The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady in the offseason hoping the six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback could help them end a 12-year playoff drought and capture the biggest prize of all.
They're off to a good start.
The Buccaneers come into their matchup against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night eyeing their fourth straight win and looking down at the rest of the NFC South.
The 43-year-old Brady is delivering after his production dipped in his 20th and final season in New England. Signed to a two-year, fully guaranteed $50 million contract, he's tied with Patrick Mahomes for fourth in the league with 11 TD passes behind Russell Wilson (16), Aaron Rodgers (13) and Josh Allen (12).
Brady threw for 369 yards and five touchdowns and helped Tampa Bay overcome a 17-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 38-31 last week. In doing that, he became the NFL’s all-time regular-season victories leader (222), regardless of position.
Now, Brady is about to face a team that's never beaten him. He is 5-0 with 1,595 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions against Chicago.
The Bears (3-1), meanwhile, hope to bounce back from a 19-11 loss to Indianapolis. Nick Foles will try to get the offense going after struggling last week in his first start after replacing Mitchell Trubisky as Chicago's No. 1 quarterback.
Foles and Brady will go against each other for the first time since Super Bowl 52.
Foles was the MVP of that game, throwing for 373 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Minneapolis and their first Super Bowl title.
The Bucs would just as soon forget the previous time they visited Soldier Field, when Trubisky threw for six TDs to lead Chicago to a 48-10 victory in September 2018.
The Bears committed eight penalties for 103 yards against the Colts, with special teams getting flagged four times. On top of that, they had a punt blocked on the game's opening possession. And that helped set up a touchdown for Indianapolis.
The Bears ran for just 28 yards last week, after the ground game carried them in the first three games. Getting it back in gear won't be easy this week, considering Tampa Bay ranks second against the run.
Gametime tonight is 7:20 pm central time.