FOXBOROUGH — On Sunday, Tom Brady will oppose Peyton Manning for the 13th time in his career.
In the 12 games they’ve played while Manning led the Indianapolis Colts, Brady was triumphant in eight of them. Brady has won six of nine regular-season matchups and two of three playoff games.
But to Brady, it’s not about the individual effort of each quarterback.
“At the end of the day, it’s the Patriots vs. the Broncos,” Brady said. “I have a job to do, the defensive guys have a job to do.
“You’re not blind to the fact that there’s a great player on the other side of the ball that is capable of having a great performance. I think you realize that that’s a part of the game.
“He’s going to complete passes, they’re going to gain yards. It’s just a matter of us playing a better 60-minute game, being good on third down, being good in the red area, situationally being good. And if we have an opportunity to win the game at the end, that’s what you’ve got to do.
“It seems like it has always come down to the end against [Manning]. When he was playing for the Colts, it was always close games.
“They’ve been in every game they’ve played this year, right down to the end. The two games they lost, the other team was in a four-minute offense and really made a couple critical first downs there at the end to win and not give them the ball back. They’re a very good team.”
Brady did say he viewed Manning as a quarterback from whom he has learned much over his career.
“Well, I’ve always watched him and watched his technique,” he said. “You study their offense and you always try to look back at the end of the year and see the teams that have really good offenses and really good passing games.
“Certainly when Peyton was playing for the Colts, it was one of the best passing games in the history of the league. It’s really carried over to what they’re doing in Denver. It’s very much the same offense, from what some of the guys tell me.
“Obviously there are different players with different skill sets and so forth. I’ve always really looked at that offense as kind of one to emulate because they’ve been so productive for so long.”