Bucs' Tom Brady to face Jets' Zach Wilson in game with historic age gap: 'I've watched him my whole life'

Wilson was born the same year Brady was beginning his senior season at Michigan

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Tom Brady’s age has been one of the most talked-about storylines over the last two seasons but on Sunday, he’ll have another chance to silence the doubters when he goes head-to-head with New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson in what will be the largest age gap between starting quarterbacks in the history of the game. 

When Brady takes the field at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, he’ll be battling it out with the No. 2 overall draft pick who is 22 years his junior. In fact, the two signal-callers even celebrate the same birthday.

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"I've always thought that was kind of cool, the same August birthday," Wilson told reporters Thursday. "The cool thing was, I think he was born in 1977. I was born in 1999 – so 22 years later, which is crazy, right? We're playing the same game."

Zach Wilson of the New York Jets throws the ball for a first down against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 26, 2021, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Zach Wilson of the New York Jets throws the ball for a first down against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 26, 2021, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Wilson was born the same year Brady was beginning his senior year at Michigan, meaning he only knows Brady in his capacity as an NFL player – and a legendary one at that.  

"My entire life I’ve known him, he's been in the NFL. I think just knowing the fact that he’s still going, and I’m able to play against him is really cool because I’ve obviously watched him my whole life. So, I think it’ll just be exciting. The NFL works like that.’’

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Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to throw against the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 26, 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to throw against the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 26, 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

At the start of the season, Brady talked about the rookie takeover. 

"I don’t remember this many rookies playing," he said on the "Let’s Go!" podcast at the time. "Even the second-year guys. Tua (Tagovailoa), (Justin) Herbert, (Joe) Burrow, Trevor Lawrence. (Justin) Fields played a little bit. Trey Lance played a little bit. Zach Wilson is playing. Mac Jones is playing. That’s a lot of young quarterbacks." 

He continued: "Gone are the days of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning. You know, those are the guys I’m used to hearing about. … I’ll be forgotten here soon. I’ll move on and they’ll be onto someone else, but that’s just the way football goes, as does life."

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady yells to the crowd as he takes the field to face the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady yells to the crowd as he takes the field to face the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.   (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports  )

It’s unlikely anyone could forget Brady’s legacy, especially since he’s shown zero signs of slowing down. He is 30-8 in his career against the Jets, but this is the first time he’ll play against them since joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.