rodgers to be a more talented thrower than Brady, who of course has the ultimate edge with his six rings.
However, not even the GOAT could hold back his praise for his peer. In speaking with the media, Brady just delivered a strong statement about Rodgers and his rare skillset.
“I think everybody is always pretty much in awe of how he makes it look so easy — just the throwing motion, the velocity on the ball, the placement of the ball [and] how quickly the ball gets from his hand to the receiver’s hands,” Brady said. “It’s been unbelievable to watch over the years and he’s really kept it going.”
He further added, “His decision making is just phenomenal, and when you do that at quarterback, it always puts your team in a position to win.”
Of course, Rodgers has thrown zero interceptions this season and has a career interception percentage of just 1.4. He has posted a 117-60-1 career regular-season record since taking over as Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2008.
Brady then wrapped up with a major tip of the cap to his fellow NFL icon.
“There’s a lot of great things to say about his game. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.”
Which legendary QB will emerge victorious on Sunday?
Sunday promises to be an exciting day for Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers fans. The two iconic quarterbacks will face each other for just the third time ever. Both the Buccaneers and Packers boast plenty of talented players on both sides of the ball, which makes for an intriguing showdown at Raymond James Stadium.
Currently, Tampa ranks 11th in scoring and eighth in points allowed. The Buccaneers feature a stout defensive front that includes Lavonte David, Devin White, Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaquil Barrett, and Ndamukong Suh. However, the unit suffered a huge loss against Chicago when rising star defensive tackle Vita Vea sustained a season-ending leg injury.
The Buccaneers face a tough test at home against the league’s No. 1 offense. Green Bay has averaged 38 points per game thanks in large part to Rodgers’ stellar play. Plus, the Packers will have Davante Adams on the field for the first time since Week 2.
Green Bay’s 17th-ranked scoring defense will also get a big boost in the form of Kenny Clark. The Packers’ $70 million nose tackle has been sidelined for weeks due to a groin injury. His return couldn’t have come at a better time given the Buccaneers’ well-balanced offense.
Ultimately, expect lots of points to be scored in what should be a thrilling matchup featuring two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. And given the fact that they’ve split their only two previous matchups, you can bet Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will have plenty of motivation to dominate on Sunday.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.