01/21/16 by Matthew S. Vandriak
So here we go again. The NFL just has to love this. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots versus Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with the winner going on to the Super Bowl. What a story for the AFC Championship game, right? You couldn't ask for a better script right football fans? Or are you just plain sick of all the hype of Brady versus Manning?
Well here's the thing, a lot of it is hype. Brady and Manning have faced off 17 times in their careers, but only 4 of those meetings have come in the post season. I know it seems like they've played against each other in the playoffs about 100 times the way this matchup draws so much attention, but really, they've only met in the playoffs 4 times.
Just like the previous 4 times they've met in the post season though, the winner will go on to the Super Bowl. Brady's Patriots beat Manning's Colts in 2004 and 2005 en route to Super Bowl wins. Manning got revenge with an AFC Championship game win in 2007 en route to a Colts Super Bowl title, and he led the Broncos past New England in 2014 before falling to Seattle in the Super Bowl.
Just for the record, the head to head matchup between these two has been owned by Brady. Brady's Patriots have met Manning led Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos teams 16 times, with Brady winning 11 of those matchups. The two have put up similar statistics going head to head, with Brady passing for 4,013 yards with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in their 16 meetings. Manning has thrown for 4,809 yards with 33 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Brady's teams have outscored Manning's 479 to 372 in those match ups.
Brady has had more success as well. He has led the Patriots to 6 Super Bowls, winning 4 of them. Manning has been to the Super Bowl 3 times, twice with the Colts and once with the Broncos, winning 1 championship. This will be their 4th AFC Championship Game meeting, with Manning holding a 2 to 1 edge there
Is there too much overhype for these two? Are fans tired of it? Well there are two things that can be done if you feel that way. The first is that another team, maybe the team that you cheer for, could knock Denver or New England off. If someone else beats Brady or Manning, there wouldn't be any talk about them meeting for a shot at the Super Bowl, it would be about another QB or another team.
The other option is to just sit back and enjoy it because it's coming to an end soon. This very well may be the last time Brady and Manning face each other in the playoffs. It looks more and more like Peyton Manning's career is coming to an end, likely after this season. So why not enjoy the story line? Does Manning have one more win left in so he has a chance to play in the big game one more time with the opportunity to go out on top? Or will Brady beat Manning one last time and send him into retirement with Manning's last game being a loss to the Brady led Patriots?
Me, I'm going to sit back and enjoy what looks to be the final round of Brady versus Manning. And if this is the last meeting, I hope it exceeds the hype and ends with the story line of Manning winning and going on to win the Super Bowl so one of the NFL's all time greats has the perfect ending he deserves.
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