There’s an epic
Oh, yes, there’s also the rest of the
Brady might have the overall edge, but Manning walked away the winner the last two times they played and is 2-1 against the Patriots in conference championship games. What's more, neither quarterback has beaten the other on the road since 2007.
"I think he's an incredible player and any time you face that caliber of player — and there are a lot of great quarterbacks in the NFL; Peyton has been one of the best to ever play — you've got to be at your best," Brady said. "You can't play anything less than your best and expect to win, because he's going to play well and he's going to have that team playing well."
The Patriots are playing in their 12th AFC title game, and their fifth in a row. They are 8-3 in their previous 11 conference title games.
Should New England beat the
The Patriots beat Seattle in last year's Super Bowl. Twelve teams have gone back to the NFL's biggest stage after winning it all the year before. Of those 12 teams that made the return trip, eight won the Super Bowl
YEAR BOWL WINNER NEXT
1966 I Green Bay Won
1972 VII Miami Won
1974 IX Pittsburgh Won
1977 XII Dallas Lost
1978 XIII Pittsburgh Won
1982 XVII Washington Lost
1988 XXIII San Francisco Won
1992 XXVII Dallas Won
1996 XXXI Green Bay Lost
1997 XXXII Denver Won
2003 XXXVIII New England Won
2013 XLVIII Seattle Lost
Clearly, the Broncos weren't concerned with the prospect of providing bulletin-board material for the Patriots.
In an interview with “ProFootballTalk Live,” Denver linebacker
That came on the heels of fellow Broncos linebacker
"Every time he gets sacked he looks at the ref like, 'You see him sack me? Was that supposed to happen? He did it a little hard. Please throw a 15-yard penalty on him. Get him fined.'¿"
By the numbers
How the teams compare statistically. All stats are regular-season per-game averages, except for turnover differential, which is for the season (league rank in parentheses):
STATISTICS: NE | DEN
Points scored: 29.1 (3) | 22.2 (19)
Points allowed: 19.7 (10) | 18.5 (4)
Pass offense: 286.7 (5) | 248.1 (14)
Rush offense: 87.8 (30) | 107.4 (17)
Pass defense; 240.7 (17) | 199.6 (1)
Rush defense: 98.8 (9) | 83.6 (3)
Sacks: 49 (2) | 52 (1)
Penalty yards: 53.7 (9) | 66.4 (25)
Turnovers: +7 (7) | -4 (T19)
Typically, it’s not smart to bet against Manning or Brady. Thing is, Manning was only intermittently sharp against Pittsburgh in the divisional round and, although he has never been a high-velocity passer, all the zip is off his throws. With Denver cornerback