FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady isn’t just the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. He’s also apparently a soothsayer.
Brady predicted the Patriots’ 43-21 drubbing over the Denver Broncos in Week 9 of the 2014 regular season would be the last matchup between himself and quarterback Peyton Manning. We know this because Brady’s private emails were leaked after the Deflategate scandal.
“I’ve got another 7 or 8 years,” Brady told a friend. “He has 2. That’s the final chapter. Game on.”
That wasn’t a shot at Manning. Brady just knew it was the truth.
Manning started to fall apart last season, and he’s only gotten worse this year. Manning has a torn plantar fascia and will miss at least the next two games, including Sunday night’s matchup between the Patriots and Broncos. If Manning’s backup, Brock Osweiler, continues to play well, as he did in Week 11, there’s a chance Manning might not see the field again this season.
“Truthfully I haven’t thought about that much,” Brady said about facing the Broncos without Manning. “It’s a lot of work preparing for this defense. You’re right, I don’t play against that other side of the ball.
“I mean, there’s nobody that has more respect for Peyton than me outside of probably his parents and his brothers. If anybody can appreciate what he’s accomplished it’s me, so he’s just been remarkable in every part of his career. He’s been a tremendous player. It’s unfortunate. Everyone deals with injuries at different times, so it just happens to be this week. They won last week with the guy that they had in there.”
There used to be a debate over who is better between Brady and Manning. It’s not much of a competition these days. Manning has completed just 193 of 322 passes for 2,180 yards with nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions this season through nine games. Brady is 271 of 409 for 3,320 yards with 25 touchdowns and four interceptions, and he’s on his way to a potential undefeated season, fifth Super Bowl title and another NFL MVP award. Brady is 11-5 in head-to-head matchups against Manning and has four Super Bowl titles to Manning’s one.
Manning has more career completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns than Brady, but the Patriots quarterback could even overtake those numbers if his prediction is true that he has seven or eight more years left in his 38-year-old arm.
Because Brady-Manning games are so fun, hopefully the Patriots quarterback was wrong. These teams could meet again in the playoffs, and perhaps Manning’s foot will allow him to play. Manning also reportedly wants to play in 2016, so perhaps the quarterbacks will meet again one day. But for now, we’re getting ready for Brady-Brock Osweiler I, rather than Brady-Manning XVII.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Imagse