When they met in Week 4, quarterback Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 19-17 win over his former team, the New England Patriots, at Gillette Stadium.

With that win, the Buccaneers solidified their position as one of the contenders for the Super Bowl with a 3-1 mark while the Patriots were miserable at 1-3. But the Patriots won seven of their last eight games, including six straight victories, to improve to 8-4 and emerge as one of the Super Bowl contenders in the AFC.

The Buccaneers, for their part, lead the NFC South with an 8-3 mark on the strength of a two-game winning streak.

Their respective successes have put the Buccaneers and the Patriots on a possible collision course for the Lombardi Trophy next year.

Football Outsiders have given the Patriots a 25.4 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl this season, while the Buccaneers have a 19.9 percent chance of winning a second straight Lombardi Trophy. As for the possibility of a Buccaneers-Patriots Super Bowl clash, Football Outsiders said there’s a 14.8 percent chance that the 44-year-old Brady will play his former team in next year’s Super Bowl.

TV execs anticipating Bucs-Patriots showdown

This early, Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports reported that TV executives are anticipating that a showdown between the Buccaneers and the Patriots in the biggest football stage could happen.

“It’s absolutely the dream Super Bowl,” said Patrick Crakes, an ex-Fox Sports executive turned media consultant. A Buccaneers-Patriots showdown could draw the biggest TV audience this February when it comes to viewership.

According to Jay Rosenstein, a former CBS Sports vice president of programming, only a Super Bowl showdown featuring the Dallas Cowboys against a marquee AFC team could rival the Brady-Belichick clash in terms of viewership.

In Week 13, the Buccaneers will go for a third straight win when they eye a series sweep against the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots, for their part, will go for a seventh straight win against division rival Buffalo Bills.

Bucs players to watch vs Falcons

When the Buccaneers go up against the Falcons, Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com mentioned some Tampa Bay players to watch.

First is Brady, who is 9-0 against the Falcons in the regular season and the playoffs. In those games, Brady averaged 330.3 passing yards and an average rating of 114.2 with a total of 24 touchdowns.

Wide receiver Mike Evans has also flourished against the Falcons, as he averaged 81.2 receiving yards per game and a total of 10 touchdowns in 14 games against them. Inside linebacker Lavonte David has dominated the Falcons in their first 18 meetings, recording a total of 142 combined tackles.