Fire and Water, North and South, Yin and Yang- heck, even Batman and the Joker. In a world full of so much chaos, there are counterbalances that ensure order is maintained. For every Ted Williams, there is a Joe DiMaggio. For every Larry Bird, there is a Magic Johnson.

For the one and only Tom Brady, there is the only and only Peyton Manning.

Brady is going to be 36 when the next season starts, Peyton will be 37, and they've been dueling ever since the two squared off during Brady's first ever start in Week 3 of 2001. This was when the Colts were still in the division and they played each other twice a year- and boy did the Patriots come to play in 2001. In the two games, the Patriots outscored the Colts 82-30, with Brady throwing for a combined 29/43, 370 yards and 3 TDs; Peyton threw 42/68 531, 2 TDs and 3 INTs, while rushing for another score. Peyton had the gaudy numbers. Tom had the wins.


Manning didn't know much about Brady, beyond where he went to college, prior to their first match-up, but you can be sure both he and Tom studied up on each other before the game. Brady's always said that the game hasn't been about Tom and Peyton- after all, they face the opposing defenses- but their shared love for greatness paved a path for them to continue to meet one another throughout their careers.