NFL analyst Phill Simms, who will be covering the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium for CBS Sports along with Jim Nantz, shared a few pre-game thoughts on the rivalry he’s covering this weekend.
Simms, a former Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New York Giants is familiar with the teams and their leaders; Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The AFC rival quarterbacks meet for the 12th time this Sunday in Foxboro. After winning the first six matchups, Brady and the Patriots have lost 5 of the past 6 (including playoffs). The last matchup was a 35-34 shootout in Lucas Oil Stadium, with the Colts prevailing.
Simms knows a little something about the Super Bowl having won one with the Giants in Super Bowl XXI against the Broncos.
As part of his media obligations, Simms made some pregame comments about the rivalry between Brady and Manning. Those comments were provided courtesy of CBS.
PHIL SIMMS (Former NFL quarterback, Giants)
(On Tom Brady-Peyton Manning Rivalry):
There is no doubt that it is personal between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. I was never as successful as either one of them, but even with my limited success I made it personal with many guys I played against. I know others did against me. That is part of the fun.
(On Indianapolis vs. New England):
There is no question the game this year is being looked at differently than it has in many, many years. I don’t think we can say for sure that they are two of the elite teams in the league like they have been for so long. They are two teams dealing with many issues and trying to win a few games and correct those issues as time goes on. It hasn’t turned into a race yet, but it’s getting close. The season is getting to the point now where it is time to start getting nervous. This might be the first time I have seen Peyton Manning play without a tremendous supporting cast. I was taught that you have to be able to drive the Cadillac and the rental car. He has proven he can drive them all.
(On New England):
I don’t think I will ever again say that a team is not good enough to turn it around the following year. The Patriots have turned it around with their offense, and a big part of their team, basically overnight. They are playing a little different style and, of course, have done a tremendous job with it. Because of that, they are 7-2. A player pointed out to me that it is all wonderful, said and done, but the big thing is they are doing it with Tom Brady, so don’t think it’s such a miracle. It’s a good point. The owner, the general manager, the head coach and the quarterback still remain the same, so it is easy to make these transitions when you have that kind of stability at the top.
BILL COWHER (former NFL head coach of the Steelers)
(On Tom Brady-Peyton Manning Rivalry): This is a rivalry unmatched by any others when you look at the success that New England and Indianapolis have had. Both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning represent their teams and their franchises. Their teams’ success has been mirrored by the success of these two quarterbacks. That, in and of itself, separates these two from any other duo in our recent history. In today’s game they both are clearly viewed as the best at their position. When you look at them this year, their numbers are eerily similar. They are two classic pocket-passers with great pocket presence.