As the NFL community awaits Tom Brady’s decision on the next step in his career, one cannot help but notice the changing of the guard that we witnessed during the 2022 season. first time since 2009, the divisional round of the postseason has not included a game in which Brady or Aaron Rodgers are on the field. More than a decade of deep playoff runs completed for now, at least.
Since 2010, the veteran duo has played in 14 conference championship games together, and Brady has appeared in eight straight AFC title games in New England. Either Brady or Rodgers have been to seven of the last 12 Super Bowls, and Tom has carried the brunt of that burden. No matter how you grade it, these quarterbacks owned the last decade.
Whether it’s wins, stats or individual accolades, the story of the 10s in the NFL can’t be told without Brady and Rodgers. Multiple MVPs, All-Pros and Pro Bowl selections between them, but the one thing we never got was a matchup on Super Bowl Sunday. And it will most likely never happen.
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This season we have officially seen the passing of the torch on top of the QB mountain. Entering the season, Rodgers was the league’s reigning MVP and played in the NFC Championship game against Brady two years ago. Brady won his seventh Super Bowl ring after holding off Rodgers and the Packers in that postseason.
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The writing is on the wall in big bold red letters for Brady and Rodgers. A new breed of younger, athletic QBs have wrested the mantle from the old guard, led by Patrick Mahomes. Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and now Jalen Hurts are also part of the next generation of elite QBs. This is Hurts’ first MVP-caliber campaign, but if he continues to improve as a passer, he’ll be in the MVP conversation for many years.
In matchups against Mahomes, Jackson and Burrow, Brady went 0-3 this year. Rodgers went 0-2 against the new kids on the block, losing in the loss to Allen and Hurts. Brady and Rodgers are no longer the dominant force in the league that other QBs are chasing. No man has thrown more than 26 touchdowns, and Rodgers failure eclipse 4,000 yards passing for a full season for the first time since 2015. So it’s safe to say that the days of Brady/Rodgers dominance are over. Both appeared in all 17 games, and their teams finished with the same 8-9 record. Tampa Bay was lucky to play in the worst division in football, winning the NFC South with a losing record.
Unless one or both of them pick up and go, their time in the winner’s circle is probably up. There is speculation that it could be Brady moves on his third team, with multiple suitors reportedly in the mix for his services. You never know what will happen with Rodgers this offseason, but he’ll probably be back in Green Bay for another year complaining about what he doesn’t have and how his wide receiver can’t get it right. It seems the most we can expect from these two is drama.