Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning has been one of the NFL's premier rivalries since Brady became the Patriots' starter in 2001. The two future Hall of Famers squared off a total of 16 times over the course of their respective careers – Brady leads the series 11-5.
Next Sunday, the two best quarterbacks of their generation were scheduled to meet again. Alas, it will not happen. According to various media reports, the Denver Broncos have decided to give Brock Osweiler another look and start him next week against the visiting Patriots. Osweiler has been Manning's backup the last three seasons and replaced him as the team's starter yesterday against the Chicago Bears.
While Manning has been atrocious this season, the 25-year old Osweiler has looked good against Chicago. He completed 20 of 25 pass attempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns, leading his team to a 17-15 victory. Next Sunday, he will face a tougher test, though, playing against the AFC's top seeded team.
There will be no Brady-Manning XVII next week – and there is a realistic chance that we have seen the last of one of the best rivalries in NFL history.