Two of the NFL’s legendary quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, square off for only the second time on Sunday night when Brady’s New England Patriots host Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers.
“I love watching him play,” Brady said of his friend and All-Pro peer on Wednesday. “To see him up close is great. I watch him play whenever he’s out there. I study a lot of the Packers’ offense, I study Aaron as a player and he just does an incredible job.”
Their lone matchup came in 2014 at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 26-21, with Rodgers (24 of 38 passing, 368 yards, two touchdowns) outdueling Brady (22 of 35 passing, 245 yards, two touchdowns).
“When played him in ‘14, he had a great game against us,” Brady continued. “He just challenges the defense in a lot of ways. I loved going to Lambeau Field and playing him four years ago. It’ll be great to play him at home this time. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Brady got the last laugh that season. Green Bay lost in overtime to Seattle in the NFC Championship Game. Brady and Co. went on to beat Seattle in the Super Bowl.
“I wish we would have been there in ‘14,” Rodgers said. “We were right there on the doorstep. That would have been a fun one. It’s great for the league and obviously great for NBC this week with their promos, but I think that’s the beauty of this league sometimes is you have players that are in different conferences and don’t get a chance to play each other a lot. Fans and media and the NFL can hope for certain things but that’s the beauty in our game. There’s a great parity - maybe not always with them because they seem to be in the Super Bowl a lot - but it’d be nice to get back there and play against him one more time.”
With five consecutive wins, the Patriots (6-2) again look like prime contenders in the AFC. Offensively, they’ve got a chance to be at full strength with rookie running back Sony Michel returning to practice after missing most of the last two games with a knee injury.
The Packers (3-3-1), on the other hand, face an uphill battle to get into the playoffs, let alone return to the Super Bowl. They traded punches with the undefeated Rams before losing 29-27 last week.
“When you have an opponent like that, especially that’s historically able to win games and play at a high level, it feels like going from a preseason to a regular-season game,” Packers receiver Davante Adams said. “We know who we’re facing and the type of coach and players they have.”
—Field Level Media