Poll

Who will win Sunday's AFC Championship?

Leading Off: Manning vs. Brady debate rages on

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 - 6:18 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 - 12:06 pm

All the talk in these parts has been about the 49ers’ game Sunday against the Seahawks.

The NFC Championship Game should be an old-school, smash-mouth football brawl, with the winning team likely needing 20 or fewer points to win.

The more exciting game – at least for those of us who like a lot of scoring – should be the AFC showdown between the Broncos and Patriots and their future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Manning vs. Brady has become one of the greatest debates in recent memory.

Manning had statistically the greatest season by a quarterback with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes. Brady’s numbers weren’t as gaudy – 4,343 and 25 – but he led the Patriots to a 12-4 record even though he didn’t have his top five pass catchers from 2012 for all or most of the season.

Fans of Brady, 36, point to his three Super Bowl wins (vs. Manning’s one), his 18-7 postseason record (vs. Manning’s 10-11), his 10-4 record against Manning and the fact he’s never had a losing season.

Manning’s supporters point to his four MVP awards (vs. Brady’s two), his 491 touchdown passes (vs. Brady’s 359) and his 64,964 passing yards (vs. Brady’s 49,149).

This will be the third time they’ve faced each other in the AFC Championship Game. Brady beat Manning and the Colts 24-14 in 2003, and the Colts beat the Patriots 38-34 in 2006.

The last time these guys played each other, in Week 12 of the regular season, Brady led New England to a 34-31 overtime victory over Denver. Brady completed 34 of 50 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns compared to Manning’s 19 of 36, 150 yards and two touchdowns. It was Manning’s worst game of the season.

Will Sunday’s game put an end to the debate? Not likely.


Today’s poll

Who will win Sunday’s AFC Championship Game?

• Denver

• New England

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports


Wednesday’s results

What is best about 49ers-Seahawks rivalry?

• Evenly matched teams: 71%

• Feud between coaches: 18%

• 49ers Faithful vs. 12th Man: 11%

Total votes: 140

Read more articles by Tom Couzens



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