Brady, Buccaneers aim to rebound against Lamar Jackson, Ravens

Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson have mutual respect and admiration for one another’s success.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion and one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks meet for the second time in their careers when the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.

When the 45-year-old Brady retired briefly last winter, he posted a story and picture of the two of them on social media with the caption: "You’re next."

A few weeks later, the league’s career passing leader announced he would return for a 23rd season, hoping to complete "unfinished business" with the Bucs.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 23: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Get

With the Ravens (4-3) headed to Tampa this week for the first matchup between the star quarterbacks since 2019 — Brady’s final season with the New England Patriots — the 25-year-old Jackson was asked about the Instagram post.

"Yes, I saw it. I would say, hopefully, I’m next to win the Super Bowl," Jackson said. "He’s got seven of them. So, hopefully, that’s what I’m next to — that’s what I was hoping."

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Jackson led the Ravens to a 37-20 victory over the Patriots three years ago. He’s never had an opportunity to speak with Brady off the field, however, he acknowledged he appreciated the Instagram post.

"From a Hall of Fame quarterback. Like I said, the G.O.A.T. — of course, it means a lot," Jackson said.

Brady’s unretirement hasn’t gone smoothly, beginning with taking an 11-day break from training camp for personal reasons in August.

The Bucs (3-4) have lost four of five games following a 2-0 start. Brady has only thrown one interception and leads the NFC with 1,942 yards passing, however, he has just eight TD passes and Tampa Bay is tied for 25th in the league in scoring at 17.7 points per game.

Brady, who’s hoping to get the sputtering offense on track against the Ravens, said he reached out to Jackson on social media last winter because he thinks "very highly" of the young quarterback and "I think he’s got a great future."

"He’s an amazing player and he challenges defenses. He has a really unique skillset. His ability to improvise, make plays with his legs, extending plays. They do a good job with that offense," Brady said.

"He’s obviously very dangerous with the ball in his hands. And they’ve got some weapons, too, so it’s a tough challenge for our defense," Brady added. "We’re going to have to play a real complementary game, play tough, hard-nosed football, and try to get a win."