The Supporting Cast of Epic Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry
The consistent dominance of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have made the matchup between their two teams a clash-of-the-titans spectacle, but a handful of contributors make the Brady-Manning Bowl a gripping rivalry over the years.
Outside of names like Marvin Harrison, Teddy Bruschi and Edgerrin James, others like Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Joseph Addai and Dan Klecko conjure vivid memories for fans who've been fortunate enough to witness the compelling duels between the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
Let's run through some of the supporting cast who've had their big moments—both good and bad—in past Brady-Manning bowls
Brady-Manning bowls: 2001, 2003 and 2004 (playoffs)
Ty Law was an unforgettable member of the early years of the Brady-Manning Bowl. He played in the inaugural game in September of 2001, a 44-13 New England Patriots win.
In that blowout victory, Law intercepted Peyton Manning and returned it for a touchdown.
More famously, in the 2003-2004 AFC Championship Game, Law snatched three of Manning's passes out of the air in a snowy outing in Foxborough, Mass.
Manning threw four picks on the day en route to a 24-14 defeat.
The Patriots went on to beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2007 (playoffs)
Marlin Jackson didn't put his emphatic stamp on the Brady-Manning bowl until his final appearance in the clash between the legendary quarterbacks.
After the Patriots charged to a 21-6 halftime lead on the Colts in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning led a quick third-quarter comeback to tie the game at 21.
The teams traded scores in the fourth quarter until Colts running back Joseph Addai gave Indianapolis a 38-34 lead with a minute remaining.
Up until that point, Brady had owned Manning in the playoffs.
After two completions to get the ball near midfield, Brady threw a pass over the middle intended for tight end Ben Watson that Jackson intercepted.
The pick sealed the victory for the Colts and booked a trip to the Super Bowl for the Colts.
Manning would get a ring, as Indianapolis would beat the Chicago Bears 29-17.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2001 2x, 2004 (playoffs) 2005, 2005 (playoffs) 2006, 2007 (playoffs)
Troy Brown was a thorn in the Colts' side for many Brady-Manning Bowls.
Like Ty Law, he played in the first showdown between the first-ballot Hall of Fame signal-callers but didn't make much of an impact.
In the second Brady-Manning bowl in 2001, Brown caught eight passes for 120 yards with a touchdown.
During the 2003-2004 AFC Championship Game, he made seven receptions for 88 yards in victory.
In the 2005 regular-season Brady-Manning bowl, Brown hauled in five passes for 57 yards with another score.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2001 2x, 2003, 2004, 2004 (playoffs) 2005, 2005 playoffs
Mike Vanderjagt was the deadly accurate kicker for a good chunk of the most indelible Brady-Manning bowls.
It was always him against Adam Vinatieri.
Down by three with 24 seconds remaining in the thrilling 2004 season opener against the Patriots, Vanderjagt stunningly missed a 48-yard field goal that gave New England the 27-24 win.
It came after he made all 37 field-goal attempts during the 2003 campaign.
He redeemed himself somewhat in 2005, when he made both field goals in a 40-21 Colts victory.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2003, 2004, 2004 (playoffs) 2005, 2005 (playoffs), 2010
In the 2003 Brady-Manning bowl, Rodney Harrison recovered a Troy Walters fumble.
He made the final interception during the 2004-2005 AFC Championship Game, after Ty Law had picked off Peyton Manning on three other occasions.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2006, 2007, 2007 (playoffs), 2009
Joseph Addai scored a touchdown in his first Brady-Manning bowl in 2006, and torched the Patriots for 112 yards on 26 carries in the meeting between the AFC powerhouses in 2007.
He'd tack on another score in the gut-wrenching 2009 Colts win, but he'll forever be remembered for scoring the game-winning, three-yard touchdown in the 2006-2007 AFC Championship Game against New England with a 1:02 remaining.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2001 2x, 2003, 2004, 2004 (playoffs), 2005, 2005 (playoffs) 2006 (with Colts), 2007 (with Colts), 2007 (playoffs with Colts), 2009 (with Colts), 2010 (with Colts)
Adam Vinatieri participated in all 12 Patriots vs. Colts Brady-Manning bowls. Incredible.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2003 (with Patriots), 2004 (with Patriots), 2007 (playoffs with Colts)
After two Brady-Manning bowls with the Patriots, offensive lineman Dan Klecko was a member of the Indianapolis Colts during the 2006-2007 AFC Championship Game, one of the finer games in the epic rivalry.
The Patriots took a 21-6 led into the half, and a Peyton Manning one-yard run made the score 21-13 in the third quarter.
With just over four minutes remaining in that quarter, Klecko caught a touchdown from Manning against his former team, which caused the RCA Dome to erupt as the Colts tied the score at 21-21.
It was the crowning moment of Klecko's career.
Brady-Manning bowls: 2012, 2013
Tony Carter was an innocent bystander in the 2012 Brady-Manning bowl, as he made only one tackle in defeat.
In the classic battle between the two quarterback in 2013—not so much.
The Broncos got out to a 24-0 lead, but Brady led a furious second-half rally that eventually went to overtime.
In the extra session, after the team's traded possessions with no points, Patriots punter Ryan Allen booted a kick inside Denver's 20 that just happened to hit Carter as he ran near returner Wes Welker.
New England recovered and Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal two plays later to seal the tremendous comeback.