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The Brady vs. Manning rivalry will add another chapter this weekend. The two best quarterbacks of the century will face off against one another. The competitive rivalry between the Patriots and Broncos started the day Peyton Manning signed with the team. Prior to that though, when Manning played for the Colts, these two faced off in the playoffs multiple times.

The first time they played one another in the playoffs was the 2003-04 AFC Championship Game. The Pats defense dominated in their victory, intercepting four of Manning’s passes, and then they ended up winning the Super Bowl. They played each other the next year as well, in the Divisional round this time. Once again, Manning did not play well. The game was played during a snowstorm. The Pats won the game 20-3, and ended up winning the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning finally got his revenge against the Pats in 2006 and they went on to win the big game.

But the Patriots Colts rivalry died the day the Indianapolis Colts released #18. Manning signed with the Denver Broncos and a new rivalry was born.

The first time these quarterbacks faced off against one another since Manning’s relocation was Week 5 of the 2012 season. Brady won that round 31-21, although Manning had a better game. The Bronco QB threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough. This game improved Brady’s record against Manning to 9-4. 

The Broncos and Patriots faced off twice last year. The first time, during the regular season, was a crazy game. Denver scored early and often, at halftime, they were ahead 24-0. Brady led a furious comeback in the second half and forced the game into overtime, where they won it on a Gostkowski field goal. The final score was 34-31.

The next time they played last season was in the AFC Championship. The Denver Broncos got a big lead. A couple minutes into the fourth quarter and the Broncos scored again, stretching their lead to 23-3. Tom Brady tried to lead the Pats back, but it was too little too late. Peyton Manning threw for exactly 400 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos ended up losing two weeks later in the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks.

And for the next chapter…

The Denver Broncos are currently 6-1. Their only loss came at the hands of the Seahawks in overtime. Since that loss, the Broncos have won four straight games by an average of 18.5 points. During their win streak, Denver’s scored 41, 31, 42, and 35 points (for an average of 37.25 per game). Throughout the Broncos streak, the defense has let up an average of 18.75 points per game.

The Patriots are currently 6-2. The Pats have lost to the Dolphins and the Chiefs. They were blown out against Kansas City. New England looked so bad; many analysts said that the Brady/Belichick era was over. Since that loss, the team has looked amazing. They have won all four games by an average of 17.75 points. During their win streak they scored 43, 37, 27, and 51 points (an average of 39.5 per game). On the other hand, the Pats gave up an average of 22 points a game.

On paper these teams have looked pretty much identical over the past four games. Tom Brady has played like Tom Brady always does. Peyton Manning has played methodically, like he always does. Over this exceptional span, Brady has thrown 14 touchdowns. This may sound a little redundant but Manning has thrown 14 touchdowns. Both of these quarterbacks are playing extremely well and when they play this weekend in New England it will be a great game. Give the edge to the Broncos though, because their defense is better. This game will definitely have playoff seeding implications. But don’t worry, we’ll hopefully see a rematch in the AFC Championship to determine which team will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.