FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When veteran defensive tackle Terrance Knighton connected with quarterback Tom Brady upon Knighton’s arrival as a member of the New England Patriots, what did they talk about?
"A little bit about our past and playing against him -- me getting the better of him, him getting the better of me," Knighton said. "He's won that matchup more times than I have. It's always good to be around guys like that and pick their brain and see what type of professional they are. Playing with a Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware, you learn a lot from those guys, Hall of Famers. So I'm just trying to pick his brain, just watch him out of the corner of my eye and see how he prepares."
Knighton, an eight-year veteran, added, "When you have a guy like that at quarterback, the competitiveness rises around you."
A snapshot look at the history between them (Brady has a 4-1 edge):
2009: Patriots 35, Jaguars 7 -- Brady is surgical in finishing 23-of-26 for 267 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Knighton, in his rookie season, starts and finishes with two tackles.
2012: Patriots 23, Jaguars 16 -- A tougher game than anticipated, as Brady is 24-of-41 for 267 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He is sacked three times. Knighton is part of a rotation, playing 45 of 73 defensive snaps and finishing with one tackle and one quarterback hit.
2013: Patriots 34, Broncos 31 -- Brady leads the Patriots back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to go 34-of-50 for 344 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He is sacked three times. Knighton starts and totals four tackles and recovers one fumble while playing 52 of 87 defensive snaps.
2013 postseason (AFC title game in January 2014): Broncos 26, Patriots 16 -- Brady finishes 24-of-38 for 277 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and is sacked twice. Knighton plays perhaps the best game of his career, causing havoc throughout the game and recording four tackles (two for loss) and a sack. Patriots offensive linemen had trouble blocking him throughout.
2014: Patriots 43, Broncos 21 -- Brady is 33-of-53 for 333 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Knighton plays 45 of 84 defensive snaps and has one tackle.
Knighton missed the Washington-New England game in 2015 as a result of cluster headaches.