It's possible that we've seen the final chapter of Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning. One quarterback was the worst in the league and benched, the other is the best. One quarterback looks finished, while the other is in the MVP race. One quarterback will be suiting up this Sunday, and one will not.
NFL Network's Albert Breer, former Patriots beat writer, reflected on the first Brady versus Manning match-up from 2001, which was Brady's first NFL start. The Patriots absolutely stomped the Colts 44-13 and that was basically the story of this rivalry.
Breer reached out to personnel folks and coaches from both sides of the field to get their thoughts on the two quarterbacks.
"We saw something [in Tom Brady]," former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said. "But not this."
"I honestly didn't know who he was," former Colts head coach Jim Mora said. "And physically, he wasn't special. Some things you can't predict."
"We win three times in four years, and everyone's blowing smoke at you about how smart we are, how wonderful we are, what a great job we did, how we were the only ones who knew the player," former Patriots personnel man Scott Pioli said. "And we liked Tommy. We talked about him in the third round, we liked him more than a lot of people did. But the narrative became how much smarter we were. To me, [the card] is always a good humility check -- we were so smart we drafted six guys before him."
Go check out the article because it's a great pat on the back for Patriots fans this weekend. The highlight is the Quote of the Week from Charlie Weis:
"Just so you know, [Brady's] not close to finished. Hasn't even entered his mind."
Whew. Sorry, Jimmy Garoppolo. See you in 2025.