NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady's return to Foxborough to face the Patriots this Sunday has New England -- and likely all of the NFL -- abuzz. The hype for this game is only going to increase as we get closer to kickoff. as this is a reunion for the ages and probably one of the most anticipated regular season games of all-time. Naturally, given that Brady spent two decades with the franchise, there are plenty of relationships he's forged over his tenure with the Patriots. One of the most notable was Brady's kinship with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is excited to square up against his old friend this weekend. 

"It should be a lot of fun," McDaniels said of Brady's return. "We're obviously very good friends and close and that should never change. I know he'll be excited to compete and come up here and try to win and play his best game. We're preparing to try and do the same thing. I've coached against a lot of people that we've used to coach, a lot of coaches that I've used to coach with. There's always an added sentiment to the game emotionally. I would not expect this game to be any different. I know what the atmosphere will feel like on Sunday night. I know he'll be ready to go, I know we'll be ready to go. Hopefully, we can put our best performance of the season out there and compete as hard as we can to try to win."

Of course, McDaniels has a lot on his plate for this matchup, as he'll need to get New England's offense rolling if he wants to keep up with the Brady and the Buccaneers, who are averaging 362.3 passing yards per game through the first three weeks. 

And Brady hasn't only found success this season; he'll come into Gillette Stadium as the reigning Super Bowl MVP, winning the title during his first season as a member of the Bucs last year. 

"Super impressed, not surprised -- I think there is a difference between those two," McDaniels said of Brady's success in Tampa. "I would never put anything past him in terms of accomplishing anything in this game. It doesn't surprise me at all that he's been able to go down there and acclimate and play the style of football that they're playing and to play it as well as he's playing. His work ethic allows him to accomplish many, many things. Certainly not surprised that he would go down there and whatever they are asking him to do he would buy into it, learn how to do it the best he could possibly do it, and then excel doing it. That certainly doesn't surprise me one bit. I'm happy for him and his family and his career and looking forward to competing against him on Sunday."

The Patriots and Buccaneers will kick off this primetime showdown on "Sunday Night Football" beginning at 8:20 p.m. ET.