Like the two great horse racing rivals in 1977-78, Affirmed and Alydar, the rivalry between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning has been very exciting. They also have been very nip and tuck. The games between Brady and Manning, for the most part, have been like those two aforementioned horses in the stretch, head and head. It was like a play here, and play there could decide the outcome. Like Affirmed wound up winning the series 7-3 out of the 10 meetings (including all three Triple Crown races) over Alydar(horses have shorter racing careers), Tom Brady leads Peyton Manning 10-4 (including playoffs) in their current rivalry.
As for the Sunday Night Football game that was played on November 24th, it looked like Peyton Manning was going to have a nice and easy evening. I think most NFL fans know Peyton does not play well in the cold (his stats reflect this). I was wondering what on earth happened to the Patriots. This was not the Patriots I was used to seeing. Just about the entire team had fumblitis. Stevan Ridley fumbled for the millionth time. Von Miller promptly took it to the house.
Von Miller was unstoppable for the first half. He was all over the place. Some person started comparing Miller to Lawrence Taylor. Um, NO. I have seen Lawrence Taylor on my TV set, and as I have lived in NJ, I have watched Lawrence Taylor play many times. Miller is very good, but he is NO Lawrence Taylor. Anyway, Miller created a sack-fumble on Brady. Blount fumbled. Fumbles were all over the place, and before anyone knew it, the Denver Broncos were up 24-0.
Many Patriots fans who were at the game, left at half time. HELLO. That’s nice way to support your team when it’s down, folks. I would have given my right arm to be at that game. I love seeing Brady vs Manning. I was at that infamous “4th and 2” game in Indy. It was a great game, period. Why leave because it APPEARED that the Broncos were going to win. You spend all that money to go to a game, and then leave? I would not have cared if the Patriots were down 50. I would have stayed. Besides, how many years does anyone think these two got left?
Now that I got that out of my system, I will continue with the game.
I don’t know what Coach Belichick did, outside of yelling and screaming, or showing them films of Silky Sullivan (a racehorse back in the 50’s who would come from 40 lengths back and make his move), Strike the Gold, or the mare Zenyatta (2010 Horse of the Year with a similar style), but whatever it was, it was a way different team. Brady was on fire. He just manhandled the Broncos “vaunted” defense with three straight Touchdowns. Julian Edelman was the man. Two 2TDs by himself. Rob Gronkowski got one for himself, and the Pats would take the lead with a FG.
By the end of regulation, the Pats got 31 points. Peyton Manning, whose Broncos did well running the ball, but had turnover issues of their own, wound up tying the game in regulation. Patriots win in OT, thanks to a miscommunication between Wes Welker, who was supposed to catch the ball (the Pats had to punt the ball) and Tony Carter, which resulted in the ball touching Carter, and the Pats laying on the ball. The Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked the winning field goal.
To give credit where credit is due, the Broncos’ running game was excellent. I guess they figured that the passing game was not going to be as good as usual, so they decided to run the ball at Foxborough. Knowshon Moreno was really good. He found daylight, and had some really nice plays.
Peyton Manning had a pretty good game, considering the cold and the wind. He had 2 TDs and one INT. Peyton was hurt by a few key drops, specifically by new WR, Wes Welker. Demaryius Thomas will be a huge home run threat, and Jacob Tamme is very reliable. The Broncos defense came up big in that first half. I know that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s injury hurt them in the second half, but injuries to key guys happen to all teams. I pray for the guy’s recovery.
Well, Brady proved all the doubters wrong. He just kept calm and led his team to a miracle comeback. I really don’t have much to say. Sure, statistically, his numbers are down. So? He still has a huge heart, and a huge will to win. Tom willed that team to win, and put that game on his shoulders. I know Coach Belichick was gutsy in OT, but Brady was just flat out incredible.
Shame on you if you missed this amazing comeback. Tom Brady is an NFL legend. Period.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan