NFL Preview: Kevin Cadle sees Tom Brady and New England Patriots beating Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos
By Kevin Cadle. Last Updated: 05/10/12 4:23pm
Peyton Manning: Work in progress for Denver
Two of the best quarterbacks in history renew old rivalries as the Denver Broncos travel to face the New England Patriots in Sunday's late Sky Sports game.
Kevin Cadle marks your card on this battle of the star triggermen as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady collide once again.
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots, Sky Sports 3HD, Sun 9.15pm
Well, well, well, we never thought we'd see this again at one stage, especially in the regular season, maybe from a play-off point of view, but we've got Tom Brady and Peyton Manning going head-to-head.
We thought it wouldn't be a game that we'd be able to get but we've got it so it's going to be great from that aspect. Neither of them have been playing great, Brady had a nice game last week against the Bills when they finally got it together in that third and fourth quarter.
Peyton has had a comeback a bit like a rollercoaster and both teams have had defences that have been a bit in and out so it's hard to call this one.
But I think from looking at what New England did last week on offence - the running backs and receivers were able to get a better feel, even though they were doing decently scoring-wise leading up to that game, those guys got a better feel for Tom Brady and the offence so for me that's a big key for me in this one.
They always say there's no place like home, so it's always going to be good to get home, to go three games in a row away from home in the first four, and you go 2-2 going up against some big teams - they'll be thrilled to death to be back at home at Gillette stadium.
At this stage last week was a big plus for Peyton, the last two weeks he's started to come around after being a bit in and out to start the season. It's a case of arm strength and accuracy being a work in progress with that shoulder but it's at an accelerated pace to what it might be with any other quarterback.
But has he got the weapons? That's a big question. They've got Demaryius Thomas, who is still a star in the making and has a ways to go before he even starts to get close to reaching his peak, but after that...
The thing with Brady is that it's never been about who he had with him but he took a player in most cases to the next level and I think that's what Peyton has got to do with these guys, he's got to take them to the next level.
Jacob Tamme was with him at Indianapolis, and Peyton has always liked his tight ends, they've always been a favourite going back to his star at the Colts Dallas Clark - so that's always been a favourite weapon of his.
If Denver can establish the running game they may have a shot, otherwise I don't see them having a shot.
The things that will lean you towards the patriots is - 1. They're at home. 2. Their defence and stopping the run game of the Denver Broncos and 3. Those guys who we've never heard of before, last week was a big shot in the arm for them to say that we can be professional footballers and we can do this at a decent level.
In the AFC East there are three teams at 2-2, but it's not really close, it's the Patriots, they're so far ahead of Buffalo and the New York Jets, Miami had a chance to also be 2-2 but they blew it in overtime.
But New England, no question it is their division to lose.
Kev's Call... I think there's a possibility that they can do that, but because it's only a possibility then I've got to go with the new England patriots on this one.