9 Most Memorable Games Between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning

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9 Most Memorable Games Between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning

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Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Tom Brady and Peyton Manning rivalry has been chock full of memorable games. This Sunday the two future first-ballot Hall of Famers will face each other for the 14th time in their illustrious careers. As is stands, Brady's New England Patriots hold a 9-4 advantage on the Denver Broncos quarterback and a 2-1 edge in the postseason.

No other rivalry has sustained the epic nature of Brady-Manning and the first thirteen games the two have played have almost all come down to the wire. Seven of the first thirteen were one score games and the average margin of victory has been 10.2 points (Numbers are skewed due to the 44-13 snooze-fest during Week 3 of the 2001 NFL season. It was Brady’s first start of his career and Manning threw three inceptions in which two were returned to the house).

Tom Brady has won eight of the first six match-ups in Foxboro, but the dynamic 10-1 Broncos' offense are 2.5 point favorites against the 7-3 Patriots. This year’s date has plenty of story-lines aside from Brady-Manning. There are the playoff implications that always come with Brady-Manning, the potential for an offensive shootout, John Fox still at home in North Carolina and the weather, which Manning has a record of under-performing in. Also, we'll see the return of Wes Welker, the two-time all-Pro and the Patriots all-time leader in receptions.

Judging by former altercations by the quarterbacks, Brady-Manning XIV is setting up to be the best game of the 2013 regular season.

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9. 2006 Week 9-Colts 27, Patriots 20

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David Butler-USA SPORTS Today

Manning had an average day by his standards with 326 passing yards and two touchdowns. Brady had one of his worst days ever with no touchdowns and four interceptions.

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8. 2010 Week 10-Patriots 31, Colts 28

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David Butler II-USA SPORTS Today

New England was cruising after Shayne Graham’s field goal put the Patriots up 31-14 with 10:27 to go in the fourth quarter. Manning then led the indianapolis Colts to within three with just under five minutes to go but was intercepted deep in Patriots territory by James Sanders while they were in field goal range.

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7. 2004 Divisional Round-Patriots 20, Colts 3

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David Butler II-USA SPORTS Today

The Colts scored the most points in the league in 2004 and were fresh off a 49 point outburst in the divisional round versus the Broncos. The Patriots held the Broncos to 276 total yards and forced three turnovers in a demanding 20-3 win.

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6. 2007 Week 9-Patriots 24, Colts 20

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Dubbed as “Super Bowl 41 ½" by the media, Manning’s one-yard quarterback sneak with 9:50 to go gave Indianapolis a 20-10 lead but Brady quickly hooked up with Wes Welker to cut the deficit to three. Kevin Faulk’s 13 yard touchdown reception followed and so did New England’s 16-0 regular season.

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5. 2004 Week 1-Patriots 27, Colts 24

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts were on the verge of taking the lead with under minutes to go when Edgerrin James fumbled on first and goal from the one. Manning led the Colts back into scoring position, but Mike Vanderjagt’s 48-yarder was no good.

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4. 2003 AFC Championship-Patriots 24, Colts 14

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Manning led the league with 4,131 yards passing, but had four interceptions on a snowy Sunday in Foxboro. This game is famous for the way the Patriots defensive backs roughed up Indianapolis’ receivers and how rules are now in place that benefit the offense.

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3. 2003 Week 13-Patriots 38, Colts 34

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

What can be forgotten about this game was that the Patriots held a 31-10 lead in the third quarter and Manning tied it at 31 in the fourth. With 0:59 left in the game, the Colts had first and goal from the two, but the Patriots stuffed Edgerrin James on first and second down. What we do remember about this tilt was Willie McGinest stuffing (who else?) James on fourth and goal from the one and the linebacker’s celebration.

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2. 2009 Week 10-Colts 35, Patriots 34

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth and two. What else needs to be said? Brady’s fourth and two pass to Kevin Faulk gained only one yard (some replays show Faulk may have gotten the first). The turnover on downs meant Manning had over two minutes to get the Colts to the end zone, which he did on a 1-yard hookup to Reggie Wayne.

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1. 2006 AFC Championship-Colts 38, Patriots 34

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Thomas Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Brady and the Patriots held a 21-3 halftime lead, but the lead was cut to three, 34-31, when Manning got the ball at the Colts 20 with 2:17 to go. Seven plays later Joseph Addai scored on a three-yard run to get Manning finally past the Patriots and into his first Super Bowl.


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