This weekend will mark the first ever playoff matchup between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady when the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off in the Divisional Round.
Both men have had storied careers playing a combined 40 seasons in the NFL making 27 Pro Bowls while ranking first and second respectively in career passing yards and passing touchdowns in the regular season respectively.
In their careers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees have faced each other seven times, including twice in the regular season this season. Here we will breakdown each matchup between the quarterbacks.
Analysis, results for every Tom Brady vs Drew Brees matchup
September 29, 2002: San Diego Chargers 21, New England Patriots 14
The first matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady took place in Brees’ first full season as a starting quarterback and Brady’s second full season as a starter. This also came a season following TB12 leading the Patriots to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history after upsetting the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Brees finished with a less than spectacular 104 passing yards, completing just 10 of 18 attempts and a touchdown, while Brady threw for 353 yards on 36-of-53 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. LaDainian Tomlinson overshadowed both men finishing with a spectacular 217 rushing yards on 27 attempts, scoring two touchdowns.
Drew Brees: 1 Tom Brady: 0
October 2, 2005: San Diego Chargers 41, New England Patriots 17
By the time of the next Brees-Brady matchup, the former made his first Pro Bowl appearance in the season prior and was in his final year with the Chargers before signing with the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, Brady now had three Super Bowl wins to his resume, including championships in each of the two prior seasons.
This time around, Brees had a much better showing in the 2005 matchup, hitting on 19 of 24 passes for 248 yards and two scores. Brady finished with 224 passing yards, misfiring on 19-of-32 throws with a touchdown and an interception. With the game tied 17-17 at halftime, the Chargers took control of the game shutting out the Patriots 24-0 to take a 41-17 win.
Drew Brees 2, Tom Brady 0
November 30, 2009: New Orleans Saints 38, New England Patriots 17
This was the first Brady-Brees matchup to take place with Brees as a member of the Saints. At the time of this game, New Orleans was 10-0 on the heels of a Brees MVP-caliber season. Brees would continue his spectacular campaign, completing 18 of 23 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns. Two different receivers for the Saints finished with over 100 receiving yards on less than four receptions (Marques Colston: four receptions for 121 yards; Devery Henderson: three receptions for 116 yards).
Brady was less than spectacular, throwing for 237 yards on 21-of-36 passing and two interceptions. While the Saints would not finish the season undefeated, they would wind up with the best record in the NFC at 13-3, going on to win the Super Bowl by beating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
Drew Brees 3, Tom Brady 0
October 13, 2013: New England Patriots 30, New Orleans Saints 27
After three failed attempts, Brady and the New England Patriots finally got a win against Brees. This was also the Saints’ first loss of the season as they came into this game with a 5-0 record while the Patriots were 4-1.
What sealed the win for the Patriots was a clutch, 17-yard touchdown strike from Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds remaining in the game. Brady played a solid game, racking up 269 yards through the air on 25 of 43 attempts with a touchdown and an interception. Meanwhile, Brees had trouble against Bill Belichick’s defense, finishing with 236 passing yards on 36 attempts (17 completions), notching two touchdowns to one interception.
Drew Brees 3, Tom Brady 1
September 17, 2017: New England Patriots 36, New Orleans Saints 20
This matchup came in week two of the 2017 NFL season. Both teams were looking for their first win of the season as the Patriots lost to the Kansas City Chiefs at home while the Saints lost to the Minnesota Vikings on the road. The Patriots came into the 2017 season looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions after beating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. It was the Patriots taking the win on the heels of an incredible performance by Tom Brady. He finished the game with 447 passing yards on 30/39 passing along with three touchdowns. Drew Brees also played well recording 356 passing yards on 27/45 passing with two touchdowns. The Patriots went on to appear in their second straight Super Bowl but were unsuccessful losing to the Philadelphia Eagles. Meanwhile, the Saints season ended in heartbreaking fashion losing to the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Round via Stefon Diggs game-winning touchdown dubbed the Minneapolis Miracle.
Drew Brees 3, Tom Brady 2
September 13, 2020: New Orleans Saints 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
This game was both teams’ season opener in the 2020 campaign as well as Brady’s debut with the Buccaneers after spending 20 years with the Patriots.
Neither quarterback was particularly great in this game, as Brees finished with only 160 yards, converting 18 of 30 pass attempts with two touchdowns. Brady, on the other hand, went 23 of 36 for 239 yards passing, notching two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also recorded a rare rushing touchdown with a two-yard plunge for the first score of the game.
Drew Brees 4, Tom Brady 2
November 8, 2020: New Orleans Saints 38, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
By virtue of Brady now playing with Tampa Bay in the NFC South, in the same division as New Orleans, this gave fans a chance to see Brees and Brady face off twice in the 2020 regular season.
Unfortunately, this encounter was no better than their first in terms of entertainment value for the casual fan, as this was the largest margin of defeat in the series between the quarterbacks. It was the first time a Brady-led team finished a game without scoring a touchdown since 2014. Brady had a disastrous game, finishing with 209 passing yards, completing 22 of 38 throws with three interceptions. That marked the most picks Brady has thrown in a game since 2011. Meanwhile, Drew Brees was very efficient, accumulating 222 passing yards and throwing just six incompletions on 32 attempts, with four scores to boot.
Drew Brees 5, Tom Brady 2
It’s clear Brees has historically had the upper hand, and certainly did in 2020. However, with the new year comes what could be the final clash of these quarterback titans. Since their last meeting, the Bucs had a bye, Brady and the offense are humming, and you can bet he’ll give Brees and the Saints all they can handle as New Orleans tries to send its longtime face of the franchise to retirement with a second Super Bowl run.