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However, there is likewise an abundance of future Hall of Famers who can continue to climb all-time record books, defy time and sling it like few before have.
Look no further than the 38-year-old Philip Rivers and the 42-year-old Tom Brady, who are expected to become the fifth and sixth quarterbacks in NFL history to start for new teams after having previously won 100-plus starts for another franchise, per NFL Research. Rivers will be No. 5 and Brady No. 6 as the Colts are set to open at the Jaguars at 1 p.m. ET, with Brady’s Bucs at the Saints in a 4:25 start in Week 1.
While these will be historic starts for Rivers and Brady in new places, they will likewise be the beginnings to campaigns brimming with expectations for the Colts and Buccaneers and seasons overflowing with intriguing quarterback showdowns.
At the onset, Rivers and Brady will join the hallowed company of Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre (twice), Joe Montana and Peyton Manning, who was the last to do it in 2012. They are the only signal-callers to have started for a different team after collecting 100 or more victories with another squad.
Brady will begin in a much-ballyhooed NFC South tilt against Drew Brees‘ Saints. Together with Brees and Brady, the Falcons‘ Matt Ryan is one of just 10 passers in NFL chronicle to have thrown for more than 50,000 yards and for the first time, three will be playing within the same division.
Rivers is also in that club, sitting at sixth all-time with 59,271 yards. While Brees is No. 1 (77,416) and a good distance ahead of No. 2 Brady (74,571), Rivers’ time in Indy will have the added intrigue of chasing down the No. 5 spot owned by Dolphins legend Dan Marino (61,361).
With 541 touchdowns, Brady could conceivably catch and pass Brees (547; most all-time) and trade back and forth through the season.
Along with taking on Ryan twice in a Super Bowl rematch — one of 10 such matchups on the season — Brady has hugely interesting face-to-faces with Aaron Rodgers (Week 6) and Patrick Mahomes (Week 12). Rivers will also see Rodgers in Week 11, just a couple games after a playoff rematch against Lamar Jackson (Week 9). And then there’s a 2004 draft reunion in Week 16 with Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger.
The elder statesmen of the NFL signal-callers’ club are still getting it done and still at the forefront of high-profile games.
Who knows how close Rivers and Brady are to the end of the line, but when the 2020 season starts, they’ll make some history and, as it plays out, they’re sure to write some more.