Twitter didn’t take long to come up with the joke. Drew Brees won a playoff game that featured a special broadcast on Nickelodeon to set up a divisional round matchup with Tom Brady. Social media figured that should have a special broadcast, too, this time on the History Channel.
All that was left was for Brady’s team to create a meme embracing the age of the two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. And… voila!
When Brees’ Saints host Brady’s Buccaneers on Sunday night, it’ll mark the oldest quarterback matchup in NFL history. Brady has played the entire 2020 season at 43 years old, while Brees turned 42 on Friday before Sunday’s game. The pair already set that record and broke it again during the regular season in two Brees victories, and now they’ll leapfrog the mark one more time.
When it comes to age and the NFL, it’s been mostly kickers who have outlasted Brady and Brees, but maybe no one has been more productive after turning 40 than this pair. They’re supposed to be in the midst of a mid-life crisis, but instead, Brady won a ring at 41 and Brees led the NFL in completion percentage at 40.
Maybe Brady and Brees will need to take a nap before their night-time showdown, but once they’re on the field, it’ll be just one more piece of history they’ve created.
How old is Tom Brady?
Tom Brady is 43 years old. His birthday is in August, so each year he hits that new age before the NFL season starts and plays the entire campaign at that next year.
Brady was born in 1977. For context, that was a few months before Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in a World Series game for the Yankees to earn the “Mr. October” moniker. The Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA title shortly before Brady was born.
How old is Drew Brees?
Drew Brees is 42 years old. He was born Jan. 15, 1979, so he turned 42 two days before taking on Brady in the playoffs.
Just six days after Brees was born, Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers won the third of four Super Bowl titles in less than a decade. Some things never change, though — two weeks before Brees was born, Alabama won the Sugar Bowl over Penn State to claim a national championship for Bear Bryant.
Oldest NFL quarterback matchups ever
Brady and Brees are making history Sunday, with their 85 combined years marking the oldest quarterback matchup in NFL history. They set that record previously twice during the regular season when the Buccaneers and Saints faced off, but since Brees hadn’t had his birthday yet, both those contests featured a combined 84 years at the quarterback position.
Before Sunday, the oldest postseason quarterback matchup also featured Brady. When he was 41, he played 37-year old Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Brady vs. Brees in 2021 crushes that previous combined age record of 78.
Who are the oldest players in NFL playoff history?
Believe it or not, there have been players older than Brady and Brees to compete in the NFL playoffs (not many, though). Here’s a list of the top-10 oldest players to compete in the NFL postseason, comprised mostly of kickers:
- George Blanda, 48 – Blanda kicked an extra point and a field goal for the Raiders in a loss to the Steelers in the 1976 AFC championship game.
- Adam Vinatieri, 46 – Vinatieri played two playoff games for the Colts in Jan. 2019 shortly after turning 46. He made four extra points in those two games.
- John Carney, 44 – Carney made three out of five field goal attempts for the Giants in a 2009 playoff loss to the Eagles.
- Gary Anderson, 44 – Anderson, slightly younger than Carney at the time of his final playoff game, concluded his postseason career with two extra points in a 2004 Baltimore loss to Brady and the Patriots.
- Morten Anderson, 44 – Another month or so younger than Gary at the time of his final playoff game, Morten made two extra points in a 2005 playoff loss while playing for the Vikings.
- Tom Brady, 43 – Brady won’t get the chance to move up this list unless he plays in the playoffs in early 2022. If he does, though, he’d move up to third behind just Blanda and Vinatieri.
- Lou Groza, 43 – Groza made two extra points as the Browns lost to the Cowboys in Dec. 1967.
- Vinny Testaverde, 43 – The veteran quarterback took a knee for the Jets in a 2007 blowout of New England in the playoffs.
- Eddie Murray, 43 – The kicker made an extra point and a field goal in a 2000 Cowboys loss to the Vikings.
- Ray Brown, 43 – The offensive lineman started two games in Jan. 2006 for Washington shortly after turning 43.