One of the staples of the National Football League over the last twenty years is coming to an end. At the beginning of this season, when everyone realized the Patriots would be playing the NFC East, we all knew what that meant: another chapter of Brady vs. Manning. This would have only been the fourth regular season meeting for the two QB’s with Brady having won 2 games to Eli’s one. Of course, the record is a different story when the playoffs are added, with Eli having beaten Tom twice in the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately though, we will not be getting the last installment of the Brady-Manning saga as rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has taken over for Eli as the Giants’ starter. To many fans, this is pretty disappointing as I think we were all looking forward to one last Brady-Manning game. It’s hard as a Patriots fan to remember that sometimes the new guy beats the old guy for the job, as it hasn’t happened in New England since Brady took Drew Bledsoe’s job eighteen years ago.
Of course, it’s possible that Eli will end up getting traded to a team that could desperately use a quarterback (there’s plenty of them) but for now, it seems that this may be the end.
While the Tom Brady-Eli Manning match up has become a rivalry because of the Super Bowls that the Giants beaten the Patriots in (especially the one that ended the Pat’s perfect season), Brady’s bigger rival had always been Eli’s older brother Peyton. Because the two quarterbacks spent their whole careers in the AFC, they played each other far more often with Brady having won the match up 11-6.
It was a bit of a sad day when Peyton Manning announced his retirement, as the games the Patriots played against him were always some of the best to watch. Of course, the two future hall of famers have kept the rivalry going off the field as they still continue to poke fun at each other every once in awhile.
But even though Eli won’t play this week, Brady will still have the opportunity to beat a Manning. As long as Brady has 18 passing yards in this game on Thursday night, he will pass Peyton Manning on the Career Passing Yards List and become second to only Drew Brees.
Don’t fear those of you that are going to miss seeing a Manning in the NFL however. Peyton and Eli’s nephew Arch Manning made it into national news last week for guiding his varsity high school team to come from behind win as a freshman. When asked about it, his grandfather and former NFL quarterback Archie Manning said that he believed Arch was already further ahead of where Peyton and Eli were at his age.
Who knows, maybe if Tom Brady can stay in the league until he’s fifty, there will be another chapter of the Brady-Manning(s) rivalry. But until that happens, it looks like it may have concluded. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Pat Shurmur puts Eli in for at least one drive.
~Mary Evers (@For_Evers_Young)