NBC has been hyping Brady-Manning XIV since Labor Day, and rightfully so.
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the premier quarterbacks of this generation, have been dueling since 2001 and, unfortunately for fans, are running out of time. Football mortality is creeping in for both future Hall-of-Famers. It’s another sub-plot for just how special this 14th meeting with be between the two Sunday in Foxboro (8:30 p.m., NBC).
In their last five meetings, dating back to the Patriots crushing loss to Manning’s Colts in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, Brady has the overall edge with a 3-2 record. Manning and the Colts took advantage of the Brady-less Patriots in 2008, beating Matt Cassel and Co., 18-15. Interesting enough, Manning had his most efficient game against the Patriots since 2007 when Brady was injured as he posted a 121.9 QB rating with 254 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in the Nov. 2, 2008 game.
The Patriots took the only matchup so far with Manning in orange as New England beat the Broncos, 31-21 last season in Foxboro. Manning played well in the Broncos loss, completing 31-of-44 for 345 yards and three touchdowns but his third quarter fumble on a sack proved costly.
Brady and the Pats also won in 2010, the final time Manning played at Gillette in a Colts uniform. Bill Belichick’s defense picked off Manning three times in that meeting though No. 18 had four touchdown passes.
Manning and the Colts won the famed “fourth-and-2” game in 2009, the Patriots won on their way to an undefeated regular season in 2007 and Manning exorcised some demons in the 2006 AFC title game.
In the past five meetings, the two have similar numbers. Brady has a 102.6 QB Rating while averaging 254 yards passing with 2.0 TD passes and 0.8 INTs. Manning is averaging a 94.2 QB Rating with 326 yards passing, 2.6 TDs and 1.4 INTs.
Brady is 9-4 overall in his career against Manning.