Quarterback Tom Brady’s first regular-season game with the New England Patriots came against the Detroit Lions in 2000 when he was asked to finish their 34-9 blowout loss on Thanksgiving Day. The following year, Brady took over as starter when Drew Bledsoe suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. Brady never looked back from there as he led the Patriots to six Super Bowl wins. Along the way, Brady lorded it over the Lions, winning four straight games between 2002 and 2014, according to The Football Database. In 2018, the Lions snapped Brady’s winning streak with a 26-10 victory, giving their quarterback Matthew Stafford his first win over the veteran signal-caller in three career meetings.

The Lions will meet Brady anew on Sunday, but the latter is now wearing a different uniform since he signed a two-year deal worth $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a 20-year stint with the Patriots. The game is significant career-wise for Brady as this will be his 300th career regular-season game. Despite playing in a new system under coach Bruce Arians, Brady flourished in his first year with the Buccaneers, throwing for 3,886 yards and 32 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Brady’s performance this season has amazed Stafford, who expressed this sentiment during his press conference on Wednesday.

Stafford has ton of respect for Brady

“I have a ton of respect for him. Anywhere he goes, he’s gonna be playing at a high level. There’s no question about that,” said Stafford, as transcribed from the video of the interview.

“Going into a different system and learning that after as long as he was in one, that’s a challenge. Obviously, you got to learn the little intricacies of that offense and you still putting up good numbers and got his team in position,” he added. Stafford also called Brady an all-time great player, adding that he enjoys competing against him in the past.

The Buccaneers are on a two-game winning streak, making them an overwhelming 7.5-point favorite over the Lions ahead of their Saturday’s clash. The 9-5 Buccaneers need to win over the 5-9 Lions to secure their first postseason appearance since 2007. Aside from this, the game is significant career-wise for Brady as this will be his 300th career regular-season game since being drafted 199th overall by the Patriots in 2000.

Brady prefers winning over Pro Bowl

Many were emotional after Brady was not selected to the Pro Bowl despite his amazing numbers at age 43. In the NFC, the quarterbacks selected to the Pro Bowl were Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals. Despite this, Brady is not losing sleep of missing the opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl where he was selected 14 times in his Hall of Fame-bound career. During his Wednesday’s press conference, Brady said he thinks it’s really great for other guys to get picked. “I think ultimately, for me, it’s about winning games,” said Brady.

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