When you’re talking about the Denver Broncos, you’re almost certainly talking about Peyton Manning, and might I add, with good reason. He’s big news around the NFL, as quarterbacks often are, and if you add Tom Brady to the mix, the story line gets even more predictable: Manning vs. Brady.
In the Broncos matchup against the New England Patriots this weekend, the battle in everyone’s mind will be between the two quarterbacks. However, I have in the past, and will continue to make the case that this game will be won or lost in the competition between Brady’s arm and Denver’s defense, particularly their secondary.
It was true last year, even with Tim Tebow behind center. Those two games against the Patriots weren’t about Tebow, and the Broncos didn’t lose them because of Tebow. Denver lost those games because they weren’t able to stop anything Brady threw at them, and the same thing will be true this Sunday.
Unless Manning can match Brady drive for drive and turn out a 50-48 type of game, then it’ll be on the Denver defense to slow Brady down so that Manning, who at this point is perceived as the slightly less threatening of the two, can put the Broncos in the drivers seat.
Manning can do almost everything right, but if the defense can’t stop Brady, then Manning’s efforts will ultimately fall by the wayside. Ryan Fitzpatrick found this out first hand last weekend, when four touchdowns wasn’t enough as he watch Brady steamroll the Bills defense, scoring 31 points in the fourth quarter.
This is why Denver’s defense against Brady is the real matchup to watch this weekend.