Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are set to renew their rivalry
The Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady rivalry resumes on Sunday afternoon when the Broncos visit the Patriots in a game between 2-2 teams coming off lopsided wins. The Patriots are 6-point favorites at America's Bookie and the total for this game is set at 52.
The Patriots defense once had Peyton Manning's number, but the former Colt has beaten them in five of the last seven meetings, straight up and ATS. Manning is coming off his best game with the Broncos, completing 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 37-6 win against the Raiders. The Patriots offense on the other hand looked human before exploding for 45 second-half points in last week's 52-28 win in Buffalo. Wes Welker was worked back into the game plan and their 52 points came despite two lost fumbles and two missed field goals.
Peyton Manning hasn't had great success in Foxboro but he has exploded in his last three visits to Gillette Stadium, completing 86 of 125 passes (69%) for 1,043 yards (347.7 yards per game), nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Manning will come into this game with great confidence after his Week 4 explosion, where he didn't take a single sack.
The Broncos running game was also outstanding last week with 165 rushing yards, including 112 on just 19 carries (5.9 yards per carry) by Willis McGahee. Their defense has been much improved under new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, allowing just 87.5 rushing yards per game (9th in NFL) and 220.5 passing yards per game (13th in the league).
Tom Brady is 8-4 all-time against Peyton Manning, including a 2-1 record in the postseason. Last year, Brady lit up the Broncos in the postseason, throwing for 363 yards and six touchdowns. He also burned them for 320 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 41-23 win in Denver last December.
Last week, Brady orchestrated six straight touchdown drives in Buffalo and the Patriots had great balance on offense, as both running backs Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden surpassed 100 yards rushing and wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski had more than 100 receiving yards against the Bills. Their pass defense has allowed a whopping 722 passing yards over the last two games but the Patriots have forced 11 turnovers this season, including six in Buffalo.
Tom Brady and the offense clicked in the second half against the Bills and that will carry over against the Broncos. Bill Belichick knows how to prepare his defense to beat Peyton Manning and I like to Patriots to win by a touchdown.
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