Statistically speaking, Peyton Manning has generally gotten the better of Tom Brady in their 14 previous career matchups, but Brady leads in the one stat that counts: wins, with 10. Bovada oddsmakers expect another big day from Manning in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. His over/under passing yard total is set at 320.5.
Manning threw for an NFL-record 5,477 yards during the regular season, an average of 342.3 yards per game. He was held under 320.5 yards five times: 307 at the New York Giants, 295 against Jacksonville, 150 at New England, 289 against the Chargers (Dec. 12), and 266 at Oakland in the regular-season finale when Manning was pulled once he set the yardage record. Last week against the Chargers, Manning was held to 230 yards.
New England allowed 331 passing yards last week to Andrew Luck, but the Colts were playing catch up early. The last quarterback before Luck to top 320.5 passing yards against the Patriots’ No. 18 pass defense was Cleveland’s Jason Campbell in Week 14 with 391. Manning’s passing yard total is set at 169.5 passing yards compared to that first Patriots matchup. That was on a very cold night, and it looks to be slightly above freezing at kickoff Sunday. Manning is only 4-7 in his career in subfreezing starts at kickoff. He is the betting favorite at -150 to have the most passing yards of any quarterback this weekend, with Brady second at +200.
Manning also set the NFL record with 55 touchdown passes during the season. Manning threw for at least three touchdowns in 11 regular-season games but was held to two versus New England. He also had two last week. Manning didn’t have a game where he was held without a TD throw, with a low of one Nov. 17 against Kansas City. There’s also a prop on Manning (over/under 2.5 TD passes) Bovada is favoring the over setting odds at -190.
Knowshon Moreno killed the Patriots in the first matchup as the former Georgia star rushed for 224 yards on 37 carries. That was an aberration as Moreno’s second-best rushing total of the season was 93 yards in Week 2. He hasn’t topped 82 yards since that Patriots loss, which was last week against the Chargers. Moreno is listed with an over/under yardage total of 77.5.
Former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker didn’t do much in the first meeting with New England, with four catches for 31 yards. Welker hasn’t done much since then, either. He had 38 yards on three catches in the next game against Kansas City and 61 on five grabs the week after against the Titans. Welker missed the final three games with his second concussion this season and returned with six catches for 38 yards in the Divisional Round. His totals this week are six catches (over is set at -130) and 62.5 yards (over is set at -115). Denver’s Demaryius Thomas is the favorite (7-2) to have the most receiving yards of any player this weekend. Thomas was held to 41 yards in the first meeting.