Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The AFC Championship Game Brady vs Manning

   With New England's victory over the Chiefs and the Denver victory over an out-manned Pittsburgh Steeler team, pits the two premiere  future Hall  of Fame QB's in the AFC. Tom  Brady and Peyton Manning. This will be the fifth meeting in the playoffs between these two quarterbacks and each has won 2 of 4 games. This will be the most any two quarterbacks have met in the playoffs. This game will certainly provide the winner with playoff bragging rights for the winner. Most of the supporting casts have changed from the earlier match ups and even the team and city have changed for Manning but because previous match ups were so entertaining It will be worth watching this time around. 
   In his first playoff postseason game against the Patriots, Manning was intercepted four times and the Patriots came out on top with a 24-14 win. Although Manning has averaged only one interception per playoff game for his career, he has a 5.1 interception rate this season. A telling sign for Manning's success or failure will be whether he gets intercepted early on in this encounter. If Manning does not hold on to the ball and control the flow of the game Brady will certainly take advantage and the game of possession will favor the Pats and a possible Patriot win. 
   Manning was able to finally beat the Patriots and Brady in the 2007 AFC championship game by a 38-34 score when he played with the Colts and then they  went on to win the Superbowl. That game proved that Manning can come from behind to win as the Colts came from a 21-3 deficit to finally take the lead at the end of the game. However, Brady has the upper hand on comebacks and game winning drives if it ever comes down to that scenario. Lately, it looks like the last two times these two quarterbacks have met and three of  the four match ups have been in the AFC Championship Game, with Manning having won two of the three. Moreover, Manning is 2-0 versus Brady in the playoffs since 2006. 
   In the latest installment of Brady vs Manning head-to-head in 2014, the Patriots simply fell behind by too much against Denver, losing the AFC title by a score of 26-16. Brady didn't do bad in this game and went 24 of 38 passing with 277 yards but couldn't get into the end zone until the  fourth quarter and it was too late for a comeback. Home field is definitely an advantage for the Broncos and Manning and it seems that Manning's passer rating is much better at home and results in wins. 
   Both quarterbacks have done well in playoff games and both of them have started in more than 20 postseason games. Only 10 quarterbacks have won at least 10 postseason games in NFL history. Manning has 23 postseason games under his belt and has won won 11 and lost 13 at is at a .458 clip.  Brady on the other hand has appeared in 27 playoff games and the only player with more playoff appearances is Jerry Rice with 29. Brady has a respectable 19 playoff wins with 8 losses which gives him a .704 winning percentage. 
In head-to-head matches between the two, Brady leads Manning by an 11-5 margin in the 16 times that these two have faced each other. They have 2 wins each in the playoffs and wins have gone in Manning's favor in their most recent encounters in 2006-07 and 2014-15. Brady's team beat Manning's Colts teams in 2003-04 and 2004-05. The duo's stats in the playoffs have been exceptional with throwing at a 62.3 clip with 6,791 and 46 TD's with 23 interceptions for Brady. Manning on the other hand in his 23 playoff games has a 64.3 passing percentage with 6,589 yards, 37 TD's but has 24 INT's. That's why if Manning is not on target, it could spell trouble for the Broncos. 
   As for SuperBowls. Manning has made the Big Show three times and has won one and lost two Brady seems to be head and shoulders above Manning on that subject. Brady has been to the SuperBowl six times, winning in 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2004-05 while losing 2007-08 and 2011-12. Four of Brady’s Super Bowl appearances were decided by three points. the most recent in 2012 was decided by four points (21-17 loss to the New York Giants). Brady's four wins ties him with the most wins in a SuperBowl with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana. 
It looks like the betting line on this AFC Championship game between these two premiere QB's is favoring the New England Patriots but the  Broncos are at home and Manning plays better at home. It should be another prelude to the next game for the winner and another disappointing season for the loser as these two teams are geared to get to that last game, The SuperBowl. I'll be glued to the tube with my weary eyes taking in the game.

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