Brady-Manning XIV USA Today Sports

Brady Manning XIV: Final Thoughts You Aren’t Hearing

You’ve no doubt already read about how the Patriots spotted 24 points to the juggernaut that is Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. How turnovers undid them in the first half, how they had to cycle through RBs to get to one who wouldn’t cough up the squash, and how the biting wind and cold was a factor. You continued to read on about how Tom Brady engineered this miraculous comeback, again, and has now made himself a candidate for MVP, again. How, as before, Manning couldn’t quite measure up in the elements, how Bill Belichick’s odd decision to give Manning the ball to start OT was derided and then lauded for its genius, and how Welker actually was to blame for the muffed punt that eventually led to the winning field goal in OT. I won’t bother you with a recap. Two great franchises played a see-saw game that may or may not actually have bearing on final standings. Here are my final takeaways from Sunday Night’s Manning-Brady XIV:


  • Let’s first admit, this wasn’t a great game. Great ending? Not even. Close game, yes. Bizarre game, definitely. But the two best QBs of a generation (or more) squaring off in prime time could’ve been so much more. It was actually sloppy. Very sloppy. Eleven times the ball was fumbled. The two teams combined for seven turnovers and sixteen penalties (not counting the ones declined). And the officiating was poor at best. The only players that really stood out were Von Miller, for a half, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Knowshon Moreno. By the end of the game Moreno had 224 yards, most of it into the guts of the Patriots defense. For that alone, the Pats D can’t be said to have had a good game. Stops when they needed them? Yea, but nothing more. If anyone should be pissed about the loss its Moreno, not Manning. Peyton barely showed up.


  • Don’t know why I haven’t heard or read this yet, but the Broncos defense all but disappeared. Giving up 440 yards of offense is one thing (after all, Brady had to throw to get back in the game) but 34 points in the 2nd half and OT? By the end of the 3rd quarter it was 24-21 and the mo had all swung back. You wanna win a title, you need to step on some necks.


  • The decision by Belichick at the start of OT to let Manning have the ball no matter which team won the toss was curious at the start, but the explanation bore out the reasoning, and it wasn’t just about kicks into the wind. Having gotten all the stops and turnovers he had needed up to that point, and having seen Moreno limping around like a twice-run colt, el Hoodie rolled the dice on a stop and being able to hit a wind-aided FG from 40-plus. BB said he thought the difference in field position needed to hit a FG was close to 25 yards. He also said that his ST Coach told him with the wind the 40-yard line was the spot to get to. Into the wind? The fifteen. Its clear, though it’ll never be said, that Belichick realizes Manning’s arm strength isn’t what it once was. Forcing him to throw into the wind meant that at the very least a sustained drive would be needed to score a TD. Into the wind Peyton went 11-23, 91 YD, 1 TD, 1 INT, 54.8 rating. They each had 23 attempts into the wind. Brady’s QBR was 129. Manning’s, 55. This was less about Prater v. Gostkowski and more about Manning v. Brady than people realize.


  • If Peyton wants to win another title, he’s going to have to figure out this cold weather bit. This year the playoffs will go through Denver, Foxboro or Kansas City, maybe Cincinnati. We’re not talking umbrella drinks here. Oh and the Super Bowl will be in North Jersey in February. He better hope Al Gore is right.


  • Has anyone considered the fact that Bill Belichick has his own perfect storm set up? Before Sunday night teams that were down by 24 or more were 6-485 all time. Manning himself had never lost a game he led by 22 or more (52-0). The patriots are a team mostly comprised of young players and guys new to New England, guys that haven’t experienced the “Brady Magic” if you will. After this season, after last night, they’ll be lining up to worship at the feet of Coach Belichick. He has no doubt made his team think they’ve been disrespected, counted out, jobbed by the refs in Jersey and Carolina, and left for dead against Miami, New Orleans and now Denver. Add to that list the monsoon in Cincy, and Belichick can package the entire season as an ‘us against them’ narrative. Nobody does it better.

Next year the AFC West and AFC East will each play each other. Meaning there will be a Manning-Brady XV. It will be in Foxboro. If these teams matchup again this season, it would most likely be in the AFC Title game. Looking ahead at schedules, it would most likely be in Denver, in January. Anyone this week going to say Peyton Manning has home-field advantage in that one?






Brady Manning rivalry

Tags: Bill Belichick Brady Manning XIV Brady-Manning Broncos Denver Broncos New England Patriots NFL NFL News Patriots Peyton Manning Quarterback Quarterbacks Sunday Night Football Tom Brady

  • disqus_57pX4h0tnv

    The game was lost because of a mistake. Until that point the two teams played to a tie. Appropriately so, given each played one half of high school football. That being said, Manning led a 4th quater drive at the coldest point of the night to tie the game.

