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Tom Brady, Chad Henne deliver epic day for former Michigan quarterbacks in NFL playoffs

Tom Brady and Chad Henne both had reason to celebrate on Sunday.

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What a Sunday it turned out to be. Two games. One went down to the wire. The other pitted two of the best ever at their position. Both games featured former Michigan quarterbacks taking the field.


The Kansas City Chiefs were up on the Cleveland Browns 19-10, but the game didn’t feel all that close with Patrick Mahomes looking virtually unstoppable. Unfortunately for Mahomes his day came to an end due to a concussion after hitting his head on the ground during a rushing attempt.

Enter Chad Henne.

With Mahomes ruled out for the rest of the game, it was Henne’s show, and it wasn’t exactly easy for him. Henne threw a bad interception in the end zone that had the Twittersphere laughing at him.

The Browns added a touchdown to narrow the lead to 22-17 and the Chiefs offense wasn’t showing enough life. With under two minutes to play, the Chiefs were facing a 3rd & 14. With the Browns out of timeouts, all the Chiefs had to do was pick up the first and they’d be able to run out the clock.

The Chiefs opted to throw on 3rd and long, but Henne couldn’t find anyone open. With pressure collapsing the pocket, Henne decided to tuck the ball and run. Henne came within inches of the first down in gritty fashion, sacrificing his body in the process.

Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Henne reached a top speed of 17.98 MPH on the play, which was faster than any Browns defender in pursuit.

Henne’s run pumped his team up as well as the crowd, but they still had to convert on 4th & inches or Baker Mayfield would get one more shot to take the lead. Instead of dialing up a running play, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid put the ball in Henne’s hands, and he did his job.

Henne rolled to his right swiftly and found a wide open Tyreek Hill for the first down to seal the deal. The Chiefs would then run the clock out and they’ll now be facing the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game.

Brady ends Brees’ career?

Jay Glazer reported before Sunday’s game that this will be Drew Brees final season. Brees said after the game that he hasn’t made up his mind yet and he’ll take some time to think about it.

If this is indeed Brees’ last season, the way it ended will be remembered for quite some time. Tom Brady vs. Brees. In the Superdome. The first time these two greats have ever faced off in the postseason.

Brees got the better of Brady and the Buccaneers this season, winning both matchups. However, playoff Tom is a whole different animal. The game was tied 13-13 at halftime, the Saints took a 20-13 lead in the 3rd quarter, but it was Brady and the Bucs who put together a more cohesive effort down the stretch. Brady would tie the game at 20 with a TD pass to Leonard Fournette, and picked up a rushing score via a QB sneak to put Tampa up 30-20 with under five minutes to go.

Brady had better fortune and dodged some bullets, finishing the game 18-of-33 for 199 yards and 2 passing TDs. Brees’ inaccuracy and limited arm strength did him in and he threw three interceptions. Those picks made all the difference.

While this wasn’t Brady’s prettiest game ever, he did what he needed to do against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Brady now pivots from one historic matchup to another when he takes on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers next Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Not a bad Sunday for these two Michigan alums, eh?