The Green Bay Packers will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship on Sunday. Two of the NFL's best quarterbacks — Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady — will headline this matchup while marking a significant moment in their respective careers. Sunday will be the first time that Brady and Rodgers have played each other in the postseason.
Before the 2021 season, Brady played for the New England Patriots and ruled over the AFC, while Rodgers has spent his entire career in the NFC. The only path for them to meet in the playoffs was for each of them to reach the Super Bowl. Brady did so nine times, winning six Lombardi Trophies in the process. Rodgers, on the other hand, only reached the big game one time. He and the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
Wake up it's CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY! 🏈 pic.twitter.com/3AEv52gcNu— NFL (@NFL) January 24, 2021
While playoff matchups have not taken place featuring these two quarterbacks, they have met in the regular season four separate times. Brady won two as a member of the Patriots and another as a member of the Buccaneers. Rodgers only defeated his peer once, a 2014 game at Lambeau Field.
Sunday's battle will have more than just a trip to Super Bowl LV as a prominent storyline. The two quarterbacks will each have other factors in play as they take the field. For Brady, he will have the opportunity to further solidify his legacy as the best quarterback in football history with an unprecedented 10th trip to the Super Bowl. He can also earn a $500,000 bonus simply by winning the game.
On the other hand, Rodgers can solidify his position as a future Hall of Famer by reaching the championship for the second time and adding another trophy to his collection. He has the passing statistics and winning seasons to serve as evidence of his abilities on the field, but a second Lombardi Trophy would only add to his legacy.
Rodgers may be much younger than Brady, but he knows that his career is nearing its end. He is 37 years old and is playing the best football of his career. However, Rodgers knows that he can't play forever, so he is taking every opportunity to enjoy the time that he has remaining.
"I'm always just trying to stay present, especially this year as much as anything, and enjoy the moments," Rodgers said, per ESPN. "I hope there's more opportunities, but I don't know. I mean, I really don't. That stuff is out of my control. My future is a beautiful mystery I think. The present is such a gift to be able to stay in the moment and to have gratitude for being in this situation again, and being with the guys and having fans in our stadium and maybe snow in an NFC Championship Game. I'm going to enjoy these moments for sure, and just not worry about what happens down the line."