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The end of the road seems near for future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. The two grizzled veterans have led their teams to disappointing 3-5 records heading into the ninth week of the 2022 NFL season.
Brady has thrown just nine touchdown passes in eight games and has tossed multiple scoring passes in only one contest. The 45-year-old directs a subpar Tampa Bay offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in points scored (25th), total yards (23rd), rushing yards (32nd), and time of possession (30th).
Brady Has Thrown Fewer Touchdown Passes
The GOAT has attempted 40-plus passes in six games this season despite proclaiming he wanted a more balanced offensive strategy this past offseason. Brady has not thrown an interception since Week 1 but has posted just three touchdown passes over his last 16 quarters under center.
Brady continued his assault on the record books in a Week 3 loss to Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. He threw for 271 yards to become the first quarterback in league history to surpass 85,000 career passing yards and is the only signal-caller to win a Super Bowl in three different decades.
Buccaneers Have Lost Three Straight Games
The Buccaneers are currently riding a three-game losing streak which has not happened to Brady in two decades. The 23rd-year quarterback had not lost three consecutive games since his third season in the league in 2002.
Rodgers has tossed 13 touchdown passes and has posted a pair of scoring strikes in six games. The 38-year-old oversees a Green Bay offensive unit ranked 26th with 18.1 points per game. The Packers’ 3-5 record is Rodgers’ worst through eight games in his stellar career.
Rodgers Passing Yards Are Significantly Lower
The four-time NFL MVP has thrown for 255 yards or fewer in every game this season, including a pair of contests with less than 200 passing yards. Rodgers has completed 23 or fewer passes in five outings, and the Packers have failed to score more than 17 points in four games.
The 18th-year veteran has been intercepted four times this season and has lost three of his six fumbles. Rodgers has averaged 42.5 touchdown passes over the past two seasons but is on pace this year to tally just 28 scoring passes.
Packers Losing Streak Continues
The Packers have lost four games in a row for the first time in six years. Rodgers has not dropped five consecutive games since his first year as a starter 15 years ago.
The Buccaneers remain the favorites to win the NFC South and are just one game behind division frontrunner Atlanta (4-4). However, barring a collapse from the Minnesota Vikings (6-1), The Packers must win eight of their final nine games to have a shot at clinching a playoff berth.
Will Brady Return in 2023?
While all signs point to Brady retiring after the 2022 season, Rodgers has two years remaining on a $150.8 million contract he signed this past spring, including $101.5 million guaranteed. But if Tampa Bay rebounds in the second half of the season and plays well in the postseason, could Brady return for a record-setting 24th season?
The end of the road is not as close as it seems for two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.