Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was only three years old when Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran signal-caller Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl trophy with the New England Patriots in 2001. Now 22 years old, Herbert will start anew for third straight time for the Chargers, replacing the injured veteran Tyrod Taylor and playing opposite the 43-year-old Brady. And when they face off on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, it will be the first time since 1950 that there will be a twenty-year age gap between the two starting quarterbacks in an NFL game. During Friday’s press conference, Herbert told the media that he’s a huge Brady fan.

“Just growing up watching him, he’s done some exceptional things,” said Herbert, adding that Brady has been “good as anyone who has ever done it."

Herbert excited to play vs Brady

When asked about their Sunday’s game, Herbert said “it’s an incredible opportunity” to play against his childhood idol. Herbert also called the opportunity to line up across from Brady is “going to be really cool”, adding that there’s a lot that he could learn from the Buccaneers’ star quarterback. Herbert said he also expects a tough challenge from the Buccaneers’ defense, which has tormented the quarterbacks of their past two opponents—the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. According to the rookie signal caller, he has watched various films of the Buccaneers’ defense to better prepare for their clash on Sunday.

Herbert assumed the starting role in Week 2 after starter Tyrod Taylor injured his lung after he was accidentally punctured by the team doctor while being administered with painkiller for his injured ribs. The Chargers have entered the week as a 7.5-point underdog to the Buccaneers after two consecutive losses with Herbert at the helm.

Brady impressed with Herbert’s two starts

Herbert, a sixth overall pick by the Chargers in the 2020 NFL Draft, has been impressive in his first two starts. In their 23-20 overtime loss to the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs, Herbert completed 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

He followed it with 35-of-49 performance for 330 yards and a touchdown with an interception in their 21-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. No less than Brady took notice of Herbert’s performance, saying he was impressed by the rookie’s showing in his first two starts. “He’s done a great job in the time he’s been in there,” said Brady, adding that the Buccaneer have to play good to beat the Chargers. Brady’s numbers against the Chargers are exceptional, going 9-2 in 11 career games against the Bolts. During his 20-year stint with the Patriots, Brady has thrown for 3,284 yards and 20 touchdowns against the Chargers.

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