Tom Brady and Peyton Manninga between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Harking back to their NFL days, the legendary quarterbacks locked horns at least 17 times. Now, Manning is happily retired but Brady is writing another chapter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, his 15-year rivalry with Manning is already the stuff of NFL legend. So, how did the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry begin?
— NFL (@NFL) May 24, 2020
How Tom Brady introduced himself to the world
Ahead p\of the 2001 NFL season, the Patriots fished out a fresh-faced Tom Brady from the 2000 draft. At the time, Manning had already established himself following his introduction two years earlier. Admittedly, Brady spent most of his entire rookie season on the bench, with just three passes.
In the following year, Brady finally got his big break against Manning’s Colts during a Week 3 matchup. His call-up came at a cost because Bledsoe suffered potentially life-threatening injuries a week ago. The Patriots had their work cut out as Manning’s Colts led the NFL in both passing yards and touchdowns in 2000.
Brady posted 13 of 23 for 168 yards but never turned the ball over. Meanwhile his Patriots completely stunned Indy, scoring 23 unanswered points to start the game. Unfortunately, they dropped 21 in the fourth quarter alone, but managed to secure a 44-13 victory.
This was the New England Patriots’ first of the season, and the legend of Tom Brady was born. At that moment, Manning realised that he had found his greatest adversary and they would go at it for the next 15 years.