For the first time in 20 years, Tom Brady will wear a different uniform on Sunday.
The world has become so accustomed to Brady wearing his number 12 jersey with the logo of the New England Patriots that he was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft after the franchise that won him six Super Bowl titles. But in 2020, one of the oddest years in recent memory, Brady’s decision to leave is no surprise.
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When Brady’s Week 1 kicks off on Sunday, future Hall of Fame quarterbacks will play in New Orleans against the future Hall of Fame Drew Breeds and Saints of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This week at 1 pm on Fox at 4:25 pm ET featured two of the biggest quarterbacks of the era and the NFL’s top two all-time passing yardage leaders. Trees is No. 1 with 77,416 yards, and Brady is No. 2 with 74,571 yards. Trees also holds an NFL record for completions and touchdown passes.
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Trees, who has led the Saints to three straight NFC North titles, will have their work cut for them this year, especially because many think their window for the championship is nearly closed. The Saints, who reached the 13–3 finals, have been the division’s only winning team in the past two seasons.
New Orleans has been on the wrong side of every result in the playoffs in recent memory. Three years ago, the Saints left the Minnesota Vikings to a Hale Mary and wide receiver Stephen Diggs when time expired. The following season, a sinister no-call in the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams prevented the Saints from reaching the Super Bowl, and last year, New Orleans once again fell to the Vikings, causing quarterback Kirk Cousins , Which guided Minnesota to an overtime win.
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The Buccaneers, on the other hand, finished with a record of 7-9 in 2019 behind quarterback Jemis Winston, who threw for a career-high 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. However, he managed to throw a league-high 30 interceptions, to go with five fumbles, which he decided after easing Brady for head coach Bruce Arion.
A year later, Winston left Tampa Bay and signed with the Saints to return the trees.
Once Brady signed with the Buccaneers, former teammates and star Tait and Rob Gronkowski were unread, and traded to the Patriots in Tampa Bay.
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Add Gronkowski to the mix of weapons that includes wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and running back Leonard Fournette, who was signed by the team after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
The Buccaneers have commanded most of the offscreen headlines in the division, but the Saints will have something to say about this when the two divisions close out rivals in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.