The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings face off Sunday in an important clash that will determine their postseason fate at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers are 7-5 while the Vikings are 6-6 and a victory would certainly give their postseason chances a much-needed boost. The Buccaneers are a 6.5-point favorite heading into the week despite riding a two-game losing streak following losses to the Los Angeles Rams and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Ahead of their clash, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins heaped praises on his Buccaneers counterpart, veteran Tom Brady, in his media conference.

“I have great respect for him and for what he’s done,” said Cousins, who said he was in seventh grade when Brady won the first of his six Super Bowl rings in 2002 in his 20-year stint with the New England Patriots.

Cousins is 0-2 against Brady

Despite Brady’s age, Cousins said that the decline in his play hasn’t set in, thanks to the veteran quarterback’s hard work. “Due to Tom’s hard work and his preparation and his approach in so many areas of his preparation, that decline hasn’t set in,” said Cousins in the press conference video posted on YouTube as transcribed by the author. The Vikings quarterback added that Brady has set a high bar for those who follow him. When asked about how well he knows Brady, Cousins said he had a chance to shake the veteran quarterback’s hand a few times post-game.

“That’s about it. It’s all been from a distance,” added Cousins, per a report by Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Earlier, Brady was criticized for not shaking the hands of Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles and Jared Goff of the Rams after the game. Cousins is 0-2 against Brady, who was then playing for the Patriots.

In 2015, Cousins, who was then playing for the then-Washington Redskins, lost to the Patriots, 27-10. In 2018, Cousins suffered another loss to Brady on the road, 24-10.

Brady is 5-0 against the Vikings

Overall, Brady is 5-0 against the Vikings in his career and safety Harrison Smith was the only remaining Minnesota player in their last two losses to the Patriots.

When asked about Brady, Smith said the veteran quarterback is prepared. “He knows what your looks are, he knows how to set his protections, how to get them in the right place, he’s very quick with his reads and his decision making,” said Smith, per Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post. Smith said Brady is aware of what’s going on, on the field and knows everything his line is doing and all his receivers need to do. The safety added that Brady is also aware of where his backs need to go or whether they need to block and anticipates what the defense or the coverage is doing.