Peyton Manning has had his battles with pretty much every NFL team over the years. But it’s hard to top his rivalry with the New England Patriots.
The former Denver Broncos quarterback faced the Patriots 17 times in the regular season during his 18-year career and five more times in the postseason, compiling an overall record of 9-13 against his arch-nemesis. So when Manning announced his retirement Monday in an emotion-filled speech, he made sure to give a special shout-out to New England fans.
“I’ll even miss the Patriot fans in Foxboro,” Manning said, via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. “And they should miss me, because they sure did get a lot of wins off of me.”
Peyton isn’t wrong. The two-time Super Bowl champion was just 2-11 in New England during his career and didn’t win a single game at Foxboro Stadium, the Patriots’ home until they moved to Gillette Stadium in 2002. Manning also lost both of his road playoff games against the Patriots during the 2003 and 2004 seasons while playing for the Indianapolis Colts.
But Manning’s nod to New England didn’t stop with the fans, as the 14-time Pro Bowl quarterback made mentions of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi and ex-defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
Of course, Manning also made sure to mention Tom Brady, saying he’ll “miss that handshake” with the longtime Patriots quarterback. Brady congratulated Manning on his retirement in a recent Facebook post but later admitted it “sucks” that their rivalry has ended.
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Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images