Tonight two of the best quarterbacks of the modern era go head-to-head at Lambeau Field.
For all the high acclaim and success both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have earned in their respective careers, it seems amazing that this will be the first time they will start against each other.
It adds an intriguing extra storyline to a game that does not really need any extra hype. The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers come into the game as two of the form teams in the NFL, looking potent and efficient on all sides of the ball and completely blowing opposition away over the last month by scoring points for fun.
The star play-callers have been at the centre of the two team’s strong rise in form. Over the years they have both shown they are winners, but they win with clear differences in style – Tom Brady will mechanically read and pass through defenses as he sees them, while Aaron Rodgers primary weapon is that he possesses perhaps the strongest and most accurate arm in the NFL.
Despite the Brady and Rodgers clash monopolising all the headline space in the build-up, the game could be decided elsewhere on the field. The Patriots defense has looked very strong throughout their current winning streak, which stands at seven games. New England has switched and changed the defense to read situations really well all year and could look to take advantage of the fact more than half of Aaron Rodgers throws this year are aimed at either Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb.
The Green Bay Packers will look for home-field advantage to play a big part as they have been simply awesome at home so far this season. In recent weeks their home games have been all but over by half time due to the brilliant performances by the offense, both in the air and on the ground. Although the Patriots are another team used to playing in cold conditions, Lambeau Field will be full and playing in front of the home fans cannot be undervalued.
When asked his thoughts on the similarities between the quarterbacks, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick amusingly replied, “They both wear number 12.” Obviously, there’s more to it than their jerseys, but the quote demonstrates that both sets of coaches will be concentrating on all areas of the field. There are many players on both rosters who can have a say in who wins this game.
It comes with the territory though, that all the attention will be on Brady and Rodgers. They are the faces of the franchises and are the ones who carry their respective teams. The story of the game will be shaped by who performs better and the result will give whoever is victorious a 1-0 lead in the Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers annals. Unless it’s a tie…and nobody wants a tie. Let’s hope for a great match-up, plenty of points and a worthy winner.