We are coming down the stretch of what is the end of an era. The NFL hasn’t seen a quarterback rivalry to equal this one in it’s history. Today Peyton Manning’s 2-2 Denver Broncos travel to Foxboro to take on Tom Brady’s 2-2 New England Patriots. What is at stake?? The winner will be thought of among the conference’s elite. The vanquished will have a second loss against an AFC favorite where championship doubt will set in. Did we say Tom Brady v. Peyton Manning in a big game??
These two have matched up 11 times in the past with Brady 7-4 in those encounters. In fact his very first career start, came in 2001 against Manning’s Colts. A 44-13 win to launch the Brady era in New England. Since that time these two have met in 2 AFC Championships, a divisional playoff game, and several memorable regular season matchups.
In pro football history we haven’t seen one like this. Two quarterbacks who had a nemesis they faced for most of their career. Think back to Terry Bradshaw v. Roger Staubach… That really boiled down to just the 2 Super Bowls and half a game in 1979 when Staubach was knocked out.
Dan Marino faced John Elway less than 5 times in their playing days. Not once did they meet in the playoffs. The same could be said for Johnny Unitas against Bart Starr. The Packers and the Baltimore Colts played together in the western conference and only played one another once in the postseason. Even then, Starr took a backseat to the Packers running game.
Today’s game has an interesting wrinkle with Manning coming in as a Bronco. Of course Peyton’s pinnacle moment was the 2006 AFC Championship Game when he brought his Colts back from 18 points down to defeat New England. In all his attempts he has only won once in New England.
Just when the Patriot offense was coming under scrutiny, they shredded the Bills with a 45 point second half. So Brady and his receivers are coming into this one hot. That 52-28 win last week has them hitting on all eight cylinders and they should defeat Denver this weekend.
Even though it’s an early “big” game, lets appreciate their facing each other one more time. How many more will we see?? Our CEO says Brady is the best of this era by far where many say Manning is. For the first time in a long while we get to settle it on the field.
Final score Patriots 38 Broncos 24
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