Although the Super Bowl 50 has yet to name the two NFL teams to compete for the trophy, football fans could not be more thrilled for the upcoming AFC Championship game. The match will see the New England Patriots face off against the Denver Broncos in what is described as one of the most exciting games this season. While both NFL teams have a massive following, adding fuel to the match is the long-running rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Throughout the years, both quarterbacks have been the center of attention during games. Manning and Brady have faced off for so many years, but fans have yet to determine who is the better football star. While followers of the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos are more than willing to engage in this debate, the two NFL stars in question appear to be quite respectful of each other.
"He's an incredible player, an incredible leader for his team," shared Brady of Manning, according to ESPN. The New England Patriots quarterback added, "He's a great passer. He's so accurate, throws on time, knows where everybody on the field is, offensively and defensively. He knows how to look defenders off and put the ball in the right location so those guys can catch and run with it. I think he's just a great pocket passer."
Apart from Brady, Bill Belichick also expressed his respect and admiration for the Denver Broncos quarterback. The head coach said, "Peyton is a great player. We've had tremendous battles with him through the years. There's no player off our team I have more respect for than Peyton Manning. His preparation, his consistency, his skills, I would never, ever, ever underestimate him under any circumstances."
For his part, Manning also shared his admiration for the New England Patriots. In an official press release, the Denver Broncos star was quoted as saying that competing against Brady had brought him "great honor and privilege."
Manning shared, "I've felt very fortunate to have played 18 years like I have, and I know how hard I've worked to play this long, so when I look across at the New England Patriots and see that Tom Brady is their quarterback, I just know how hard he's worked, as well, and to play as well as he has over the course of his career, and the success that he's had and the team success, I just have a lot of respect for him -- and he's earned that respect."
Meanwhile, some sports analysts believe that the key to beating the New England Patriots might actually be Brock Osweiler. Earlier in the NFL season, the Denver Broncos managed to hand the Rob Gronkowski squad their first loss under the leadership of the young Osweiler. This win from Manning's team had been an unexpected twist to what was then believed to be an easy game for the New England Patriots.
At that point, veteran star Manning was out due to injury - a fact that had Denver Broncos fans disheartened. However, Osweiler proved to be a notable leader of the team and a worthy successor of Manning. While the veteran quarterback is back as the leader of the pack, some experts believe that Osweiler might be a better fit for the upcoming match against the New England Patriots.
"So I guess what I'm saying is, being a functional game manager with the capability to make a couple of big throws is probably not enough this time around," shared Jason La Canfora, an NFL Insider for CBS Sports, referring to Manning. He added, "And at this stage, asking or expecting Manning to do too much more than that may be unfair and unrealistic. The potential for Osweiler -- again, if healthy enough -- to flash and provide some dual-threat action, forcing the defense to defend all quadrants of the field in ways Manning simply can't, might be in order."