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Los Angeles (AFP) – In his likely final NFL season, veteran quarterback Tom Brady will face would-be successor Patrick Mahomes on Sunday in a rematch for the Buccaneers’ win over the Chiefs in the 2021 Super Bowl.
The match will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, home of the Buccaneers, despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in the state of Florida, which forced Brady and his teammates to move to Miami to train.
Both teams had not met since, in that same scenario, the Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in the Super Bowl in February 2021, in which Brady won his seventh ring in the American Football League (NFL) .
In that victory in front of their fans, the Bucs managed to score four touchdowns while their dominant defense contained the enormous talent of Mahomes, who aspired to confirm himself as the undisputed heir to Brady.
Now the situation has changed and Tampa’s offense is averaging just 17 points in the first three games of the season.
“Hopefully we can get more points than we’ve been scoring,” Brady said this week in a telephone news conference.
“We are all disappointed for not having scored as much as we are capable of. We have played three games and we realize that there are things that we have not done well and that we have to correct,” said the quarterback, always self-demanding at 45 years old.
Tampa’s offensive woes were on full display in a 14-12 home loss to Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers last weekend, the first of a season that began with wins over New Orleans and Dallas.
Brady, the referent
In the offensive ranking, the Buccaneers rank 27th out of 32 teams so far this season. Their defense, on the other hand, is ranked fourth in the league, and as Brady acknowledged, is largely responsible for their positive balance so far.
“We’ve got to go out there and match what they’re doing,” Brady said of his teammates behind. “We have to go out there and score more points and take the pressure off them.”
Although Brady ranks 28th among quarterbacks, Mahomes is in no doubt that his next opponent remains the NFL’s go-to.
At 27, Mahomes assured that he would like to emulate Brady by extending his career for as long as his physical condition allows.
“I want to play as long as I can,” he stressed. “Obviously, it’s hard to play until you’re 45, and I don’t want to be there just hanging on.”
“But you see what Tom is: he continues to play at a very high level. I think that’s why it’s hard for him to leave,” Mahomes said. “I’m going to try to keep my body in the best possible shape and as long as they let me play and I can play at a high level, I’ll be out there.”
The Chiefs will try to bounce back from their shock 20-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last weekend, their first setback of the season after two wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals.
Pederson’s return to Philadelphia
In other NFL Week 4 highlights, the Philadelphia Eagles will try to remain the only unbeaten franchise this season when they are visited by up-and-coming quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars, after their chaotic last season (3-14) under the command of the dismissed Urban Meyer, have recovered under the command of Doug Pederson, former Eagles coach.
Pederson was fired by the Eagles in 2021, three years after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl win, and now he’s unsure how he’ll be received by his former fans.
“It’s Philly. Anything is possible with these fans,” Pederson said this week.
For their part, the Buffalo Bills will visit the Baltimore Ravens with the goal of returning to winning ways after last weekend’s resounding loss to the Miami Dolphins.
© 2022 AFP
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Tom Brady before a possible last generational duel against Mahomes in the NFL