Tom Brady is preparing to play in his 42nd career playoff game on Saturday, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback will still experience plenty of firsts. The most obvious is that it will be Brady’s first playoff game without the New England Patriots. What may seem impossible, however, is that it is the 43-year-old’s first ever wild card game.
Brady went to the playoffs 17 times in 19 seasons with the Patriots. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes, New England was never once a wild card team during the Brady era.
This weekend will be a first: In his 21 NFL seasons, Buccaneers' QB Tom Brady never has gone to the postseason as a wild card.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2021
That is yet another illustration of how dominant Brady and Bill Belichick were for the better part of two decades together. The Patriots won the AFC East 17 times during the Brady-Belichick era. Even after their six Super Bowl titles together, that particular feat still probably doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
Fortunately for Brady, his first ever wild card game will come against Washington, which finished the season with a 7-9 record. You can’t ask for a much better road game than that, though we know how excited one Washington star is to face Brady.
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