Bucs vs Packers or Brady vs Rodgers? Clash of the GOATs on the cards as both QBs look to leave a mark
Even as both QBs are actually playing down the hype, they know what's at stake. It's probably the last chance for the future Hall of Famers to do what they do best. Win
Week 6 of the NFL pits the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Green Bay Packers. Most importantly, it will see two veteran quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers take one each other. Call it a marquee clash, call it the clash of the titans or better yet, dub it as one of the battles between two guys with jersey no12s who will do down in history as the GOATs of the game. When the Bucs host the Packers on Sunday, October 18, they welcome Rogers who so far has had zero turnovers for a side that is yet to lose their first game.
Brady and Rodgers have squared-off against each other just twice. Brady was with the New England Patriots and won the game 31-17 against the Packers while Rodgers got the better of the 43-year-old back in 2014 with a 26-21 win. Star Tribune doles out some numbers from the time the two heavyweights have met each other with both combining for seven touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
"Brady completed 22 of 35 passes (62.9%) in both contests, throwing for 245 yards, two touchdowns and a 102.7 passer rating in his loss. He had 294 yards, one touchdown, and a 99.0 passer rating in his win. Rodgers completed 24 of 38 passes (63.2) for 368 yards, two touchdowns, and a 112.6 rating in his win. He completed 24 of 43 passes (55.8) for 259 yards, two touchdowns, and an 89.2 rating in his loss," wrote the sportswriter, Mark Craig.
Things are a little different this time around. Brady has had four interceptions so far and five turnovers while Rodgers had just one interception and that was nine months ago. There's no doubt he's been the man for the Packers. It has been a start to remember as he demolished the Minnesota Vikings by passing for 364 yards and scoring four touchdowns in their 43-34 win at the start of the season. He had another brilliant game in the Packers' 42-21 win where he was 18 of 30 for 240 yards and two touchdowns. It's clear Rodgers has hit a purple patch and is well on his way to pushing the Packers to do better by the game
Brady has 1,375 passing yards, currently 10th best in the league, 12 passing TDs that put him in fifth place and four pass interceptions making him eighth in the league. Barring the fact that Rodgers has the better of him in age and zero turnovers, he is behind Brady with 124 passing yards and one TD higher. However, Brady's looked past the numbers.
“You can’t make a lot of mistakes,” Brady said, according to USA Today. "I’m not defending Aaron. We’ve got a whole defense that is doing that. From my standpoint, what does that mean? I can play a role in that by doing our job on offense so that a guy like that doesn’t have his offense on the field trying to score points. You just can’t give guys like that extra opportunities because they make you pay.”
And all the while, there's enough pre-game trash talking already with Packers running back, Jamaal Williams talking a dig at Brady. One of the discussion points in the Bucs loss to the Chicago Bears was when Brady threw an incomplete pass to tight end Cameron Brate that saw a turnover on downs. He thought the Buccaneers were on third down as he pointed up four fingers and that was enough for Williams to make a wisecrack.
"I'm pretty sure my quarterback knows what fourth down is, you know what I mean?" he said (via CBS Sports) on "The Jamaal Williams Show" on Game On Wisconsin. "That's what I'm saying, like, Aaron Rodgers would never do that. Never. You know what I mean? He's too smart for that."
Apart from all this, there's mutual respect from Rodgers and he's aware the game is billed as Rodgers vs Brady. "I’m not playing against Tom, I’m playing against the Buccaneers’ defense. That’s how it should be viewed,” Rodgers said, according to the Tribune Live.
"He’s obviously done it at the highest of levels for so long. He’s been an icon at the position. He’s been somebody that we’ve all looked up to for so many years as the standard of excellence. I think there’s a ton of admiration and respect for the way that he’s played the game from so many of us, especially us guys who’ve been in the same era … and gotten to compete with him."
At 43 and 36, Brady and Rodgers will be looked at as players who might not have the legs or the golden arm after another season. Much of this theory stems from the fact that age is against them and with the string of injuries and the players affected by the coronavirus, their journeys forward are unpredictable. While Rodgers is signed through the 2023 season, Brady has a two-year contract with the Bucs. By the end of their playing careers, Rodgers would be 40 by that time while Brady would be 45.
And even as both QBs are actually playing down the hype, they know what's at stake. Brady wants another ring and so does Rodgers. The Packers have four Super Bowl victories while the Bucs have one. This is a chance for Brady to cement his legacy with his new team and have two more rings during his time with the team. Quite simply, it's one last chance for the future Hall of Famers to do what they do best. Win.