Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 19:10
After a one year hiatus, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will square off for the 13th occasion but this time, with a new twist. Peyton Manning will enter Gillette Stadium as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
The Patriots and Broncos head into week five with identical 2-2 records. The Patriots will try to avoid beginning the season 0-2 at home for the first time since the 2000 season.
The Patriots want to build off the momentum they gained during the second half against the Buffalo Bills. Trailing 21-7, the Patriots scored 42 unanswered points en route to a 52-28 win, ending their two game losing streak. Running backs Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden played huge roles, as they both rushed for over 100 yards. Wide receiver Wes Welker contributed with nine receptions for 129 yards, while wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and tight end Rob Gronkowski each scored in the win.
With Manning at center, the Broncos are eerily similar to the Colts teams we have been accustomed to in the past. Broncos wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas is becoming Manning’s new favorite target and is arguably the most dynamic receiver Manning has ever shared the field with, not taking anything away from Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
Brandon Stokley is another key play-making receiver who Manning will utilize in this Sunday's matchup. His familiarity with Manning goes back to their in Indianapolis.
Broncos running back, Willis McGahee has been solid so far this season and is coming off an impressive outing against the Oakland Raiders where he rushed for 112 yards and scored a touchdown.
Last season, the Broncos depended heavily on their defense. A defense that truly never garnered the respect they deserved because of one Tim Tebow. Denver has two standouts on defense.
First there's veteran cornerback Champ Bailey. The 34-year-old all-pro has not let father time affect him as his presence commands a huge deal of respect. Through the first four weeks of the season, Denver ranks 13th in the league in pass defense.
Second year pro defensive end Von Miller is fresh off winning Defensive Rookie of the Year and has one mission on Sunday, getting to Tom Brady. Through the first four games, Miller has registered 15 tackles and three sacks.
For the past decade, Brady and Manning have faced off every season with the exception of last year as Manning missed the entire season recovering from multiple neck surgeries. Including postseason play, Brady currently holds an 8-4 edge on Manning, but Peyton has won four out of the last six meetings, albeit with the Colts.
This Sunday starts a new chapter in the Brady - Manning rivalry. Although Manning enters this match up in new colors, don’t expect anything less than an exciting matchup between two of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation.