If you look at the numbers from the New England Patriots’ and Denver Broncos’ divisional-round wins, it’s easy to see why people are saying Peyton Manning will be no match for Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game.
But Charley Casserly didn’t see it that way.
The NFL Network analyst and former Washington Redskins general manager tweeted Monday that after watching the tape, he believes Manning outplayed Brady in his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Brady threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-42 passing against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday compared to Manning’s 222 yards and zero touchdowns on 21-of-37 passing, but Casserly said on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” on Monday that the film tells a different story.
“(Manning) was sharp the whole day,” Casserly said. “The ball came out quick. He was going to the right receiver. The guy had nine drops. … He was sharp. You watch Brady and arguably against a better defense, but I don’t think that made any difference. He had some inaccuracy in the game, the ball placement wasn’t as good. … That’s watching the game. I have no prejudice in this thing at all. I don’t care who wins the game. I am just watching it.”
Still, that doesn’t mean Casserly thinks the Broncos will be able to take down the Patriots come Sunday.
“If (the Steelers) had (wide receiver) Antonio Brown, (the Patriots) would be playing Pittsburgh,” Casserly said. “(They) wouldn’t be playing Denver. That is obvious. … They are not a very good zone team, discipline-wise, technique-wise, or whatever. So you put them in zone, it is like throwing 7-on-7 against them.
“I don’t think they have an answer for (tight end Rob) Gronkowski. Kansas City tried everything. I don’t think they have an answer for Gronkowski. (Denver’s) safeties don’t cover well anyway. I don’t think their linebackers cover well. With (wide receiver Julian) Edelman, I don’t think they have an answer for Edelman.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning reacts after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.