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Aqib Talib: My NFL career really began with Patriots

Aqib Talib has made Patriots coach Bill Belichick look like a genius for swapping a fourth and seventh-round pick to the Buccaneers midway through the 2012 season for the rights to the talented cornerback. It's also worked out for Talib, who couldn't be happier with New England.

Tale of the Tape: Brady-Manning


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Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet for the fourth time in the NFL playoffs. Brady is 2-1.
QBs against one another
Tom Brady
 
Peyton Manning
10
Wins
4
67.1
Comp. %
61.8
243.1
Pass YPG
283.6
26-12
TD-INT
29-20
96.6
Passer rating
85.6
QBs all time
Tom Brady
 
Peyton Manning
148 (3rd)
Career wins
167 (2nd)
49,149 (7th)
Career pass yards
64,964 (2nd)
359 (5th)
Career TDs
491 (2nd)
6,147 (1st)
Postseason pass yards
5,909 (2nd)
42 (3rd)
Postseason TDs
34 (4th)
» Photo essay: Manning vs. Brady

"I've been in the NFL since '08," Talib said this week, per the Boston Herald. "But I've really been in the NFL since November of 2012."

Talib went from a struggling Bucs squad to a Patriots team that's gone 20-6 since he entered the lineup. Instead of watching the playoffs on a couch in Florida, he's a key component for a New England team heading to its third consecutive AFC title game Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

"When you grow up and you want to be in the NFL, this is what you think of," Talib said. "You think of this time right here on this team right here."

Talib's future in New England looms as a primary offseason storyline for the Patriots, but our 16th best free-agent-to-be says his contract isn't on the mind.

"No time to worry about it, man," Talib said. "I got Wes Welker, (Eric) Decker, Demaryius (Thomas), Julius (Thomas) because he lines up outside. I don't have time to worry about no money. I have no time to worry about it, man."

Talib, despite a string of off-the-field issues in Tampa, has worked out well in New England. Belichick's latest reclamation project looks even stronger upon learning that Talib convinced the coach to ship another seventh-round pick along with track star Jeff Demps to the Bucs for the rights to running back LeGarrette Blount.

It's a tale of two trades that couldn't have worked out any better for all involved -- unless you're Tampa Bay.

We previewed Championship Sunday and sat down with Rams star Robert Quinn in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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