MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — It’s an NFL playoff matchup for the ages and the aged.
That’s because forty-something stars Tom Brady of Tampa Bay and Drew Brees in New Orleans are meeting in an NFC playoff game this weekend.
Despite their age, these two quarterbacks are thriving on the playoff stage at an age when nearly every other great passer in NFL history was already enjoying retirement.
Brees will take the field for the Saints two days after turning 42 as the young gun in this matchup against the 43-year-old Brady, who has shattered nearly every record for longevity in the NFL.
It is the oldest combined age for starting QBs in NFL history.
The combined age of the starting quarterbacks will be an NFL-record 85, surpassing the 84 from their two starts in the regular season this season. The previous playoff record for combined age of starting QBs was 78 when 41-year-old Brady outdueled 37-year-old Philip Rivers two years ago in the divisional round.
Brees has thrown for more yards than any QB in the regular season with 80,358 and ranks second in TD passes with 571. Brady holds the mark for touchdowns with 581 and trails only Brees in yardage with 79,204.
This marks just the second time since at least 1950 that the NFL’s top two players in career yards passing will meet in the playoffs. Second-ranked John Elway’s Denver Broncos beat then-leader Dan Marino and the Dolphins 38-3 in the divisional round following the 1998 season.
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This will be the first time since at least 1950 that the two career leaders in TD passes will meet in the postseason.
Brady, who is seeking his record seventh Super Bowl title and 10th appearance, has already lapped the field when it comes to playoff wins. He won his 31st postseason start last week and can double second-place Joe Montana’s career total of 16 this week. Brady’s 75 TD passes in the playoffs are already 30 more than Montana had.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)