Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will go head-to-head Sunday afternoon as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of the 2020-21 NFC Championship.
It’s the second time since Brady joined the Buccaneers that he’s playing Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the regular season. Their most recent regular-season matchup came on Oct. 18, 2020, and Tampa Bay won the game 38-10 behind Brady’s two touchdown passes. Rodgers was picked off twice.
Sunday’s matchup will feature two completely different teams than those that played during previous regular-season and postseason matchups.
Brady and the Buccaneers won the first two games on the schedule while the Packers bounced back nicely last week against the Chicago Bears following a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner talked Thursday about playing Rodgers.
"He's an amazing player, has been for a long time. I love watching him play, and he's from 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," Brady said.
"There definitely are some challenges with that but he's navigated them pretty well and has done a great job, leads the team. They've won a lot of games since he's been there. And I knew Brett [Favre] pretty well; with those two guys are two pretty great quarterbacks for a long period of time in one place."
Rodgers also talked about his admiration for Brady earlier in the week, but ruled out playing for as long as Brady has.
"The consistency where you’re still playing at a high level and there’s not the drop-off. Every great player fears turning into a real below-average player on the way out. I don’t think anybody wants to really hang on," Rodgers said.
"Maybe some guys just want to get another year, or they’re maybe on a team where they can do a lot less. But when you’ve achieved at a high level for a long time, you try and stay there for as long as you can."
Rodgers and Brady are the two best quarterbacks in the NFL. The Packers star is the two-time reigning MVP while Brady is coming off one of his best years at the quarterback position.
Through two games in 2022, Rodgers has 429 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Brady has 402 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
The Buccaneers will be down two wide receivers for this game. Mike Evans was suspended over a fight during the New Orleans Saints game while Chris Godwin is dealing with a hamstring injury.
The Packers will be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins while Christian Watson was limited in Friday’s practice and was listed as questionable.
A win for both teams early in the season could set the tone for the rest of the year.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.