In what would’ve been billed as the best heavyweight slugfest in years… Five years ago, Tom Brady and Drew Brees entered Sunday’s divisional round of the playoffs by defining the round as divisional foes.
There’s an adage in the NFL that it’s hard to beat the same team three times in a season and that certainly was the case Sunday as the Saints pulled a ‘09 Vikings and coughed up the ball four times to aide a Bucs team/offense that wasn’t exactly clicking. The difference being that the Bucs didn’t cheat.
In what is reportedly his last game, Drew Brees struggled mightily all night by not only looking his age but also looking like a guy who had his ribs/lung destroyed during the regular season. Brady, who has been jousting with Brees all season for multiple NFL records, yet again came out on top for yet another conference championship game appearance.
Brady out-dueled Brees, if you could call it that, as he was gifted amazing field position all night. He finished with 18-of-33 passing for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Brees went 19/34 for 134 yards and three picks, which Jameis Winston stepping in for one 56-yard completion.
We are witnessing history. The end of one of the best careers in league history in Drew Brees and the continued success that still is Brady’s career.
That having been said, Brady and theBucs will need to step things up mightily on offense next weekend if they want to keep up with the high powered Packers in Lambeau. The Bucs have the more balanced roster, save for the play of the quarterback though, so if Brady can muster another masterful playoff performance?
We could be in store for the type of game this would’ve been two-or-three years ago.
Brady has shown that he gets better as the post-season progresses and his back is against the wall. While he hasn’t shown the same late season improvement that he was known for in New England, it is worth noting that Brady is involved in yet another conference championship game.
If Brady finds a way to best the Packers and make it to the Super Bowl it’ll be his tenth appearance in the big game since his breakout 2001 season. He may not be the same player he was even two years ago, but the fact that he somehow willed the Bucs to the NFC ‘ship after the up-and-down season in Tampa?
Just another notch in his $5,000 designer, European belt.