John Elway brought Peyton Manning to Denver for one reason. To win him a Super Bowl. His dream of restoring the Orange Crush to it’s former glory days are nearly complete. The only thing standing in his way now, are Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The saga between the two quarterbacks, has lasted for over a decade and Sunday’s contest will add yet another chapter to the historic Manning-Brady rivalry. The two have met 14 times, with Brady holding a (10-4) regular season edge and (2-1) advantage in post season play. In their last meeting, Tom terrific got the better end of Peyton again, defeating his Broncos at home in overtime, (34-31). There’s little doubt, that Manning has grown tired of coming up on the short end against his bitter rival. However, this time, it’s the Patriots that must travel across country. He can rest a little easier, knowing he’ll have the luxury of playing at home in the biggest game of the season.
There are so many reasons why this AFC championship match-up is perfect. Mostly because of the many story-lines, revolving around Sunday’s title game. First off, there is Brady’s former number one receiver and friend, Wes Welker, who is now sporting Denver Orange and standing between him and his 5th Super Bowl. Whether he’ll admit it or not, it must be difficult to watch his old teammate line up against the Patriots defense. However, Wes should be chomping at the bit, to stick it to his old team, for not giving him an extension that was probably deserved .Then you’ve got Josh McDaniels. The youngest coach in the history of the NFL, who used to be the Broncos head coach. A two year stint and failed experiment with Tim Tebow, got him expelled from Denver and sent back to Foxborough. He once again serves as Offensive Coordinator under Bill Belichick. The icing on the cake, of course is number twelve and eighteen. It’s nearly impossible to not be excited for another Peyton Manning and Tom Brady showdown. The dynamic duo never fail to put on a good show. Manning has had his chances, but none may be as big as the one he’ll get on Sunday against his old nemesis. However, the game will be just as big for Brady too. He’s lost two straight Super Bowls and an AFC championship. No one is as tired of losing the big games as he is.
“I do hate to lose, no question about it,” Brady said. “The thrill of victory, it’s great, and at this point in my career the winning is just so much fun. Losing sucks.”
One of them is going to the Super Bowl, while the other will be sent packing. The Broncos and Patriots enter Sunday’s AFC championship, with a spot in Super Bowl XLVIII on the line. Their quest for a trip to New York and a chance to be atop the football world, continues Sunday on CBS.
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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Stephn Baldetti