Brady vs. Manning XVI.
It really doesn't get much better than that. Boston.com's Steve Silva looks back at the previous 15 showdowns between the two quarterbacks and recaps each historical game one by one.
But the age-old question still remains: Who's better?
In his most recent article in the Boston Herald, Ron Borges attempts to put a cap on the debate once and for all. He says that Manning is the better quarterback for fantasy football lovers while Brady is the better real football player. Borges believes that a Quarterback is judged by his wins and losses and his ability to get his team into the endzone. Additionally, he points out that Brady has played in 46 fewer games than Manning; if Brady had 3 more seasons under his belt, his stats would be very similar to Manning's.
"The facts are in the playoffs, Manning has played in three fewer games than Brady (23-26) yet he's thrown more picks (24-22) and less touchdowns (37-43)," explains Borges. "He's also 11-12 while Brady is 18-8. Manning's led three teams to the Super Bowl and lost twice. Brady has taken five teams and won three times."
As much as everyone wants to focus on the two quarterbacks, ultimately it will come down to which team is better on Sunday. Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald outlined a 5-step plan for stopping Peyton Manning and the Broncos. She believes the Patriots must get pressure on Manning without blitzing and they must play well in the red zone. The Broncos will get their fair share of yards, but if New England can lock them down in the red
zone, it could go a long way towards securing a victory.
While Denver looks to be the better team on paper, Tom Curran says that this is a bad week to be a Broncos. During his show 'Quick Slants' on Comcast SportsNet, Curran exlained why the Patriots have a huge edge in Sunday's match-up. He believes that Denver hasn't faced adversity this year like New England has. Curran says that the Patriots getting better each week and are building to a crescendo.
"This is a team that has not peered into the depth of it's soul the way the New England Patriots did after they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs," said Curran. "It is not a team that has been challenged. It is not a team that understands adversity yet."
One of the biggest reasons for the Patriots turnaround is Rob Gronkowski, and he was at his best this past Sunday against Chicago. Erik Frenz explains why Gronk was so dominant in this week's 'Take 2' column on Boston.com. With Gronk returning to his pre-injury form, Matt Chatham says that AFC picture is changing. Gronkowski adds an element to the Patriots' offense that is almost impossible to defend. You can read the whole article here or on Patriots.com.
It will be interesting to see how the Broncos choose to match-up with Rob Gronkowski. One option may be to put Aqib Talib on Gronk similar to how the Patriots used him against Jimmy Graham and the Saints last year. Andy Hart joined Gary Tanguay and Chris Gasper on Comcast SportsNet's 'Early Edition' to debate whether Talib could slowdown Gronkowski. All three guys said no way!
"He's big, he's physical, but he's nowhere near as big and physical as Gronk is," said Hart on the show. "Gronk will fight back. I think that would be good for the Patriots. I think Gronk will win that matchup. I think he will out-physical Talib."