The Rivalry Continues: Brady vs Manning
Luckily for all of us still debating the great QB dilemma, our favorite rivalry will return this week after a hiatus of nearly two years. Denver travels to New England on Sunday and for the first time ever, Manning will face the Patriots wearing something other than the blue and white horseshoe.
In anticipation for this momentous occasion, let’s quickly relive the storied rivalry, from their first matchup in September 2001 until November 2010’s most recent meeting.
During Brady’s first season as a starter, the Patriots hosted the Colts in week 3. It was Peyton’s fourth year as a starter, and despite having a solid season overall, Manning and the Colts were dominated in New England, losing 44-13. Manning threw for under 200 yards, 1 Touchdown, and 3 picks (two returned for touchdowns) while Brady was an underwhelming but efficient 13-23 for 168 yards (New England had 3 rushing TDs and 3 Viniateri kicks).
That matchup pretty much set the tone for the next 4 years of Patriots/Colts football. In Brady’s first 4 years as a starter, he was 6-0 against the Colts overall, 2-0 in the playoffs. In those 6 games, the Patriots outscored the Colts 191-105.
Then, after that 2004/2005 divisional series 20-3 win over the Colts, a stepping-stone on Brady’s way to his third Super Bowl ring, the tide began to shift.
In November 2005, Manning recorded his first ever win against Brady, a 40-21 Colts victory where Manning threw for 321 yards, 3 TDs, and an Interception. The Colts also took 3 of the next 5 after that (not including the Matt Cassel start in 2008).
We all know what each player represents. Manning has the stat sheet that few others in the history of the league can touch. He’s one of 3 players with over 400 passing touchdowns and third all-time in passing yards. Brady, on the other hand, holds the single-season passing touchdown record with 50 (besting Manning’s 2004 mark by just one) and is one of only 4 Quarterbacks with 3 or more Super Bowl victories (and only Elway has played in as many Super Bowls).
This Sunday, the rivalry continues in an extremely important matchup for both teams, as the winner improves to 3-2 and the loser falls to 2-3.
Which future Hall-of-Famer wins this round?