At 40 and 38 years old, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL. Both are coming off great years. Each has said he wants to play till he's 45. Each appeared to be ageless as their 2016 seasons concluded.
But Father Time sacks all of us eventually. Even two eventual Hall of Famers. Not to say that he has - only to say that he might be. Brady's performance in a season-opening shocker of a 42-27 homefield loss to the chiefs was abysmal. He didn't throw a touchdown while completing an NFL low 44 percent of his passes. He was sacked three times behind an offensive line that is far from elite.
Many of Drew's statistics against the Vikings were compiled in "garbage time" with the outcome no longer in doubt. The Saint offense has now scored one touchdown in all four pre-season games and in the regular season opener.
Brady and Brees have made careers out of bouncing back from rough outings to silence their critics. Each has another chance to do the same Sunday. Will both? One? Neither?
Brady will be operating against a Saints secondary that permitted Sam Bradford to have a career game. It was a secondary that was missing a man on its very first play of the game Monday Night when the Saints opened a penny-short in a nickel defense that had only 10 players on the field.
Nothing got Sean Payton hotter during the Rob Ryan era than substitution mess-ups. To have one on the first play of the season must have infuriated him, which leads me to conclude maybe the offending party was Sterling Moore, who didn't get a single snap on defense the entire night. It's the only explanation I can think of. That he was benched for his inattention, causing him to be absent from a defense that allowed Bradford to complete over 84 percent of his passes.
It could be a great opportunity for the Patriot quarterback to look like the old Tom Brady or the Saints defense to make him look like an old Tom Brady. Both he and Drew, the Patriots and the Saints, will face that day of reckoning eventually.
They all hope and contend: no time soon.
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