Patriots-Buccaneers Result Doesn't Matter For the Legacies of Tom Brady or Bill Belichick

Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v New England Patriots
Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v New England Patriots / Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers play each other on Sunday night. It's a historic matchup between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The stakes have never been higher. If you listen to any talking head sports show, they'll tell you that legacies are on the line, but the truth is, this game does not matter.

No, not in an Eat Arby's way, but in a big picture, A Football Life way. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's legacies are complete and the results of this game will be nothing but a trivia answer read by Aaron Rodgers on a future episode of Jeopardy!.

Nothing either of these guys does really matters from here on out and Brady has already won the weird head-to-head debate that everyone wants to have after one season in Tampa Bay.

Even with a Patriots victory on Sunday night, Belichick lost. At least as much as Bill Belichick can lose. He won six Super Bowls and nine AFC Championships. He's won the third-most games (281 and counting) in NFL history. He's currently 47 wins behind Don Shula in six fewer seasons. If Belichick, now 69-years old in his 27th season, wanted to stick around long enough to take that record, he could. (George Halas, who is in second, coached 40 seasons.)

So if Belichick beats Brady, he might crack one extra smile than he originally allotted for 2021, but it doesn't matter. Brady won this pointless head-to-head debate after one season in Tampa. Brady, who won the same number of AFC Championships as Belichick in New England, but added an NFC Championship and one more Super Bowl in his first season out there on his own. He did it without Belichick. He's going to hold every record. And he's doing it at an age no one has or will maybe ever do it again.

Unless Aaron Rodgers decides he wants to play in New England next year, Belichick will never win a Super Bowl without Tom Brady. Mac Jones could get there, but that's years away and the Patriots are in no position for someone to game manage their way to the AFC East title, let alone the Super Bowl. This timeline only goes so far.

Brady, on the other hand, wants to play forever. His old goal was 45 and he'll hit that Week 1 next season. A few weeks after society completely breaks down following the devastation of World War 3, Tom Brady will show up to training camp in the best shape of his life having discovered the nutritional advantages of nuclear rutabaga. Will zombies respect the red practice jersey? That's the only real unknown.

So the results of some silly regular season game in 2021 will not matter. Brady won. Belichick lost by winning slightly less. No normal-brained person could look at either man's resume with anything but awe. Unfortunately, that's all the zombies will want to feed on. So just enjoy the game on Sunday and be thankful you won't be around to see them discuss it's anniversary on Zombie First Take.