Brees, Brady among 22 NFL QB’s to play beyond 40

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Sep 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after a 34-23 loss against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Pool photo via Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

A tweet by Tom Brady on Monday was hilarious and Drew Brees liked it.

The two greats are a mutual admiration society.

It is the primary storyline.

For the third time this season, the graybeards of the NFL will lead their respective teams against each other.

Drew Brees turns 42 on Friday.

Tom Brady is 43.

Brady is the all-time leader in touchdown passes in NFL history with 581 while Brees is second with 571.

It will mark the first time that a pair of quarterbacks in excess of 40 will square off in a playoff game.

For the record, Brees has won five times while Brady has won twice in head-to-head matchups, though neither plays defense against the other. Two of the wins for Brees came when he was with San Diego so Drew is 3-2 with the Saints against Brady and the Patriots and Buccaneers.

The Saints beat Tampa Bay 34-23 on Sept. 13 to open the season before New Orleans blasted the Buccaneers 38-3 at Tampa on Nov. 8 as the Saints have outscored Tampa Bay 72-26.

In those two games, Brees combined to throw six touchdown passes with no interceptions while Brady threw two touchdown passes while suffering five interceptions.

Overall in the seven games, Brady has completed 191-of-302 passes (63.2%) for 2,228 yards and 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

In those games, Brees has completed 155-of-257 (60.3%) for 1,990 yards and 19 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Brees has not been intercepted in the last three games against Brady’s teams.

Brady’s best game against the Saints came on Sept. 17, 2017 in a 36-20 victory for New England at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Brady completed 30-of-39 passes for 447 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

Brees’ best game against Brady came against the Patriots on Monday Night Football on Nov. 30, 2009 in a 38-17 victory. Brees completed 18-of-23 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.

For the record, there have been 22 quarterbacks, including Brees and Brady, who have played into their 40’s in NFL history.

George Blanda, a quarterback who was also a kicker, played until he was 48.

To be fair, Blanda started just one game at quarterback after the age of 40. He stuck around as a reserve in that capacity and primarily as a kicker.

Among the others, there were career backups including Zeke Bratkowski, Vince Evans and Earl Morrall.

Others were reserves toward the end of their careers, including former New Orleans Saint Mark Brunell, who backed up Brees in the Super Bowl XLIV championship season of 2009.

Among the 22, five are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which Brees and Brady are certain to join.

Those enshrined in Canton, Ohio include Blanda, Len Dawson, Sonny Jurgensen, Warren Moon and Johnny Unitas.

Here is the full list of quarterbacks who have played beyond the age of 40 in NFL games:

George Blanda, Zeke Bratkowski, Brees, Brady, Mark Brunell, Charlie Conerly, Len Dawson, Steve DeBerg, Vince Evans, Brett Favre, Joe Ferguson of Shreveport, Doug Flutie, Jim Hart, Matt Hasselbeck, Brad Johnson, Sonny Jurgensen, Dave Krieg, Josh McCown, Warren Moon, Earl Morrall, Vinny Testaverde and Johnny Unitas.

The five graybeards in the Hall of Fame will become seven in the near future, whenever Brees and Brady are finally done.

Maybe they will resemble the Tweet.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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