Ryan Kerrigan is looking forward to facing Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read
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Ryan Kerrigan looking forward to facing Tom Brady, Buccaneers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

In his 10 years as a member of the Washington Football Team, Ryan Kerrigan has faced Tom Brady three times. In each of those matchups, it was Brady's New England Patriots that got the better of Kerrigan and Washington. 

This Saturday, Brady -- now a member of the Buccaneers -- brings his red-hot Tampa Bay team to FedExField for a playoff matchup against the Burgundy and Gold.

And in that clash, Kerrigan is "badly" looking to do something that he's yet to accomplish against the greatest quarterback of all-time: sack him.

"When you're going up against a guy like him, you want to get there," Kerrigan said in a 1-on-1 interview with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay.

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Brady, already the NFL's most accomplished quarterback ever, is playing some of the best football of his career.

Over the past month, the 43-year-old has led Tampa Bay to four straight wins, with the Bucs' offense averaging 37 points per game over that span. In those four victories, Brady has thrown for 1,233 yards, 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

"He's the standard in the NFL," Kerrigan said. "I don't think anyone would disagree with me there."

Kerrigan knows Saturday night will be a great challenge for Washington's defense. But, the 10-year veteran is certainly looking forward to it.

"You want to be a difference-maker in the game," Kerrigan said. "Especially with someone who's so accomplished and still as good as ever as [Brady] is."

It's not just Tampa Bay's offense that is clicking right now, as Jack Del Rio's unit has been playing exceptionally over the past month or so, too. The group is a major reason Washington has won five of its last seven games, including victories over Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

"It's pretty remarkable how we were able to play this year," Kerrigan said. "We knew going into the season that we could be a problem for some opposing offenses. I think for the large part of this season, we were...We definitely are humming defensively right now."

After defeating Philadelphia last week to clinch a playoff berth, Washington knows what's at stake this Saturday against Tampa Bay. 

"We sense the magnitude. We treated last week like a playoff game, too, because it was," Kerrigan said. "If we lost that game, we weren't going to be playing this week. We have, to a degree, some experience with win or go home."

However, this week's matchup against the Buccaneers is a lot greater challenge than defeating a depleted Eagles team. Washington needs to turn in a much better performance this week if they hope to keep its season alive.

If Washington is going to upset Brady and Tampa Bay on Saturday, the club will need another stellar outing from its defense.

"But, this is a different level," Kerrigan said. "This is big boy stuff now in the playoffs."