    Walker gets his blockers away from the punt, or makes a fair catch decision, assuming he catches the ball, and the game probably ends in a tie.

    • Paul V. Suffriti

      But……Manning has to show up for the entire game, not just a drive down the field, in the cold, in the 4th quarter. You are forgetting that the Broncos had a 24 point lead at halftime.

      • disqus_57pX4h0tnv

        Oh I forgot, Manning dropped a punt at the end of the first half and the end of OT. And to paraphrase Guinsel Butane …”our quarterback can’t throw and catch the ball at the same time.” Thomas and Welker catch 1 more pass each…different game different stats for Manning.

        • Paul V. Suffriti

          Ifs & buts will drive you nuts……the game was played and that’s how it ended. Denver would also be undefeated if they caught every pass thrown and never fumbled the ball this season…..give me a break. Every fan from every team can say something similar about if this happened we would have won the game.

          • disqus_57pX4h0tnv

            The point is Manning was only partially responsible for the loss. Obviously your east coast bias won’t allow you to see beyond the Manning/ Brady hype. BTW Brady has lost twice to the inferior and younger Manning when it mattered most. Eli is not nearly the QB Peyton is but he has had better teams then his brother and Brandon Jacobs/Vivtor Cruz etc. -Not to mention an incredible defensive line.

            Football is a team game, and The Bronocos team made the last mistake and that’s what cost them the game.

  • anon76returns

    The Reason you haven’t heard more about the Broncos D is because they gave up most of their points (20 out of 34) on short fields. I’d like to see the Broncos’ D get better at stopping teams on those short fields, especially since the offense/special teams seem to fumble so often. But if you look around the league, even elite defenses like Seattle, KC, and Carolina give up a lot of points when defending a short field- of the 19 possessions starting in their end of the field this season, they’ve given up 12 scores. The difference is that they are not put in that position nearly as often as the Broncos’ D (about 0.6 such possessions/game for the other teams, compared with 1.5 possessions/game for the Broncos).

    Re. the wind- I still think it was a lot about the kicking game, though I’m sure Manning’s arm factored in there as well. But keep in mind, about 1/4 of Praeter’s KICKOFFS go through the uprights with no wind. With that 20 mph wind, he would have been dangerous from very long range.

    Re. home field at Mile High. Oh, I’ll definitely say it. The Denver Broncos are about a lot more than just Peyton Manning, though obviously he is the biggest piece in their offense. Traditionally the Patriots have struggled there, even in the Brady-Bellichick era, and the Broncos have never fielded as complete a team as they have now. Heck yeah, I’ll take Manning & the Broncos in the cold at Mile High over the Patriots- don’t let 1 near-tie at Gillette fool you.

    • Paul V. Suffriti

      Pretty sure the Pats have won the last four meetings…..

      • anon76returns

        Last 4 at Mile high?
        The last one at Mile High I can remember was the end of 2011 Tebow fest (Pats definitely won that one).
        Before that, it was early 2009- Orton vs. Brady and mini Hoodie vs. Darth Hoodie, with mini Hoodie emerging victorious. Not sure how many other games were played at Mile high- definitely Brady’s first meeting in 2001 (Brady lost), and the playoff game in Jan 2006 (also a Brady loss). Overall Brady’s record against the Broncos is 5 wins, 6 losses, with Brady winning the last 4 meetings.

        • Paul V. Suffriti

          I like the current trend……see you in the playoffs.

          • anon76returns

            4 games ago: Patriots by 18 in Denver
            3 games ago: Patriots by 35 in Foxboro
            2 games ago: Patriots by 10 in Foxboro
            1 game ago: Patriots by 3 (OT) in Foxboro
            Next game: ?

            I also like the trend. We look forward to welcoming Brady back to Mile High.

          • Paul V. Suffriti

            A win by 35 points or 3 points is still a win and that’s what counts, not the margin of victory….and by the way, the Broncos have to beat the Chiefs in KC and win their division before they can host a playoff game.

          • disqus_57pX4h0tnv

            For a spiritual guy Mr. Suffriti, your quite negative on the orange and blue. Keep in mind, the sunsets in Colorado are, orange and blue. An omen perhaps? A prophecy from sky dwelling oracles?

            Or perhaps, no bearing on a game played for the most part by young men who in most businesses would be entry level newbies. Mistakes, will determine the the winner and loser of the AFC. Not sure however, the AFC winner can beat Seattle or The Saints cold, hot or in New Jersey.

          • Paul V. Suffriti

            “For a spiritual guy Mr. Suffriti,”

            LOL…..I try and keep negativity out of my life and embrace all positive energy during the course of the day…..but football is football. Denver is a very good team, but as we all know, whichever team gets hot at the end of the season will advance throughout the playoffs and to the SB. We will see shortly who is playing their best ball in December…..good luck with the Chiefs this weekend. I picked Denver over the Chiefs in the local football pool…..just saying.

