Simms, Esiason & Gannon on duel

Sunday's game between the Broncos and Patriots will be broadcast on CBS, and here are some thoughts on the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady duel from a few of the "quarterbacks" of "The NFL on CBS":


"Everyone is excited about the game this week with the two quarterbacks – the two biggest stars in the last 10-15 years in the NFL. The biggest thing is their talent and the fact that they know how to stay healthy and stay on the field, which is a talent itself. What is most important is that both of them are coming into the game with confidence and playing probably their best games of the year. And physically being on top. That’s what it’s all about. The other big thing about the game that’s different from the past is Peyton Manning has a different offense in Denver than he did in Indianapolis. Now there is truly a running game to go with his audibles and his passes. That running game is real. When you play the Denver Broncos you just can’t say, ‘Let’s stop the pass.’ Their running game could beat you by itself. The same goes for Tom Brady. The Patriots have made a great effort to get their running game to be part of what they do. And we’ve seen that if you play the pass and Tom Brady and Wes Welker and those tight ends, they’ll just run the ball even more. It’s going to be a good 'chess match' to watch both quarterbacks.


"I love when these two guys are able to get together on the field because it is truly the best of the best. Even though Tom Brady holds an 8-4 advantage over Peyton Manning in head-to-head games, I’ve always felt like Peyton has had to work harder to beat Tom’s team than Tom has had to work to beat Peyton’s team. This will be the case this Sunday as well because Peyton is in a new surrounding on a new team with new players. And, he is only four games into that. Tom has been in the same system since 2001 with the same head coach, and has an arsenal of offensive weapons around him that very few players in the league have. While I can appreciate the brilliance and greatness of Tom Brady, I also recognize the difficulties Peyton Manning will have again in this game because of the newness and coming back from injury. If he can pull this off, it will be a great victory in their head-to-head history."


"Any time you get these two guys together special things happen. This game changes the way you call a game if you’re [offensive coordinators] Mike McCoy or Josh McDaniels. This is one of those games where you say, ‘We have to stop them and hold them to field goals.’ The focus from a head coaching perspective is, ‘We have to score 40 to win.’ That has to be the mindset. It changes the way the play-callers call the game. You have to be aggressive and attack. A game like this between these two players usually comes down to who has the ball for the last possession. The last guy to have the ball in his hands is probably going to win it."