Primed for Primetime – Brady and Rodgers Rank among Most Prolific QBs in Primetime Since 2008
“When you start talking about who is not just the greatest at this time, but potentially the greatest of all time, and you have two of the guys in that conversation, that makes for a special night of football.” – Cris Collinsworth
“We’ve been waiting all season. This is about as exciting as it gets on a Sunday night.” – Al Michaels
“This is quarterback mastery.” – Fred Gaudelli
Tom Brady and the AFC East-leading New England Patriots host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in an eagerly-anticipated matchup this weekend on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Coverage begins with Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET on NBC, followed by a new, earlier SNF kickoff time of 8:20 p.m. ET, from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Sunday night marks only the second time Brady and Rodgers will face off as starting quarterbacks, and the first time since 2014, when they combined for 613 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 26-21 Green Bay victory at Lambeau Field. Between them, Brady and Rodgers boast 19 Pro Bowl selections, five NFL MVP awards, nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl rings.
As expected, Brady and Rodgers have also delivered in primetime. Following is a look at the NFL’s winningest quarterbacks in all primetime games since Rodgers became the Packers’ starter in 2008 (minimum 35 starts):
Quarterback W-L Win %
TD Passes Rating
Tom Brady 31-11 .738 295.6 89 102.0
Ben Roethlisberger 32-14 .696 279.2 81 96.4
Drew Brees 25-14 .641 313.4 96 109.0
Aaron Rodgers 26-16 .619 268.0 92 104.4
On a Wednesday conference call, Sunday Night Football’s on-air team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya, and executive producer Fred Gaudelli previewed the matchup. Following are excerpts from the call:
Cris Collinsworth on GOAT debate:
I bet if I added them up, this argument — the Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady argument — is starting to draw equal with the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning argument that took place over time. And this one is so unique because of the physical skills of Aaron, and, of course, Aaron is coming into this with a limited physical ability because of the knee and how that plays into this game at this point.
At every level, in every sport, when you start talking about who is not just the greatest at this time, but potentially the greatest of all time, and you have two of the guys in that conversation, that makes for a special night of football.
Al Michaels on anticipating the Brady-Rodgers matchup:
We talked during the offseason, knowing this was a game that could pop. You know your schedule for the following year. We’re covering games that [we say], ‘Boy, we’ve got to get to those games.’
I think of the song with the lyrics ‘waiting all day for Sunday night.’ It’s that this Sunday night. We’ve been waiting all season for it… This is about as exciting as it gets on a Sunday night. I can’t wait to get there.
Michele Tafoya on what she expects on Sunday night:
These quarterbacks are similar, yet distinct from one another. I think similar just in the level of confidence. They’re cool on the field. This game is going to be chock-full of a lot of action on the field, and it’s probably going to be a tight game.
Fred Gaudelli on covering the game:
This is quarterback mastery — quarterback play at the very highest level. While you know they can throw it, and in Rodgers’ case really throw it on the run and extend plays, there’s so much more that these guys do that can be brought out into this telecast, and just try to work around that word, mastery.
Having spoken to both guys already this season — and Tom twice — they really dig deep to find the very smallest of edges to improve themselves. Whether it’s what they do in the off-season, whether it’s how they practice, what they do at practice, or just reading Michele’s interview with Aaron Rodgers, the mind exercises he does before the game. We’ll look to try to expose some of that as well.