Manning and rival Brady to battle for Super Bowl berth

Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:51pm EST
 
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By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) - Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will renew their storied rivalry in Sunday's AFC title game but the clash will be unlike any other as it may be the last between two of the National Football League's greatest quarterbacks.

When Manning leads his Denver Broncos onto the field to face the New England Patroits he will be two months shy of his 40th birthday and playing what could be the final game of a career that includes a Super Bowl win, five most valuable player awards and numerous passing records.

So if this is the final NFL season for Manning, who has been plagued by both injury and questionable form recently, then it is only fitting that he will have to get by the Brady-led Patriots to get a shot at another Super Bowl title.

"It'll be the Broncos vs. the Patriots," Manning said after Sunday's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. "We'll enjoy this one tonight. I think you knew that answer was coming. I'll be talking about them on Wednesday."

While Manning's latest victory was far from the prettiest of his illustrious career, it was enough to set up a mouthwatering matchup that, barring injury, will ensure one of the NFL's marquee names will be featured in Super Bowl 50.

Brady, 38, has won 11 of 16 career meetings versus Manning but the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks are 2-2 in postseason matchups. Manning, however, holds a 2-1 edge in conference title games versus Brady.

The only difference going into this clash is that Brady, who won his fourth Super Bowl title last year, is still playing at the top of his game while Manning is relying more on his veteran savvy trying to rediscover his old form.

Manning refused to get philosophical about the upcoming clash with his biggest nemesis, but his Denver teammates were happy to chime in.   Continued...

 
Jan 3, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass while chased by Miami Dolphins defensive end Derrick Shelby (79) in the third quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports