“This has acquired to be probably the most anticipated recreation in NFL historical past!”
It is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the New England Patriots; Tom Brady vs Invoice Belichick – “the all-time most winningest Tremendous Bowl-champion quarterback,” as NBC’s Soccer Evening in America host Mike Tirico would elaborate, “versus the best head coach of all time in Belichick.”
Brady’s return to Foxborough on Sunday night time, the place he referred to as residence for 20 years and the place he gained six of his document seven rings, has been dubbed Tremendous Bowl 55 and a ½ – it is simply that necessary!
October 4, 2021, 1:10am
This is not seen as your typical Week 4 common season matchup. It is a homecoming, it is a revenge recreation and it will likely be a record-breaker (probably for a number of causes).
The primary document on the radar; Brady is ready to turn into the NFL’s all-time passing chief, needing simply 68 yards to interrupt Drew Brees’ mark of 80,358, who, so as to add a bit of additional star energy to proceedings – as if this recreation wanted it – will probably be in attendance on the night time with NBC.
It is considerably poetic that the schedule-maker stars have aligned to permit Brady to interrupt the document in entrance of his adoring New England devoted. However additionally it is, arguably, a little bit merciless too on the house assist, serving as a reminder of what they’ve misplaced.
Brady’s inventory, regardless of his advancing years, has solely risen since his considerably acrimonious exit from the Patriots. He led the Bucs to Tremendous Bowl success in his first season with the group as they defeated the defending champs, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, 31-9 within the showpiece recreation again in February.
Tampa’s group, admittedly, is loaded with expertise, however Brady is way from driving on the coattails of others. He’s arguably taking part in the very best soccer of his storied profession, aged 44, and has even hinted that he may keep on to 50!
Brady leads the NFL with 10 passing touchdowns this season, bringing his complete in 23 video games with the Buccaneers (together with playoffs) to 60. That is already 5 greater than he had in his final two seasons with the Patriots (55 over 36 video games), whereas New England are tied with the New York Giants for the fewest go TDs (14) since Brady’s arrival in Tampa to begin the 2020 season.
The group he left behind has been affected by an identification disaster ever since, with the Patriots slipping final 12 months to their first dropping season (ending 7-9) since Brady’s arrival as a fresh-faced sixth-round draft choose again in 2000.
It is why the lots are so curious to see how Brady is in truth welcomed residence. Will he get the reception that his two-decade lengthy CV with the group so deserves, or will there be bitterness within the air over the best way he left?
“Brady was the sixth quarterback taken within the 2000 NFL Draft,” Good Morning Soccer‘s Peter Schrager mentioned this week. “He remembers all of these gamers; it nonetheless impacts him at present, nonetheless drives him.
“He has re-written historical past so many instances. And it was such a bizarre ending for Brady in Foxborough – his final go as a Patriot was a choose six to Logan Ryan [in a Wild Card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans]. I believe it nonetheless sits with him.
“For me, Brady needs to get the final phrase, the final giggle right here, and he needs the final go that he can look again on and say, ‘that is how I ended issues in Foxborough’.”
Brady himself has mentioned “I would not anticipate a homecoming” from the group on his return to Gillette Stadium, however the followers are prone to warmly obtain their former hero, definitely pre-game. However what of his former head coach? Will there be a handshake, a hug, some heat phrases exchanged or not one of the above?
Brady has repeatedly insisted he solely has fondness for Belichick and his years in New England – “great recollections and among the best experiences of my life came about in these 20 years,” he mentioned this week – however that hasn’t precisely been the get together line toed by these closest to him.
Private coach and shut buddy Alex Guerrero spoke of the QB-coach dynamic, saying: “It was like Invoice’s feelings or emotions by no means developed with age.
“As Tom acquired into his late 30s or early 40s, I believe Invoice was nonetheless making an attempt to deal with him like that 20-year-old child that he drafted. That was such a Invoice factor.”
Even Brady’s father weighed in on his son’s exit from Foxborough. When showing on NBC Sports activities’ Fast Slants final week, and requested whether or not his son felt vindicated after leaving New England and successful one other Tremendous Bowl with the Buccaneers, Tom Brady Sr mentioned: “Rattling proper.
“Belichick needed him out the door and final 12 months he threw  touchdowns – I believe that is a reasonably good 12 months.
“My feeling is that Tommy is very appreciative of the whole lot that occurred throughout his New England profession, and he is more than pleased that he is moved on, as a result of it was fairly apparent that the Patriot regime felt it was time for him to maneuver on.”
That is the generally held perception, that Belichick had been succession planning for some time on the quarterback place and wasn’t prepared to decide to Brady long-term, hastening his exit.
All of it signifies that Brady will probably be additional eager to win this one, regardless of the entrance he may placed on with the press that it is ‘simply one other recreation’.
He has insisted this week: “I am not going to reminisce. I do not suppose that is the second for that.
“I am going to have lots alternatives to reminisce about my soccer profession – none of which I actually care to do proper now as a result of I am a lot within the second.
“I am not going to be fascinated with 20 years of historical past. I’ll be fascinated with one night time of soccer.”
When the time lastly does come for him to reminisce, although, Brady’s NFL legacy has lengthy been cemented irrespective of how Sunday night time goes. With seven rings, and having crucially earned the newest of these free from the ‘clutches’ of Belichick, he has assured footballing immortality.
As for Belichick, his ‘gushing’ about Brady at pre-game press conferences has been, true to type, restricted and drawn out. He’s nonetheless broadly thought of the best NFL coach of all time, however during the last 18 months he has definitely been dropping the battle within the public court docket of notion as as to whether he or Brady was extra essential to the New England dynasty.
There isn’t a larger alternative for him to handle that narrative than to beat Brady and for the 1-2 stuttering Patriots to upset the defending Tremendous Bowl-champion Bucs on Sunday night time.
It may not be the form of championship-defining recreation that the pair are used to, however the winner of Tremendous Bowl 55 and a ½ will little doubt nonetheless safe a particular place in NFL historical past.
Watch Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough, as his Tampa Bay Buccaneers face Invoice Belichick’s New England Patriots, stay on Sky Sports activities NFL from 1.20am, Monday morning.
https://www.skysports.com/nfl/news/12040/12421143/tom-brady-vs-bill-belichick-the-nfls-most-successful-quarterback-and-coach-combo-meet-again-in-new-england | Tom Brady vs Invoice Belichick: The NFL’s most profitable quarterback and coach combo meet once more in New England | NFL News