Washington (AFP) – Superstar quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady square off Sunday when Manning leads Denver into New England in an NFL clash that could see Broncos receiver Wes Welker facing his old team.
“It’s always a great matchup,” Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio said of the Manning-Brady duel. “You’re talking about two of the premier quarterbacks in the league.”
Brady has the best winning percentage in the NFL’s modern era and is at plus-101 for his career (143-42) while Manning is third overall in winning percentage and plus-92 (163-71).
Manning has the Broncos playing at a high level this season and Denver will be eager to build on their 27-17 victory over Kansas City last week. They handed the Chiefs their first defeat of the season and the two teams are now neck-and-neck atop the AFC West division at 9-1.
Manning played on a sore ankle against the Chiefs but completed 24-of-40 passes for 323 yards and wasn’t sacked once by a Chiefs defense that went into the contest leading the league in sacks.
Welker left the game in the fourth quarter with a concussion, but was back at practice on Wednesday in a sign that he could be cleared to play against a team where he was Brady’s top target for six seasons.
Welker notched 672 receptions and 37 touchdowns playing for New England, reaching the 1,000-yard plateau in five seasons.
“He’s a tough guy so he’s played through everything,” Brady said of his former teammate. “This is a big game for both teams so you have to expect their best players. I’m sure all those guys will be ready to go.”
Welker has slotted smoothly into the Broncos offense and has 61 receptions for 648 yards.