Chess match when Brady faces Patriots

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Tom Brady's legacy is forever steeped in each of the six Super Bowl championship banners he had a part in hanging above New England's Gillette Stadium.

At Foxborough on Sunday night, he will go against the Patriots for the first time, having left them after 20 seasons to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He'll be opposite not only former coach Bill Belichick, but past teammates who have also never taken an NFL field and looked across at Brady wearing another team's jersey, let alone ever had a chance to tackle him.

While they all have played against former teammates before, the Patriots acknowledge this time is much different - as None of those other players has the institutional knowledge Brady does of their defensive schemes or tendencies.

The 44-year-old version of Brady is still playing at a high level after taking the Bucs to a Super Bowl title last season.

He leads the league this season with 10 touchdown passes and his 362.3 passing yards per game are second to Las Vegas' Derek Carr.

Tampa Bay's 34.3 points per game is tied for best in the NFL.

At least New England won't have to worry about Rob Gronkowski - another former teammate who teamed with Brady on so many big plays over the years with the Patriots - with the tight end out because of a rib injury.

It's the first game 32-year-old Gronkowski will miss since he came out of retirement to play alongside Brady with the Bucs last season.

As much as Brady knows the Patriots, they also know him.

But Belichick, 8-11 with the Patriots since Brady's departure, said it doesn't mean they will reinvent themselves this week.

"Certainly, Tom has an intimate knowledge of everything that we do here, more so than any other player in the league by far... I don't think it would be in our best interest to go in there and do everything differently than we've done it all year," Belichick said.

A victory would make Brady just the fourth quarterback with wins against all 32 NFL teams, joining Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.

With 68 yards passing Brady will surpass Brees' mark of 80,358 yards, most ever in the regular season.

It would add to his long list of NFL records that already includes most TD passes (591), most wins as a starting quarterback (232), most Super Bowl titles (seven), and most conference championships (10).

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