Those quarterbacks, as well as Philip Rivers, are showing signs of wear and tear but still thriving in the twilight of their careers. They have the Steelers, Saints, Buccaneers and Colts on course to make the playoffs.
With a combined age of 85 years and 30 days, Tom Brady and Drew Brees will be the oldest pair of starting quarterbacks in N.F.L. history when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints in Sunday night’s marquee matchup. The previous record of 84 years and 243 days was set by Brady and Brees when the Saints and Buccaneers squared off in the regular season opener. The pair will set another record in the likely event that they meet in the playoffs.
Brady (43) and Brees (41), along with Ben Roethlisberger (38) of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philip Rivers (38) of the Indianapolis Colts comprise the N.F.L.’s quarterboomers, a generation of still-spry living legends who can teach the league’s whippersnappers a thing or two, at least so long as they are perched behind fortresslike offensive lines and supported by star-studded rosters.
These 40-ish quarterbacks should not be mistaken for creaky has-beens who are merely coasting on their reputations. The Buccaneers, Colts, Saints and Steelers have a combined 23-6 record through Week 8. Brady is tied for third in the N.F.L. with 20 touchdown passes, while Roethlisberger is tied for seventh with 15. Brees and Brady rank seventh and ninth, respectively, in the league in efficiency rating. Brady and the others are keeping their teams near the front of the playoff chase while outperforming many would-be challengers 10 to 20 years younger.