We’ve seen Tom Brady prove people wrong time and time again, but how far can he go? How far until father time catches up to him?
Great matchups and the continuation of a legacy
By Mo Hussain, Contributor
The NFL playoffs kick off this weekend and fans are in for a ride. Whether it’s 44-year old Tom Brady defying father time, sophomore quarterback Joe Borrow looking to make a statement, or the superstar-filled LA Rams looking for a payoff on the gambles they’ve taken, this post-season is sure to be one for the ages.
Here are three matchups to look out for:
Las Vegas Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals
This will be the first playoff appearance for either of these teams in quite a while. The Cincinnati Bengals last made the playoffs in the 2015 season. The Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since the 2016 season.
Both teams have a certain hunger to win this game because it’s been even longer since either one has gotten past the wildcard stage. The last time the Bengals and Raiders advanced was in 1990 and 2002, respectively.
The leading quarterbacks also have individual points to prove. Bengals sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow looks to make his mark as an up and coming star. Meanwhile, eight-year veteran Derek Carr looks to continue his redemption year as the Raiders quarterback. Carr’s career surged back to the level he was once playing at five seasons ago.
The last time these two teams played was in November when the Bengals defeated the Raiders 32-13.
Can Brady do it again?
In the minds of most football fans, Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady is the best football player in history. The 44-year old has been able to win more super bowls than any other NFL player ever. He’s shown that he can win without former head coach Bill Belichick, make the most out of any player on his team, and that he can continuously stay in shape and play the game at a high level despite his age.
However, there’s one question that will loom until the day he retires. Can he do it again? We’ve seen Tom Brady prove people wrong time and time again, but how far can he go? How far until father time catches up to him?
What Brady has done throughout his career is so unprecedented, that there is no telling how far he can go. Brady and the Buccaneers’ next test will be against the Philidelphia Eagles, who have a lot of momentum riding their way. The team’s managed to win six of their last eight games despite starting the season with a 2-5 record.
The last time these two teams played was in October when the Buccaneers beat the Eagles 28-22.
Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals
Leading up to this game against the Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams went all-out in grabbing the best players they can to win this year. In March, the team traded for Matthew Stafford, one of the top quarterbacks in the league. In September, they then traded for Von Miller, a former Super-Bowl MVP and eight-time Pro-Bowl Linebacker. The team then put the icing on the cake by trading for three-time Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Combine that with a team that already has five-time Pro Bowl Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and eight-time pro-bowler Aaron Donald and this team looks ready to win.
However, the one issue with all that is that the Rams are playing a very good team that has a good chance of making all those investments go to waste. The Arizona Cardinals, led by 24-year old quarterback Kyler Murray, are very close with the Rams on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the Rams only averaged out 0.7 more points scored in the regular season and averaged 2.5 yards less than the Cardinals received. Defensively, the Cardinals conceded 0.4 fewer points than the Rams and conceded 15.7 fewer yards as well.
The margins are so tight with these teams that it can go any way. The last two games between the two were split as the Cardinals won 37-20 back in October, and the Rams got the upper hand 30-23 in December.