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Green Bay Rodgerses vs. Tampa Bay Bradys? Not in Aaron’s mind – Green Bay Packers Blog

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made one thing clear well in advance of Sunday’s game against Tom Brady: Don’t ask him about playing against Tom Brady.

“We talk a lot about dumb media questions; that’s one of them,” Rodgers said last week during a bye week appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Rodgers had just seen a similar line of questions come up a week earlier in advance of the Chiefs-Ravens game, a game hyped as Patrick Mahomes against Lamar Jackson.

“And it doesn’t stop, it really doesn’t stop,” Rodgers said on the show. “I was watching Lamar and Patrick being asked about it. It’s same answer every time. You just want to [say], ‘Hey, I’m not playing against him. I’m playing against that defense. He’s playing against our defense. Do I need to say this again?’”

If Rodgers was trying to head off the questions well in advance of his weekly session with the media before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it mostly worked.

That doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the fact Rodgers vs. Brady III is a football fan’s lottery prize. They’ve split their first two meetings, with Rodgers on the winning side in 2014 at Lambeau Field and Brady on the winning side in 2018 at New England.

Fans were robbed of at least one other matchup — the 2010 game in Foxborough because Rodgers had suffered a concussion the previous week against the Lions.

The one that would have been the biggest never happened because the Packers lost the 2014 NFC Championship Game at Seattle, memorably blowing a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead, thus denying a Rodgers-Brady matchup in Super Bowl XLIX.

Few could have predicted they would meet in 2020. But when Brady jumped to the Bucs this offseason, a bonus byproduct was at least one more meeting between the two future Hall of Famers — even if Rodgers doesn’t view it that way.

“Like I said, I’m not playing against Tom; I’m playing against the Buccaneers’ defense,” Rodgers reiterated this week. “That’s how it should be viewed. When it comes to big picture and you guys writing your stories and telling that whole story, which I know is a part of it, it’s two older guys. He’s a little bit older than I am; he’s got me by about six-and-a-half or seven years, but we haven’t played a lot because he’s been in the AFC the majority of his career and I’ve been over here.”

That didn’t stop at least one of Rodgers’ teammates from having fun with it.

“Yeah, I mean, we just prayed for Tom Brady versus Aaron Rodgers,” Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari said sarcastically. “You got the Tampa Bay Bradys versus the Green Bay Rodgerses. That’s the way I look at this game. It’s a one-on-one battle.”

If there’s anything missing from Rodgers’ Hall of Fame career, perhaps it’s an archrival quarterback. Rodgers and Brady can be considered contemporaries, but not rivals.

Brady had Peyton Manning. They played 17 times (with Brady winning 11) .

Mahomes and Jackson are three years into the NFL and already they’ve played three times (with Mahomes winning all of them).

Rodgers has played the most against Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, winning 11 of 15 games. Next up is former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (13 times, 11 wins).

Outside of the NFC North, his most common quarterback foe is Matt Ryan, and Rodgers evened that series at 5-5 with the Week 4 win at Lambeau Field. Next is Russell Wilson, and Rodgers evened that at 4-4 with last year’s playoff win against Seattle.

Even another one of his contemporaries, Drew Brees, hasn’t been a regular foe. The Week 3 win at the Saints was just the fifth meeting between Rodgers and Brees, with Rodgers holding a 3-2 edge. He played Brett Favre almost as much, going 2-2 when Favre was with the Vikings in 2009-10.

Lest anyone think Rodgers has underplayed his feelings about playing Brady on Sunday in Tampa, his teammates have projected the same vibe.

“You look at it as a cool thing until the clock starts running,” Packers receiver Davante Adams said. “At the end of the day, I don’t really care if it’s Nate Peterman or it’s Tom Brady on the other side, honestly, because that has nothing to do with what I’m doing. I go into kind of a ‘black hole’; I get kind of tunnel vision I guess people would call it when I’m on the field. Sometimes I don’t even hear the crowd when I’m on the field. I would say probably one of the last things in the world I’m worried about is who’s playing quarterback on the other team.”

And the same could be said for Rodgers.

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Carson Wentz leads Philadelphia Eagles’ late-game surge to beat New York Giants

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PHILADELPHIA — Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles did it again, roaring back late in the game to upend the New York Giants, 22-21, and put themselves in the driver’s seat in the lowly NFC East.

In the process, they extended their winning streak over the Giants to eight games.

Wentz led a pair of touchdown drives in the fourth quarter after struggling for much of the night, and put the Eagles ahead with a beauty of a pass to running back Boston Scott down the right sideline for an 18-yard touchdown with 40 seconds remaining.

He finished 25-of-43 for 359 yards with three touchdowns (2 passing, 1 running) and an interception.

Wentz has had a sometimes bumpy start to the season — his 10 interceptions through seven games is the most by an Eagles quarterback since Sam Bradford in 2015 — but he’s picked up the pace over the last three games, and continues to show a penchant for late-game heroics.

The win was reminiscent of their Week 14 win over the Giants last year, in which they overcame a 17-3 deficit to in 23-17 in overtime. That kick-started a four-game winning streak that put the Eagles in the playoffs.

They could be on a similar trajectory this season despite their 2-4-1 record. According to the ESPN Power Football Index, their chances of winning the division shot up to 61 percent with the win.

The Eagles defense generated three turnovers, including a Brandon Graham strip sack of Daniel Jones late in the game to seal the victory.

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Tripped up — Giants’ Daniel Jones falls on a breakaway to the end zone

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Daniel Jones is gone! Well … almost.

The Giants quarterback seemed destined for an 88-yard touchdown. Until the turf got him.

With nobody in sight, Jones had a certain touchdown disappear midway through the third quarter when he stumbled and fell at the Eagles’ 8-yard line. It still was the longest quarterback run since 2015, when Marcus Mariota had an 87-yard scamper against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jones reached a max speed of 21.23 miles per hour, the fastest by a quarterback since 2018.

It drew laughs on the Giants sideline and across the NFL Twitterverse.

Fortunately for New York, it eventually scored three plays later on a one-yard run by running back Wayne Gallman.



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Follow live: Wentz guides Eagles to second TD of game

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