Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will square off for the 14th time Sunday when the Broncos travel to New England. Though Manning has better stats (2,997 yards and 25 touchdowns to 2,446 and 20), Brady leads the overall series 9-4. Here are six of the most notable matchups:
JAN. 21, 2007 — Colts 38, Patriots 34, at Indy. Manning finally broke through against Brady in the playoffs, rallying the Colts from 18 points down for the victory. He threw for 349 yards and a touchdown to make it to his first Super Bowl. Manning led Indianapolis on an 80-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, then admitted he said a prayer when Brady got the ball back with one more chance.
NOV. 30, 2003 — Patriots 38, Colts 34, at Indy. New England had a 31-10 lead in this one before Manning led a rally to within a score. The Colts were at the New England 1 but on fourth-and-goal, Willie McGinest came around the end and tackled Edgerrin James in the backfield to preserve the win. Manning threw for 278 yards and four scores, while Brady had 236 yards and two touchdowns.
NOV. 7. 2005 — Colts 40, Patriots 21, at New England. Manning was 0-6 against Brady and 0-7 at New England when he came in for a Monday nighter and finally broke both streaks. He threw for 321 yards and three scores and posted a 117.1 passer rating. Brady finished with three touchdowns and a 121.4 passer rating. It was the best combined performance by the quarterbacks to that point. The win kept the Colts undefeated at 9-0.
NOV. 15, 2009 — Colts 35, Patriots 34, at Indy. The quarterbacks combined for 702 yards and seven touchdown throws, yet the key to this game came from Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Leading 34-28 on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 and 2:08 to go, Belichick kept the offense on the field and tried to close things out right there. Brady threw to Kevin Faulk but Faulk was stopped a half yard short of the first down. Manning led the Colts on the winning touchdown drive, capping it with a 1-yard pass to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds left.
JAN. 16, 2005 — Patriots 20, Colts 3, at New England. Manning fell to 0-7 in New England in a divisional-playoff matchup — probably the most dispiriting loss of the nine he's suffered at the hands of Brady. Nearly a year after throwing four interceptions in a home loss to New England in the AFC title game, Manning wasn't intercepted. But he wasn't effective either — held to 144 yards passing in the foggy, snowy, 25-degree weather. New England held the ball for more than 38 minutes.
OCT. 7, 2012 — Patriots 31, Broncos 21, at New England. In Manning's first meeting against Brady as a member of the Broncos, the Denver defense got blown away by a fast-paced New England offense that ran 90 plays. The Broncos fell despite 337 yards and three touchdowns from Manning. Brady had 223 yards and one score. One lasting imprint from this game: Manning saw that quick-tempo New England offense and decided he wanted to play like that. This year, the Broncos have rarely huddled and have increased the number of snaps on offense by 10 percent.
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