Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Peyton Manning isn’t too far behind. Put them together on the same field, and you have football magic that’s difficult — if not impossible — to replicate.
Nick Wright thinks we could be in store for a similar rivalry moving forward, though, which obviously is a bold statement given Brady’s continued dominance with the New England Patriots and Manning’s elite production with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.
Wright explained Monday on FOX Sports 1’s “First Things First” that he believes Patrick Mahomes vs. Baker Mayfield could be this generation’s version of Brady vs. Manning. He stressed he’s not sure whether it’ll begin this season — after all, Brady and the Patriots still stand in the way — but both the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns have the potential to make noise in the AFC for years to come.
“So, first of all, whoever’s more set up for success this season, big picture-wise, I do believe — and this is going to sound like a big statement — this is going to be this generation’s Manning-Brady: two guys in the same conference who are the two best quarterbacks in football for a long time,” Wright said. “Maybe that doesn’t happen this year with them being the two best quarterbacks in football, even though Mahomes was last season. I think that’s what we’re seeing here.
“I think with Baker and the Browns, and Patty Mahomes and the Chiefs, you might say, ‘Ah, those organizations’ … Man, the Colts and Patriots weren’t some great organizations historically — or at least in recent NFL history — prior to Manning and Brady becoming Manning and Brady. So I think that’s what we’re in store for over the next decade-plus.”
Wright’s optimistic outlook on Mahomes and Mayfield is understandable, as the former is coming off an MVP season with the Chiefs while the latter was very impressive in his rookie campaign with the Browns. It’ll take longevity, sustained high-level performance, Super Bowl rings and classic head-to-head battles for the Mahomes vs. Mayfield rivalry to come anywhere close to Brady vs. Manning, though, so perhaps we should pump the brakes.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images