Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lovie Smith, Matt Hasselbeck rivalry goes way back

You'd be hard-pressed to find a current NFL rivalry that goes back much farther than Bucs coach Lovie Smith and Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who first faced each other 15 years ago in a Packers-Bucs game in 2000.

Sunday will be the fourth different team Hasselbeck, 40, has suited up for against Smith, and the fourth different team Smith has coached for against Hasselbeck.

"I'm trying to think of a quarterback that I played more against," Smith said. "We've seen him so many years, and it just doesn't seem like he should still be playing, especially playing at that level."

The only quarterback Smith has faced more is Brett Favre — 24 meetings there, with Lovie going 13-11, including a 9-3 mark as head coach. Hasselbeck is 5-7 all-time against Smith's teams, including an 0-2 mark in playoff meetings.

"Fast, flying around, great pursuit, do an amazing job of causing turnovers," Hasselbeck said last week of any Smith defense. "Just a ton of respect for his teams, for his defenses. ... for sure, not an easy guy to go up against."

Here are five memorable games in their rivalry:

2000: Hasselbeck throws his second career touchdown to give the Packers a fourth-quarter lead, but Smith's Bucs prevail 20-15 in their first meeting.

2003: His Seattle team down 23-10 in the fourth quarter, Hasselbeck throws two TD passes in the fourth, including the game-winner with 1:00 left to beat Smith's Rams.

2006: On the way to the Super Bowl, Smith's Bears win 37-6 over Seattle in the Super Bowl, then a tougher 27-24 win in playoffs. Hasselbeck was under 200 yards in both games.

2007: Hasselbeck gets his revenge the next season, throwing for 337 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs in a 30-23 Seattle win over the Bears.

2010: In what remains the last playoff game Hasselbeck threw a pass in, Smith's Bears prevailed 35-24, despite Hasselbeck throwing for 258 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. The game also marks Smith's last playoff win.

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