This sounds like the name of the country band playing down at your area ice house. But it's really the story of the interactions between the league's greatest quarterback and its youngest franchise.
This isn't exactly a feel-good Romcom. Brady was 7-2 against Houston in the regular season. But the best QB who ever lived has similar numbers of success against a lot of teams.
During the Brady-Patriot era, each of the other teams in the AFC East are sub .500. Think about that for a moment. Vinny Testaverde was starting for the Jets when Brady broke into the league. Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson were taking snaps for the Bills.
Think about this too – Brady has played two more years of NFL football than the Texans franchise.
The first time the Texans went up against Brady was at NRG Stadium in 2003. Tony Banks got the start in place of the injured David Carr. The game went deep into overtime but the Pats won it on an Adam Vinatieri field goal. New England would win the Super Bowl at NRG to end that season.
In '06, Carr and the Texans had a long day at Foxborough on the first trip there. Houston beat Brady on the third try. It was the '09 season finale. It's not quite fair to say the Texans 'beat Brady' because the Patriots didn't 'need' the game and pulled Brady for two drives, including the final Pats' possession after he took some big hits by Mario Williams and friends.
Four years and five losses later, including two in the playoffs, the Texans would get another shot in Foxborough but left too much time on the clock as Brady amazingly drove his team down the field and found Brandin Cooks on the sideline of the end zone for a toe-tapper winning score. Another loss there to open the '18 season set up the Texans' best win over the Patriots, in '19 on Sunday Night Football.
Seven different Houston quarterbacks started against Brady. Houston is not alone in having a parade of QBs go up against the G.O.A.T. as similar articles are being posted from around the country on the slew of signal-callers and players who have faced him.
When you include Brady playing in a preseason game at NRG last summer, the names that spanned the Texans-Brady era paint the picture. Jamie Sharper played for Houston against Brady. So did Garret Wallow. Corey Bradford caught passes for the Texans with Brady on the other sideline. So did Nico Collins.
It's hard to imagine both Carr and Davis Mills squaring off against a team led by the same quarterback. Carr retired 10 years ago while Mills was in junior high school. Brady has won four of his Super Bowls since then.
When Brady began his career, the Colts were in the AFC East and the Seahawks were in the AFC West. Davis Mills was 18 months old. I was getting ready for my second season with the Miami Hurricanes.
In other words, it's been a long time. He worked for a team that routinely won its division, which explains why Houston only saw him three times in the first decade of the franchise. Once the Texans made a bit of a habit out of winning the AFC South, they'd get the matchup with other division winners and see him much more often, including nine times in the last seven New England seasons, when you factor in the playoff games.
The great one is gone. It's not like it's gotten any easier. Now we have Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and others to worry about in the AFC. But with Brady going, and the recent farewells of Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, it certainly turns the page on a profound and prolific era of NFL quarterbacking. Led by Tom Brady.
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