When Tom Brady signed with the Buccaneers in the spring of 2020, it set up an epic battle between him and Saints quarterback Drew Brees for NFC South dominance.
After both teams won their wild-card games this weekend, Brady and Brees will face off for the third time this season in the divisional round.
"I guess it was inevitable," said Brees, via ESPN. "Listen, the minute that he signed with the Bucs and came in the division, you felt like that was gonna be a team to contend with. That was gonna be a team that had playoff aspirations and beyond, just like us."
Brees, who will turn 42 this week, could consider retirement after this season. Sunday night's matchup will mark the first time Brees and Brady, 43, will meet in the postseason in their storied careers.
The Saints spoiled Brady's Buccaneers debut when the two teams clashed in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Thanks to a quick first-half lead and a Brady pick-six, New Orleans held off Tampa Bay's attempted comeback to win 34–23. In Week 9, the Saints shut down their rivals again when Brees threw four touchdowns in their 38–3 victory in Tampa.
Since then, the Bucs finished the regular season with four straight wins and a 31–23 rout of the Washington Football Team in the wild-card round. Meanwhile, the Saints capped off a 12–4 regular-season finish by winning the NFC South and defeating the Bears, 21–9, in the first round.
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