When the New England Patriots travel to face the Denver Broncos on Monday for the AFC championship game in the 2016 NFL Playoffs all eyes will be on the performances of two veteran quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Brady, who is appearing in his 10th AFC championship game, will be aiming for his seventh appearance in a Super Bowl game. He’s a four-time Super Bowl winner winning the championship in Super Bowls XXXVI (2002), XXXVIII (2004), XXXIX (2009) and XLIX (2015).
Meanwhile, Manning has won the Super Bowl just once (XLI in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts) but is the league’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes and total passing yards.
In their head-to-head meetings when Manning was still a member of the Colts, Brady has the edge, 8-4 in 12 match ups. The Patriots quarterback also has a winning 3-1 record versus Manning with the latter playing for the Broncos.
Aside from key performances from the quarterbacks, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said going back to the perfecting the basics will be crucial for New England.
“There’s nothing more important than fundamentals, so no play is good with bad fundamentals. It’s just impossible. That being said, there are a lot of scheme things that come up over the course of the season that teams keep building. We build and our opponents build, and so each week, there’s more to get ready for because they’re further along,” Belichick said via patriots.com.
Meanwhile, Manning sees a Patriots squad that is well-rounded in all aspects of the game.
“I think their entire team is extremely well-coached, not just their defense. Their offense and special teams, every time I’ve ever played against these guys, it’s always taken all three phases playing well if you’re going to have a chance to win,” Manning said.
“It’s a real credit to all of their coaches, to their players for taking the coaching and doing what the coaches are telling them. It’s always been a tough team to play against. They always have a lot of talent and combine that with excellent coaching, it’s a tough combination.”
Watch NFL live streaming of the conference championship game between the Patriots and Broncos via NFL Game Pass.
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