DENVER (CBS4) – Peyton Manning insists Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the Broncos and the Patriots is a battle between two teams, but many football fans simplify it by calling it “Manning vs. Brady.”
Manning and Tom Brady are two of the biggest names in football, and they have been for more than a decade. They are surefire Hall of Famers, and they will square off yet again this Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Sunday will be the third time the two will square off for a trip to the Super Bowl.
Though Manning has changed teams, the two quarterbacks have grown familiar with seeing each other play, ever since Brady’s first career start back in 2001.
Here’s a look at some of the key meetings over the years between the two stars, courtesy of CBSDenver.com partner station CBSBoston.com:
First Meeting: 2001, Week 3: Patriots 44, Colts 13
Manning’s threw three interceptions in his first game at Foxboro Stadium as the Indianapolis Colts quarterback. Brady kept things simple in his first NFL start, going 13-for-23 for 168 yards in the runaway victory.
Eighth Meeting: 2006, Week 9: Colts 27, Patriots 20
Manning won his second in a row against a Brady-led team with the 2006 meeting, as Brady had one of the worst games of his career. Brady threw no touchdowns and four interceptions, and to make the loss more painful for New England, it was the first time Adam Vinatieri played against his old team. The kicker missed two field goals but hit two others, and the Colts left Massachusetts with a perfect 8-0 record intact.
Twelfth Meeting: 2010, Week 11: Patriots 31, Colts 28
In what turned out to be the final chapter of this rivalry that involved the Colts, Brady’s 19-for-25, two-touchdown day was enough to earn a victory. James Sanders’ interception at the New England 6-yard line late in the fourth quarter prevented Manning from the comeback.
“I feel sick about it, about not extending the game, not executing to give [Adam] Vinatieri a chance for a field goal,” Manning said of his late interception. “It was a bad throw.”
Fourteenth Meeting: 2013, Week 12: Patriots 34, Broncos 31 OT
The 9-1 Broncos came into Gillette Stadium looking strengthen their hold on the top spot in the AFC, and it looked like they would do just that after jumping out to a 24-0 lead at halftime.
The Patriots fumbled the ball away three times in the first half, But Brady and the Patriots pulled off one of their most incredible regular-season comebacks. He threw three second-half touchdowns and the Patriots scored 31-unanswered points until a Demaryius Thomas touchdown tied things at 31-31 with 3 minutes to go in the game.
In overtime, after each team got two cracks at the end zone, the Patriots lined up to punt the ball away with just over three minutes left. Ryan Allen sent a booming kick up high into the evening sky, one that Wes Welker had no interest in fielding. But while he tried to warn Tony Carter the kick was coming towards him, the ball bounced and hit off the Broncos cornerback and Nate Ebner was able to recover it at the Denver 13-yard line.
Stephen Gostkowski booted a 31-yarder a few plays later to give the Patriots a 34-31 win and New England improved to 8-3 on the season.
The Patriots held Manning to just 150 yards, the worst passing day he had during his historic season.
Read the full recap of all the Brady-Manning meetings on CBSBoston.com.