Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning has gone down as one of the greatest individual rivalries of all time. When both legendary quarterbacks were in their prime, every matchup was appointment viewing.
Brady, whose illustrious career continues at age 44, went 11-6 vs. Manning in the regular season and postseason combined. The former New England Patriots QB was 8-2 vs. the ex-Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos signal-caller at Gillette Stadium.
Manning earned five NFL MVP awards while Brady has won three -- as of this writing. Both quarterbacks are 14-time Pro Bowlers and the only starting QBs to win a Super Bowl title with multiple franchises. Brady has seven Super Bowl rings to Manning's two.
Ahead of Brady's return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, we look back on some of the greatest Brady-Manning moments to take place in Foxboro.
2001: Tom Brady's first NFL start
How fitting that the first start of Brady's NFL career would take place vs. Manning and the Colts?
Brady, taking over for an injured Drew Bledsoe, didn't put up huge numbers but didn't have to as the Patriots cruised to a 44-13 victory. The unheralded sixth-round draft pick completed 13 of 23 passes for 168 yards while Manning went 20 of 34 for 196 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.
New England's defense and running game led the way as Ty Law, Otis Smith and Roman Phifer each picked Manning off in the win. Kevin Faulk had nine carries for 48 yards and a touchdown to go with two catches for 38 yards, and Antowain Smith added 152 total yards with two TDs.
2003 AFC Championship
Brady and Manning's first playoff meeting came on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004 in the AFC Championship game. In this one, Manning and the Colts were no match for New England's elite defense.
Ty Law tallied three interceptions in the Patriots' 23-13 win while Rodney Harrison added another. Brady outdueled Manning with 237 yards, one TD and only one pick to Manning's four. Antowain Smith also played a big role with 22 carries for 100 yards, and Adam Vinatieri drilled five field goals to help the Pats to Super Bowl XXXVIII.
New England went on to earn its second Super Bowl title with a 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers.
2004 AFC Divisional Round
The following season, Brady's record vs. Manning improved to 6-0 as their second playoff meeting ended with a dominant Patriots win in the AFC Divisional Round.
Brady notched one touchdown through the air and one on the ground in the 20-3 victory over Indianapolis. He finished 18 of 27 for 144 yards and the one TD while Manning went 27 of 42 for 238 yards and an interception, which was made by Rodney Harrison.
Running back Corey Dillon was the key player for New England, rushing 23 times for 144 yards.
The Patriots went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX for their second straight championship.
2013: Tom Brady leads epic comeback
The only Brady-Manning matchup to go into overtime took place in Week 12 of the 2013 season when the Patriots hosted Manning's new team, the Denver Broncos.
The Patriots were dominated in the first half as they entered the locker room trailing 24-0. Fumbles cost New England early as Brady and running backs Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount each turned the ball over in the first quarter.
Brady and the Patriots offense woke up in the second half as they erased the 24-point deficit to force OT. After New England won the overtime coin toss, Bill Belichick made the surprising decision to take the wind.
“The wind, it was a strong wind,” Belichick said after the game. “We just had to keep them out of the end zone, obviously. I just felt like the wind would be an advantage if we could keep them out of the end zone on that first drive. We were able to do that. The wind was significant in the game, it was definitely significant.”
Belichick's unorthodox decision paid off as the Patriots went on to beat the Broncos, 34-31. Brady threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns as Manning tallied 150 yards, two TDs and one INT.
2014: Final Brady-Manning matchup in Foxboro
The final Brady vs. Manning showdown at Gillette Stadium occurred in Week 9 of the 2014 season. The result? A 43-21 Patriots win over the Broncos.
Both quarterbacks aired it out in this one as Brady finished with 333 yards, four TDs and one INT. Manning threw for 438 yards, two TDs and two picks in the losing effort.
Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman starred for New England as both Patriots pass-catchers found the end zone. Edelman set the record for Patriots punt-return touchdowns with the fourth of his career.
Brady and the Patriots went on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX for their fourth championship.