TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady outplayed Aaron Rodgers in a rare meeting between the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers erased an early double-digit deficit to rout the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers 38-10 on Sunday.
It was the 43-year-old Brady’s first signature victory since signing with the Bucs (4-2) after a historic 20-year run with the New England Patriots, which included nine NFL title game appearances and six championships.
He got his favorite target from his days with the Patriots into the mix, throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski for a 28-10 halftime lead. It was Gronkowski’s first TD since December 2018 and the 79th for the quarterback/tight end tandem — tied for fourth on the all-time list with Miami’s Dan Marino and Mark Clayton.
Brady also threw a 7-yard TD pass to rookie Tyler Johnson and Ronald Jones had a pair of rushing TDs for Tampa Bay, which got an even more impressive performance from its defense.
Rodgers threw two interceptions — Green Bay’s first turnovers of the season — within a three-pass span of the second quarter to turn a 10-0 Packers lead into a 14-10 deficit.
Green Bay (4-1) never recovered.
Cornerback Jamel Dean broke on Rodgers’ sideline throw intended for Davante Adams and returned the pick 32 yards to get the Bucs rolling. Safety Mike Edwards returned a second interception on a throw also intended for Adams 38 yards to the Green Bay 2 to set up Jones’ rushing TD on the next play.
Rodgers finished 16 of 35 for 160 yards and no touchdowns after completing 70.5 percent of his passes and throwing for 13 TDs and no interceptions in Green Bay’s first four games.
Brady was 17 of 27 for 166 yards and two TDs without an interception. Jones rushed for 113 yards and Gronkowski led the Bucs with five receptions for 78 yards — his best game since ending a one-year retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay.
It was just the third time the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks have faced each other in their long successful careers.
And although both insisted it wasn’t Brady vs. Rodgers, the friends expressed mutual admiration for one another’s accomplishments while acknowledging it would be fun sharing the field with the Packers trying to remain unbeaten and the Bucs looking to gauge their progress against one of the NFL’s top teams.
Brady noted how important it would be to minimize mistakes, something no quarterback had done better through the first five weeks of the season.
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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports