Life at 40. Well, 41 and 43.

How sweet it can be.

In the first matchup of 40-plus quarterbacks in NFL annals, during one of the most anticipated openers the league has seen – though it won’t be seen by fans at the Superdome because of the coronavirus pandemic – Tom Brady makes his Buccaneers debut against that youngster Drew Brees and the Saints.

NFL football20200914 - Life at 40-plus: Brady vs Brees is tastiest of NFL matchups
In this Sept. 4, 2020, file photo, The playing field and seating areas of SoFi Stadium, future home for NFL football’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, is viewed in Inglewood, Calif. Welcome to Sofi Stadium, Stan Kroenke’s billion-dollar palace where the Rams and Chargers will call home. The fans will be at home due to COVID-19, and look for huge TV ratings for this prime-time affair. AP PHOTO/MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ, FILE

For now, all those doubts about the NFL actually starting on time can be shoved aside as the sporting world savors these two QB codgers. They are the top two in yards and TDs passing, and it’s the first game since 1998 (Dan Marino and John Elway) featuring the 1-2 career yards passing leaders.

The matchup brought Brees back – way back.

”It makes me remember back to 1999 when we played against each other in college,” he said. ”The Boilermakers traveled up to the Big House (Michigan Stadium). Unfortunately, that one didn’t end too well for us, but I think, little did we know, we would have the opportunities that we’ve had in the NFL. I’m sure I speak for both of us when I say that, I think we both pinch ourselves, the blessing and the opportunity to be able to play this long, play for so many great teams and with so many great players.”

Brady stuck to the cliches, uh, basics.

”I’m just happy to be playing and excited for the game this Sunday,” Brady said. ”We’ve got a great opponent. Drew’s an incredible quarterback. We know they’ve got a great offense, but they’ve got a really talented defense, a lot of good young players, a lot of good veteran players. It’s a good mix. It’s a really sound scheme, so it’s going to be a great football game.”

The season opened Thursday night in Kansas City with the familiar sight of Patrick Mahomes effortlessly leading the Chiefs up and down the field. The Super Bowl MVP threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran through the rain for 138 yards and another score, and the Chiefs began defense of their first championship in 50 years by beating the Houston Texans 34-20.

Dallas at Los Angeles Rams
Welcome to Sofi Stadium, Stan Kroenke’s billion-dollar palace where the Rams and Chargers will call home. The fans will be at home because of Covid-19, and look for huge TV ratings for this prime-time affair.

The Cowboys bring what looks like an all-world offense of RB Zeke Elliott, QB Dak Prescott, WR Amari Cooper and a stout line. They also bring a questionable defense that must provide a staunch pass rush to succeed.

LA keeps spending lots of money on stars (cornerback Jalen Ramsey is the latest), but also sent away one of its biggest (running back Todd Gurley).

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