Way back in the spring of 2020 -- what feels like ages ago -- when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed quarterback Tom Brady, it was foretold the aged quarterback would clash with division rival Drew Brees for NFC South supremacy.
With both NFC South teams winning on Super Wild Card Weekend, the quadragenarians are set up for a third showdown, this time with a chance to reach the conference championship game.
"The minute he signed with the Bucs and came to the division, you felt like that was going to be a team to contend with (and) with playoff aspirations like ours," Brees said, via NFL Network's Jeffri Chadiha. "So I guess it was inevitable."
After two Saints regular-season wins over Brady's Bucs, Brees, who turns 42 years old this week, will try to make it three straight against his 43-year-old counterpart. Sunday night's tilt will be the first postseason meeting between Brees and Brady.
The first 2020 meeting between the Bucs and Saints came in Week 1, with the Saints jumping off to a big lead, thanks to a pick-six of Brady, and holding off a comeback for an 11-point win. In the second meeting in Week 9, New Orleans smothered the Bucs from the start, picking off TB12 three times, and Brees threw four TDs in the 38-3 prime-time embarrassment in Tampa.
With Brady finally getting comfortable with his weapons, the Bucs have ripped off five straight wins, albeit against clubs that all had losing records. After playing much of the season without a full staff on offense, the Saints' weapons are finally all on the field together with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara both returning this weekend.
The confluence of circumstances, inevitable or not, should make for a memorable playoff tilt between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks.