This Sunday will be the 15th meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady- and should the former’s talk of retirement be genuine, could very well be the last. These matchups over the years- of which Brady has won 10- have often decided not only who is the best team but also the best QB in the league.
It’s a matchup of number one vs number two. The 6th round pick turned perennial winner and first overall guy, who in the big moment, well is not quite as good as his younger brother.
Really it’s poetic that for Manning to win his second Super Bowl and tie brother Eli is to defeat Tom Brady. The pressure could not be higher for number 18.
Meanwhile, later in the day Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will be starting their own rivalry. The two have already met four times already however; it will be the first time they meet in the playoffs. I’m positive it won’t be their last.
In the past two years they have shown that they not only belong in this league, but also belong on the very biggest stage. Kaepernick has already been to one Super Bowl whereas Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks feel like they’ve been the favorites since July.
I can see this rivalry easily replacing Manning Vs Brady in just a few short years as number one vs number two.
The golden question? Who is better?
It’s a discussion worth having already: This past year Wilson was third in QB rushing yards whilst Kaepernick was 4th. Only 0.2 of a yard separates their average.
Wilson beats out Kaepernick on passing yards this season too- by 167 yards. It’s a close run thing. Wilson is the stats leader whilst Kaepernick has been there; he passes the eye test and just looks like an NFL star.
This QB rivalry could be even greater than Manning and Brady. They’re divisional rivals so they’ll play each other at least twice a season (with extra spice).
It’s a more exciting matchup too. They both can run, they both can pass, and both their teams incidentally have supreme shut down defenses.
So fear not football fans; the death of one rivalry simply means the birth of the next generation of elite quarterbacks. The really exciting thing is that Brady-Manning is not over yet- there could be another two to three years left in that rivalry.
Meanwhile Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are two young signal-callers who could rival Kaepernick and Wilson as the guys to beat.
Who is really the best? Only time will tell.