The New England Patriots have been probably the most successful NFL franchise of the 21st century, but if it weren’t for the Manning brothers, they might be referred to as one of the greatest dynasties of all time.
Peyton Manning defeated Tom Brady again in the AFC Championship game in what could be his final matchup against his vaunted foe. Brady has won four Super Bowls, but was beaten by Eli Manning twice in two other Super Bowls, and missed a chance to play for the Super Bowl three other times because Peyton Manning beat him in the AFC Championship — this season and two seasons ago with the Broncos, and in the 2006 season with the Colts.
That means if it weren’t for the Mannings, Brady might have an incredible nine Super Bowl rings right now.
The first loss came at the hands of the 2006 Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning, a team that would eventually win the Super Bowl over the Chicago Bears. It was the first of the high-profile wins of the Manning brothers over Brady, who had won three Super Bowls at that point and seemed to be on another level than anyone else.
The second came during the 16-0 season in 2007-08, as the New York Giants in a huge upset handed the Patriots their only loss of the season. The Giants would repeat that feat four years later.
Then, it would be Peyton’s turn again to cause problems for Brady, joining the Denver Broncos and leading them to the AFC Championship after the 2013 season, defeating Brady and then going on to lose to the Seahawks.
And this year, Peyton was at it again, after Brady had finally gotten his fourth Super Bowl ring, denying him his chance of getting a fifth.