Colts and Patriots clash in NFL battle of the quarterbacks

By Simon Evans

Brady has won three Super Bowls while Manning, who lost out last season against New Orleans, has just one ring.

The debates over which of the pair is the greater player will continue for many years but both have clearly benefited from being part of outstanding teams -- they are the two most successful, in terms of wins, in the league since 1999.

"It's a great rivalry, there's no question about it. It really has been like a division game. We've played them every year since 2003 -- a couple of times twice a year. There's no question it's a big game," Manning said this week.

There is no question about that but there are plenty of questions about the two teams this year with many observers feeling that the supporting casts for the two quarterbacks are weaker than in previous encounters.

In particular, there are defensive weaknesses on both teams that have been exposed in their defeats -- the Colts have struggled against the run while the Patriots have been poor against the pass -- they are ranked 30th in the league in total pass defense.

New England's ability against the pass will be severely tested on Sunday against the master passer Manning, who the Patriots says is virtually impossible to read.

"A lot of times you don't want to key on what he's doing because you don't know if it's real or fake," said linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

"He's a tough quarterback to try and confuse. He'll confuse you more than you confuse him. He's a guy that you try to do your best to disguise stuff, and things like that, but he's really good at what he does in picking out coverages," he said.

Last year's encounter was a classic with the Colts overcoming two 17-point deficits, including one in the fourth quarter, to run out 35-34 victors on a day when Manning threw four touchdowns.

The New York Giants, smarting from last week's surprise loss to the Dallas Cowboys, travel to the Philadelphia Eagles who are on a high after crushing the Washington Redskins 59-28 on Monday.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is on fire at the moment -- he passed for 33 yards and four touchdowns against Washington and also ran for 80 yards and two more touchdowns.

The Seattle Seahawks (5-4) travel to defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints (6-3) with Reggie Bush hoping to be back in action for the Saints after missing the last seven games.

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre faces his old team, the Green Bay Packers while the Monday game features Denver at San Diego.

(Editing by Alison Wildey)