Bucs vs. Saints marks historic QB matchup with Tom Brady, Drew Brees

FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady talks to offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich during an NFL football training camp practice Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. Teams with new coaches or new quarterbacks could limit their playbooks early in the season because they missed valuable practice time in the offseason due to the coronavirus shutdown. Even Tom Brady has found it challenging to learn a new system. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) (Chris O'Meara, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TAMPA BAY (7-9) at NEW ORLEANS (13-4)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE - Saints by 4 1/2

SERIES RECORD - Saints lead 35-21

LAST MEETING - Saints beat Buccaneers 34-17 on Nov. 17, 2019 at Tampa





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The first time in NFL history both starting QBs are 40 years old or older. Bucs’ Tom Brady is 43 and Saints’ Drew Brees 41. ... Also features top two QBs all-time in yards and TDs passing. Brees leads both categories with 77,416 yards and 547 TDs, followed by Brady with 74,571 yards, 541 TDs. ... First game since 1998 (Dan Marino and John Elway) featuring top two career yards passing leaders. ... First game since at least 1950 featuring NFL's top two career TD pass leaders. ... Brady signed a two-year, fully guaranteed $50 million contract with the Bucs in free agency, ending 20-season run with New England that included nine Super Bowl appearances and six championships. ... Brady's coming off arguably one of his worst non-injury years with 4,057 yards and 24 TDs passing, and eight INTs. Hardly bad numbers, though. ... In five career starts vs. Saints, Brady has thrown for 286.6 yards per game, 11 total TDs and three INTs. ... WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both made Pro Bowl last season, when the Buccaneers led the NFL in passing offense. Evans, who is battling a hamstring injury, had 1,157 yards receiving, joining Hall of Famer Randy Moss as only players in NFL history to begin career with six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. ... Godwin was third in the NFL with 1,333 yards receiving. ... Trade acquisition TE Rob Gronkowski returns after sitting out 2019 in retirement and, along with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate gives Brady three proven TEs this season. ... Gronkowski had 521 receptions for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in nine seasons with Patriots. ... Two rookies won starting a job in Tampa Bay’s season-opening lineup: first-round OT Tristan Wirfs and second-round S Antoine Winfield Jr., whose dad played in NFL and had INT vs. Brady early in QB’s career. ... Bucs kept core of improved defense together, placing franchise tag on NFL sacks leader Shaquil Barrett and re-signing OLB Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Ndamukong Suh. Barrett had 19½ sacks in 2019, his first season with Tampa Bay. ... Saints have won past three meetings. ... Brees had 74.3 completion percentage in 2019, second highest in single-season mark in NFL history behind only his own 74.4% in 2018. ... Brees passed for 2,979 yards with 27 TDs vs. career-low four INTs for career-high 116.3 rating last season. ... All-Pro WR Michael Thomas led Saints last season with NFL single-season record 149 catches for 1,725 yards, nine TDs. ... Saints added WR Emmanuel Sanders in free agency after Sanders had 36 catches for 502 yards and three TDs with San Francisco last season. ... Saints KR-PR Deonte Harris was All-Pro last season as rookie out of Division II Assumption and is expected to have more of a role in offense. ... RB Alvin Kamara had 1,330 scrimmage yards (797 rushing, 533 receiving) and six total TDs in 2019. ... Kamara and Falcons WR Julio Jones are only players with 1,300-plus scrimmage yards in each of past three seasons. ... Kamara is among four RBs in NFL history with three seasons in which he made 80 or more catches. ... DE Cameron Jordan led Saints with career-high 15 1/2 sacks in 2019. ... All-Pro LB Demario Davis led Saints with 111 tackles. ... S Malcolm Jenkins enters first game of second stint with Saints, who drafted him in first round in 2009. ... Jenkins had 80 tackles, eight passes defensed and four forced fumbles in 2019 with Philadelphia, where he spent past six seasons. ... Fantasy tip: With Sanders aboard, look for Thomas to get help in receiving game to boost his numbers.


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