We have not seen a Tom Brady/Peyton Manning matchup in over a year. This afternoon Manning and the Denver Broncos visit Brady and the New England Patriots. The Pats are 2-2 and the Broncos are 2-2. New England is in a virtual three-way tie for first in the AFC East while Denver is in sole possession of second in the AFC West with the San Diego Chargers one game up.
This is a big game for both clubs. After pounding the Buffalo Bills 52-28 last week, the Patriots have a chance to perhaps get a firm grasp on first in the division and to build consistency on both ends of the ball. The Broncos come in much like the Pats, having won their first, then losing two straight and taking their last game. They too are looking to really smooth out the wrinkles and get the team running on all cylinders.
The Broncos have an edge here in that New England’s pass defense is off and on. That can be a big factor, as Denver is 9th in the league in the air. However, the Pats bring a good overall defense to the field and they on offense they have an edge. Their running game has been excellent and should do well against what looks like a solid a Bronco run defense, but is in reality a fairly weak one.
Pats Rushing and Passing
The reason I think New England will do well on the ground is because they do have depth at running back and the Broncos rush defense has benefitted from meeting and controlling two terrible ground teams. When they are up against a run offense like New England’s the Broncos have a very tough time.
Plus, the Bronco secondary has holes and I believe Brady will be able to use his strong group of receivers to exploit that weakness. I do not think it will be a romp for the Pats, but I do believe that they will win today by around 10 points.
Just Like Old Times
This will be an exciting contest that brings back memories of the battles between Brady and Manning back in the time when the brother of Eli was an Indianapolis Colt. There’s always the question of Manning’s health after he missed last season due to injury and doubts about his ability to withstand punishment still exist.
Which QB has the edge statistically? It is Brady but the difference between the two is minimal in most areas. One important stat—Brady has one INT and Manning three. That could be a major difference maker. Stay tuned. The game will be played just after 4 pm today in Foxborough. The home crowd will help the Pats.