And he lost his first matchup with Brady after joining the Broncos, 31-21 in Week 5 last year. Both completed more than 70 percent of their passes in that game.
“That was early in the season for kind of a new team, certainly a new offense,” Manning said.
Since then, he’s led the Broncos to a 20-1 regular-season record.
Now he’s headed to a familiar place.
“It seems like I sure do go there a lot, out there to Foxborough,” Manning said. “I think it’s pretty well documented my respect for Tom as a quarterback, the way he prepares.”
The feeling, of course, is mutual.
“He’s got those guys going since the moment he walked into that program,” Brady said of Manning. “He seems to have brought a different dynamic to it and they’ve been winning a bunch of games.
“He’s a great player, a great motivator and a great leader.”
Manning’s only defeat this season came in his return to Indianapolis, a 39-33 loss in the seventh game. He threw an interception, lost a fumble, was sacked four times and had passes sail on him. But with Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas, he has plenty of talented targets.
Brady’s three losses have been by a total of 14 points. Not bad for a quarterback who lost his best receiver, Welker, to free agency, played without Rob Gronkowski for the first six games and had to get used to rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.
“Both of these quarterbacks are super players,” Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said. “They are great competitors. They have that drive not only to excel individually but to ensure that their team and their teammates around them, that they are all doing their part. That’s what makes them special.”