After we final left Tom Brady, he was shedding observe of what down it was on the finish of a failed Buccaneers’ comeback try at Chicago, curiously later denying it regardless of video proof for all to see.
The subsequent process for Brady and the Buccaneers (Three-2) is a house sport Sunday in opposition to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (Four-Zero), who’re coming off a bye week.
This week, Packers operating again Jamaal Williams poked the bear with a playful jab at Brady whereas pumping up Rodgers as the higher of the 2 quarterbacks within the sport.
“I’m fairly positive my quarterback is aware of what fourth down is, you realize what I imply?’’ Williams chirped. “Aaron Rodgers would by no means try this. By no means.’’
Williams’ feedback got here after Brady thought fourth down was third down, and he tried for a low-percentage, down-the-field throw as an alternative of going for a shorter move to get a primary down within the 20-19 loss. After the play, the cameras confirmed Brady trying on the referee holding up 4 fingers as if to say, “It’s fourth down now.’’ Besides it wasn’t.
Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians protected Brady afterward, saying, “Yeah, he knew.” And Brady stumbled via a lame clarification that perhaps he shouldn’t have gone for the chunk-yardage play as an alternative of the shorter move, denying that he didn’t know what down it was.
It was all a somewhat embarrassing sequence for one of many biggest quarterbacks of all time, one he’d definitely wish to purge with a superb efficiency in opposition to the undefeated Packers and Rodgers, which he has confronted simply twice in his profession.
The 36-year-old Rodgers and 43-year-old Brady, who’ve a mixed 37 NFL seasons and 375 regular-season video games, every has one win within the head-to-head matchups, with the house crew successful each occasions.
Brady’s ballyhooed transfer to the Buccaneers after 20 years in New England has produced blended outcomes. He’s finishing simply 64.Three % of his passes for 1,375 yards with 12 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and a has a decent 96.eight passer ranking. However two of these picks have been returned for touchdowns.
Rodgers, in the meantime, has been his normal magnificent self — having thrown for 13 TDs with no INTs, a 70.5 completion share, 1,214 yards and a 128.Four passer ranking.
“We all know what we’re up in opposition to,’’ Brady instructed reporters this previous week. “We’re up in opposition to probably the greatest groups within the league.’’
And probably the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
“I believe everyone is just about in awe of how he makes it look really easy,’’ Brady stated of Rodgers. “There’s quite a lot of nice issues to say about his sport. He’s one of many nice quarterbacks to ever play the sport. He’s an awesome passer. He’s very environment friendly. His touchdown-to-interception ratio — he principally doesn’t throw interceptions and throws quite a lot of touchdowns. His decision-making is simply phenomenal.’’
Mentioned Rodgers of Brady: “He has clearly performed it on the highest of ranges for thus lengthy. He’s been an icon on the place. He’s been someone that we’ve all regarded as much as for thus a few years as the usual of excellence.’’
For his half, Rodgers has doggedly downplayed the quarterback matchup within the sport, emphasizing he was taking part in in opposition to the Tampa Bay protection and Brady in opposition to the Inexperienced Bay protection.
“That’s the way it ought to be seen,” Rodgers lectured reporters on Wednesday.
Packers left sort out David Bakhtiari, nonetheless, playfully referred to as the sport “the Tampa Bay Bradys versus the Inexperienced Bay Rodgers.’’
“It’s nice leisure,’’ Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett stated of the matchup. “You possibly can’t ask for something higher than this — these two guys, going in opposition to one another. For us as coaches, as gamers, as followers, as reporters, I simply suppose it’s nice leisure and a enjoyable factor to be part of.
“Anyone who’s part of both group, it’s only a nice alternative for us to observe them go at it. However for them, it’s one other sport. It’s simply concerning the stage they’re at.”