When the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots in the AFC Chapionship game Sunday at 3 p.m. on CBS it will mark another chapter in one of football’s best rivalries. It will be another showdown between the Broncos Peyton Manning and the Pats Tom Brady.
On Tuesday I had a chance to talk to CBS broadcasters, Phil Simms, Jim Nantz and Boomer Esiason about the AFC Championship Game as well as the two top quarterbacks.
NANTZ: I think it transcends the NFL…This is something everyone wants to see. This is tantamount to Ali‑Frazier one more time. This is Palmer‑Nicklaus. This is Bird‑Magic. I’m not trying to create some sort of synthetic drama here, but this is what it is. This is as big as it gets. We’re going to savor it because you don’t know how many more times we’ll get it again…You say Brady-Manning, I defy anyone to say there is anything that has been bigger in this league.
SIMMS: The word legacy, all these things who they are, I have fun with them and I hear it. Somebody said their legacies, both of them, are at stake in this game at this time. I don’t care what either one of them does in this game. It will never change what I think of them. If one of them goes out and has the worst game of his career and is the sole reason why they lose, it will not bring them down one single bit in my eyes. They’ve done so much for the league, and their teams, and themselves, there is nothing that can diminish it.
BOOMER: Each one of these players this year really defines who they are. Peyton lifted and took a young group of receivers to a completely different level, and very few players are capable of doing that. And Tom Brady took a team basically that was more built around the run, broke through for 4,200 yards, and got them back all the way here to the AFC Championship game. I think really what speaks to the greatness of both of these quarterbacks, they both have, along with Bill Belichick, and I’m sure John Fox says this as well, a Ph.D. in high‑level thought processes that give them the opportunity to make these championship games each year.
CBS will get things started at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s studio show. Host James Brown and analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher, as well as NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, and Lesley Visser reporting, live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.