Sunday's clash between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots will be much more than a matchup of two teams battling for playoff positioning.
At this point in the careers of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, it's hard to understate the significance of the two future Hall of Famers facing off. But this week several amazing statistics reveal just how monumental this game is.
Sunday's game will be the first time that two quarterbacks are each 90 or more games above .500 in their careers.
— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) November 19, 2013
Brady is 143-42 (.773) in his career, and the first quarterback in NFL history to have 100 more wins than losses. Meanwhile, Manning is 163-71 (.697). They're first and fourth, respectively, all time when it comes to regular season winning percentage.
After Brady and Manning, Ben Roethlisberger (91-45, .669) has the highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks. But Roethlisberger is only 46 games above .500, not even halfway to where Brady and Manning are. After Roethlisberger are Drew Brees (35 games above .500), Philip Rivers (26 games above .500) and Eli Manning (19 games above .500).
It's not impossible for us to see another matchup of two quarterbacks as successful as Brady and Manning, but it's hard to see it happening in the next 10 years.
And even though Brady has had the better career, Manning and the Broncos have owned this season. Denver comes into New England after topping the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. With the Broncos' offense running on all cylinders, oddsmakers have made Denver 2.5-point favorites. It will be the first time since Week 9 of 2005 that the Patriots are underdogs at home.
Who was New England playing back then? Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.