When the New Orleans Saints kick off the 2020 NFL season this Sunday, two future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks will take the field across from one another.
The 41-year-old Drew Brees, entering his 15th season with the Saints and 20th overall, will be going head-to-head with Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady.
The 43-year-old Brady is also set to begin his 20th season as a pro, but his first with the Bucs. This is bound to make the sixth Brady-Brees duel a bit more intriguing.
Here’s a quick look at the previous five meetings between the two legendary signal callers:
Sept. 29, 2002
San Diego Chargers 21, New England Patriots 14
The two quarterbacks first crossed paths during Brees’ five-year tenure with the Chargers — also his first full season as the starter. While San Diego got the best of Brady’s Pats, it was primarily off the back of Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson’s 217-yard rushing yards performance.
Brady completed 36 of his 53 pass attempts for 353 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of picks, while Brees tossed the pigskin just 18 times, completing 10 of those attempts for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, LT’s rushing touchdowns of 37 and 58 yards in the second and third quarters went unanswered as the Chargers’ defense held off New England’s offense.
Oct. 2, 2005
San Diego Chargers 41, New England Patriots 17
San Diego used 24 unanswered second half points to pull away with the blowout victory over the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots in Week 4. Brees was incredibly efficient under center, totaling just five incompletions while tossing 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Foxboro.
Tomlinson had another strong performance against New England’s front seven, tallying 134 yards and two TDs. Knotted 17-17 at the halftime break, LT’s 1-yard rush with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter put the Bolts ahead for good as Brees improved to 2-0 against Brady.
Nov. 30, 2009
New Orleans Saints 38, New England Patriots 17
Brees dazzled in front of the primetime Monday night crowd as he led his New Orleans Saints to an 11-0 record with this Week 12 blowout victory.
He went 18-of-23 for 371 yards and five touchdowns. The performance remains one of just eight career games in which he threw at least five touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Oct. 13, 2013
New England Patriots 30, New Orleans Saints
Brees hit receiver Kenny Stills for a go-ahead, 34-yard touchdown strike with 3:29 remaining, and placekicker Garrett Hartley extended the lead, to 27-23, with a 39-yard field goal at the 2:24 mark.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Brady led a game-winning drive capped by a 17-yard TD pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with just five ticks to spare for the three-point victory.
Sept. 17, 2017
New England Patriots 36, New Orleans Saints 20
The most recent meeting between these two quarterbacks came nearly three years ago and featured 803 passing yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions between the pair.
Neither offense turned the ball over, but New England’s run game controlled the clock with 119 yards and a touchdown, possessing the ball for over 35 minutes of game clock and pulling away with the nonconference win.
The previous five meetings featured Brady in a Patriots uniform, so Sunday afternoon will look a bit different. But with Brady, New Orleans native Leonard Fournette, Brady’s former Patriot TE Rob Gronkowski and All Pro LeSean McCoy in a Bucs uniform this season, this NFC South rivalry just got a bit more intriguing.