          • anon76returns

            A win at Arrowhead is imminently doable.

            And a win is a win is a win. But when you go from dominating a team on the road, to barely winning at home, it’s indicative of a relative shift in ability between the two teams. The Pats had everything on the line on Sunday, had the home field advantage, favorable weather conditions, and were able to greatly limit Manning’s impact. However they still would not have been able to beat the Broncos without a lucky bounce. We’ll see how that works out for the Pats in Denver.

  • bronncohowie

    Cheatichick got lucky when Broncos receivers dropped three straight passes inside the pats 40 yard line in OT. Everyone seems to forget that the Broncos TIED the game up in the 4th qtr. GOING AGAINST THE WIND. It took a lucky bounce for the pats to win, nothing more.

    • Paul V. Suffriti

      They also lost the game going against the wind in OT…..and they got the ball first in OT… more excuses.

    • Chaoxinxing

      Yeah, yeah. Just remember it was 3 turnovers that gave the Broncos a big lead.
      And you sum the game up on one play. However the Pats solved the Broncos in multiple possessions in the 2nd half.
      And the refs took away a Manning Int with a really poor holding call on Talib.
      This is 2 big games Manning/Broncos lost this year that he really wanted to win. No a good omen for the playoffs.
      Only question now is who gets to bend Manning over again in the playoffs; Pats or Colts??

  • DXW

    here’s nothing to read into this loss. Denver was winning then DRC made an idiotic move by diving for a meaningless interception at the end of the 2nd quarter and knocked himself out of the game (mistake #1). With DRC not out there for the second half, Brady was able to take advantage of the hole and bring the Pats back. Denver figured out how to stop him late in the 4th quarter, and stopped him all the way through OT. They were set to drive again, but some moron decided it was a good idea to have Welker back there to field the punt, and… well… Mistake #2. Denver loses.

    Denver doesn’t lose games unless they screw up, and this is the second example of them not being able to get out of their own way this year. Not taking anything away from Brady. The guy is incredible. But Denver gave this game away.

    When NE comes to Denver in the playoffs, Broncos win.

  • Joe Soriano

    Here’s my take on this. We learned absolutely nothing from this game, but we did receive confirmation on some of the stuff we thought we knew.

    1. The Broncos lost fair and square, no excuses. It was a close game, but both teams had opportunities etc. etc. Quit being a homer, the Patriots won, end of story.

    2. But the Broncos are still the best team in the AFC, for my money. Did we really learn which team is actually BETTER as a result of an overtime game? Of course not, it’s just too close to draw any predictive information. Plus, as Patriots fans know from disappointing games against the Giants, the NFL is all about matchups. And on Sunday, the Patriots won most of their matchups.

    3. We did learn, though, that the Patriots are the 2nd-best team in the AFC, because they actually have a passing offense, unlike the Chiefs. Don’t get me wrong, the Chiefs are an excellent team, but I think the Patriots win shows that they are indeed an elite team. Sunday’s win was a wake-up call to those sleeping on the Patriots.

    4. Manning struggled, but he’s still a great quarterback. Brady showed that he’s still a great quarterback. Youc an make arguments that one’s career is better than the other’s and vice versa. And really, we already knew this. Like, we didn’t learn anything about either quarterback.

    5. Moreno is legit.

    6. DRC is wicked important to the Broncos secondary.

    7. Gronk is a scary, scary player.

    To be honest with you, none of those seven things are surprises. We learned nothing about either team or QB, other than they are both great and that they will play an exciting, toss-up game if they meet in the playoffs. So instead of trying to over-analyze stuff when there’s really not much to analyze when it comes to Brady-Manning, I think it’s better to celebrate a great game and holistically evaluate each roster. I blogged for the Patriots for over a year, but I’m not a homer. I’ve come to love talking with Broncos fans (seriously, you guys have one of the league’s best fan bases), but please don’t try and water down the Patriots win. However, definitely defend your team if anyone comes up with some exaggerated analysis on how the Broncos are no longer elite. They’re still elite; the Patriots just proved they are up there, too.

  • Chaoxinxing

    Not a great game??? Not a great ending?? If this game was played in warm weather then maybe both teams would’ve looked all polished for you. But 20 degree weather is a factor, like it or not.
    The Broncos D never disappeared. They were beaten and out played. It happens.
    Can’t say Manning didn’t show up. When the Pats gave them easy scores it actually prevented Manning from getting in a groove. He didn’t even have to try and the Broncos scored 24.
    And when the Pats didn’t give them easy scores they had a great gameplan.

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