New England Patriots

Mar 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) is welcomed on a billboard over the crosstown expressway in Tampa Bay. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

Tom Brady will reportedly begin his Tampa Bay Buccaneers career against the greatest in-division threat to his attempt to lead the Bucs back to football relevancy: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

This matchup will have it all, really. Not only is this a great quarterback matchup and Brady’s first NFL game without Bill Belichick on the sidelines as his head coach, but this meeting will also bring us the return of Rob Gronkowski to the NFL after the Canton-bound tight end retired in Mar. 2019 and did pretty much everything one could do over a 12-month run. With all that in mind, it’s not hard to imagine this one being a straight-up scoring bonanza, and it’s also a matchup between the two teams everybody expects to be the top two teams in the NFC South.

Brees currently holds the advantage in his head-to-head record against Brady with three wins in five career showdowns. But Brady has gotten the better of Brees since Brees moved from San Diego to New Orleans in 2006, with wins in two of three meetings against the Brees-led Saints, including a 36-20 win back in Sept. 2017.

But the true shock of Brady’s Tampa Bay debut comes with word that this game will be featured in the 4:25 p.m. window and not primetime as you would have expected given this game’s obvious pull beyond Tampa, New Orleans, and New England.

Like, what the hell are we doing here?

If you could name a better potential Week 1 matchup than Brady’s Bucs against Brees and the Saints, I’m all ears. Because I truly don’t think you’ll find one. Actually, I know you won’t find one. It’s gonna be awesome when you find out this game isn’t in primetime so that we can get our annual garbage Cowboys vs. Eagles primetime puke contest or maybe a Ravens vs. Steelers blowout. GREAT. Just what we all wanted!

The entire NFL schedule will be released at 8 p.m. tonight, though the leaks are already starting to trickle out.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.