The New England Patriots will be playing against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. This game will be for the AFC championship, but others may have a different view. This could be the last time that quarterbacks Tom Brady, of the New England Patriots, and Peyton Manning, of the Denver Broncos, will play against each other in what has been a quarterback rivalry for over a decade. These two veterans are considered to be two of the NFL’s most idolized and best quarterbacks ever in the league.
This weekend’s game will be the 17th time that the two quarterbacks will have played against each other, and this may be the last time that this rivalry will occur. This Sunday will also mark the fifth time that the two quarterbacks will have met in the postseason. Manning, who has been the Broncos’ quarterback since 2012, is also known for being the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2011. Manning was drafted in the first round, as first overall, in 1998. There have been rumors that the 39-year-old veteran may retire at the conclusion of this season.
Tom Brady, of the New England Patriots, has been their quarterback since 2000 and has stayed loyal to this team for his entire career. Brady was drafted by New England in the sixth round and was the 199th pick. Though this may be considered to have been a low draft pick, Brady is still considered to be one of the favorite NFL players of this generation, along with Manning.
Manning’s 17-year career has been closely watched by football fans of all ages. However, throughout his entire career, the only player that has come close to comparison in both game statistics and fan popularity has been Brady. This quarterback rivalry between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos will be one that NFL fans may remember for a long time to come.
Brady’s playoff record is 22-8, whereas Manning’s sits at 12-13. Despite this unbalance, Manning has received five regular-season MVP awards compared to Brady’s two. Manning has more overall career passing touchdowns at 539, while Brady currently has 428. Combined, their salaries equal almost $32 million. Brady has appeared in the Super Bowl six times in his career, while Manning has only three Super Bowl games in his career history. This Sunday’s AFC championship will be the 10th time that Brady has played in an AFC Title Game, which is also the most that any other NFL quarterback has played.
The New England team and its fans escaped the East Coast blizzard, because the AFC championship game is scheduled to be in Denver. This game will determine which team will represent the AFC Division in this year’s Super Bowl. Surprisingly, the Broncos, who will be playing on their home field, are not favored to win the Super Bowl-determining game. Usually, the team who has home field advantage is favored to win, but New England is currently the general pick to win the game. The two teams both have a record of 12-4. The New England Patriots defeated Denver in last year’s AFC championship game. This year may have a different ending.
The NFL will celebrate and host its 50th Super Bowl at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., which is the home stadium of the San Francisco 49ers. Super Bowl 50 is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2016, and game time is 5:30 p.m. CST. The AFC will be represented by either the New England Patriots or the Denver Broncos, and the NFC representative will be either the Arizona Cardinals or the Carolina Panthers. The NFC Championship Game is scheduled for tomorrow.
By Tricia Manalansan
By Cathy Milne
ESPN: Sunday NFL preview: Super Bowl 50 spots are on the line
The Denver Post: Broncos vs. Patriots 2016 AFC championship game could be last dance for two of NFL’s greatest QBs
NJ.com: NFL playoffs 2016: Picks, predictions for New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos, AFC championship game
Image Courtesy of Jeffrey Beall’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License