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Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes vs. Josh Allen?

Former Cal QB may be facing the GOAT for the last time Sunday, but is that matchup more compelling than Mahomes-Allen?
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In recent years a game matching former Cal star Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, labeled the best quarterback in history, was considered the dream matchup of NFL quarterbacks.

Rodgers carries his four MVPs into the Packers' Sunday game against the Buccaneers and Brady, who has three MVPs and seven NFL championship rings, and both quarterbacks believe they can win the NFC and get to the Super Bowl this season.  What could be more attractive?

Well, there's another quarterback matchup in the AFC that challenges Rodgers-Brady for spectator appeal.  That involves Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes versus Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, a younger version of the Rodgers-Brady rivalry and one that is picking up steam.

Last season's riveting playoff game introduced us to the Mahomes-Allen rivalry.  The Chiefs won 42-36 in overtime with Allen never getting on the field in the extra period, causing a rules change. , 

This season the Chiefs and Bills are both 2-0 and looking very much like the best teams in the AFC. Allen leads the NFL in passer rating this season, and Mahomes is second.

Mahones has won three of the four games against Allen's Bills. The Bills and Chiefs don't play each other during the 2022 regular season, but it's a good bet they will meet in the postseason. 

But the most appealing aspect of the Mahomes-Allen rivalry is that it is just getting started, with a series of great games between them looming.

Mahomes and Allen have a combined age of 53 years, while Rodgers and Brady have a combined age of 83 years -- a difference of 30 years and a lot of NFL experience. 

In fact, Sunday's game may be the last time the 38-year-old Rodgers and the 45-year-old Brady go against each other in a football game. So pay attention to this Rodgers'-Brady matchup, which will be only their fifth head-to-head meeting. 

They are two of the best quarterbacks in history, so who's better, given that Brady has a 3-1 advantage in head-to-head matchups?

Skip and Shannan argue the points on ESPN

--Rodgers was clearly the better college quarterback, finishing ninth in the 2004 Heisman Trophy voting while at Cal and being a first-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft. Brady was not a first- or second-team all-Big Ten selection at Michigan as a senior in 1999 and was a sixth-round pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

However, college performances mean little when comparing players' accomplishments. Pro careers are what matters.

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--Brady leads the head-to-head NFL matchups 3-1, including the Tampa Bay playoff victory two years ago.

--Brady is the alltime leader in career NFL touchdown passes with 626, well ahead of Rodgers at 451, which ranks fifth alltime.

--However, Rodgers had thrown just 94 interceptions in his 18 NFL seasons while Brady has thrown more than twice as many picks -- 204 -- in his 23 seasons.

--Rodgers has a career passer rating of 104.4, the best in history among quarterbacks who played at least five seasons, while Brady is sixth in that category at 97.5

--Rodgers has won four MVPs, including the past two in a row, while Brady has won three MVPs.

--Brady 35-12 in postseason games, including 5-1 in his last six playoff games.  Rodgers is 12-10 in the postseason, including 2-4 in his last six.

--Brady has won seven Super Bowls -- six with the Patriots and one with Tampa Bay two years ago -- while Rodgers won a single Super Bowl back in 2011 (2010 season).

That final category provides the hammer for Brady in discussions about the best quarterback in history, although Rodgers might be considered the greatest regular-season quarterback in history, a dubious distinction.

Sunday's game is important for the Packers, who don't want to slip to 1-2, while the Bucs have two difficult games in a row -- this Sunday against the Packers and next Sunday against the Chiefs and Mahomes, who was 4 years old when Brady first suited up for an NFL game. 

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Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady is by Tim Klement, USA TODAY Sports

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