Over the course of two historic careers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have always been compared. Both QB’s will go down as two of the greatest to have every played the game, and they both happened to have played at the same time.
Last night, in the first game of the 2013 NFL season, football fans watched Manning do something that only five other players have done, and the last being in 1969. Manning had possibly the best game of his Hall of Fame career as he threw for seven touchdowns in a blowout of the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
He also set the bar pretty high for his personal competition with Brady, who now has to respond with an eight-TD game, something that has never been done before in the NFL.
The question here is not if Brady can do it, but will he do it. Everyone knows the greatness of Tom Brady, and he is more than capable of having a similar or better game than Manning did last night. He plays many sub-par defenses this season, like that of the Buffalo Bills in week one.
The only difference is that Brady and the Patriots have a more established run game, and they like to run the ball a lot more than the Denver Broncos did last night. Within five yards of the end zone, Manning tries to throw for TDs. When Brady gets within five yards of a score, the Patriots often hand it off to Stevan Ridley, who had over 1200 yards rushing and 12 TDs last year.
So while these may be two of the best teams in the NFL, and we could very well see them play each other to go to the Super Bowl, there is little chance that Brady will have a game like Manning did.
He has all the capability in the world and with a healthy Rob Gronkowski, he has the targets too. But his offense is much more run-based than the Broncos’. It is no knock against Brady if he never ties or breaks that record, but I am sure it’s in the back of his head.
If there is one thing we know, it’s that Tom Brady is the ultimate competitor, and if he has a game where he has five passing TDs, it would not surprise me to see him try to match the bar that Manning just set.