In what was possibly the final matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, the defenses of both teams stole the show. Playing in front of the largest crowd in Raymond James Stadium history, the Packers defense outlasted the Buccaneers in a 14-12 slugfest. The game was nothing like what we’ve come to expect when future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterbacks with eight Super Bowls victories, seven MVPs and a flair for the dramatic face off.
Despite Brady’s significant edge in Super Bowls, there is still a large contingent of football fans who consider Rodgers the greater talent, so Brady still had something to play for in this final matchup.
In the past, they met every four seasons with each in different conferences, but with both in the NFC since 2020 when Brady joined the Buccaneers, they’ve faced each other another three times now.
They’ve split during the regular season, but Brady took home the huge playoff win in the 2021 NFC Championship Game. Through all their battles the two have always shown the utmost respect for each other, and if this was really their last head-to-head matchup, it was fun despite the limited offensive playmaking.
Rodgers 🤝 Brady
Two of the best to ever do it.
— ESPN (@espn) September 25, 2022
Brady Lauds Rodgers Prior To Matchup
In anticipation of Sunday’s battle, Brady lauded Rodgers, who many say is the most physically gifted quarterback to play the game. Here’s what Brady told The Athletic:
“He’s an amazing player and has been for long time. I love watching him play, and there’s some California too, so I feel like we always have a little bit of a connection. He’s an older guy now, he’s been a great player in the same place for a long time. There definitely are some challenges with that, but he’s navigated them pretty well. He’s done a great job — leads the team, they’ve won a lot of games since he’s been there.”
Notice Brady said they’ve won a lot of games, which is true. But it’s been Rodgers’ inability to win a second Super Bowl that’s often talked about. Despite leading a franchise that has been at the top or near the top of the NFC for the better of the last 10-12 seasons, the playoffs haven’t been kind to the psychedelic signal-caller.
Following the win, Rodgers even talked about how he can’t believe Brady is 45 and still doing it a high level.
Two of the NFL's best QBs of all time may have played their final game against each other.
Even after many years of matchups, Aaron Rodgers is still in awe of Tom Brady. pic.twitter.com/X0H9lwTKD9
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) September 26, 2022
End Of An Era? Seems That Way
While the two have given us football fans plenty to cheer about on Sundays, their time taking the field is just about up. With former Saints quarterback Drew Brees retiring after the 2020 season, it leaves Brady and Rodgers as the remaining veterans of the old QB guard. Pretty soon they’ll give way to the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 26, 2022
Will those guys ever equate to what we witnessed with Brady and Rodgers? That’s highly unlikely, and it begins with the longevity, staying healthy and still playing at a very high level into advanced ages. Secondly, both have posted record and stats that may never be duplicated. If Sunday’s matchup was indeed their final time locking horns, it’ll be remembered as the day the defenses won the battle against two all-time greats.
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