Six years later, they meet again this weekend, both men a lot longer in the tooth but just as transcendent.
"He's really a playmaker for them," Brady said. "He's a great leader. He's everything you look for in a football player."
That's pretty much what Bailey said about Brady.
"He's smart, accurate, he has all the tools," Bailey said. "He's tough, confident. Everything you want in a player."
At 34, Brady threw 39 touchdown passes, the second-highest total of his brilliant career, and he led the Patriots (13-3) to the top seed in the AFC by winning his last eight starts, including a blowout at Denver on Dec. 18.
"It's more frustrating when you're out there because he's so good. He's one of the best ever," Bailey said. "I think a lot of people want to find out who's going to be the next guy, but he always reminds everybody he's still the best."
Brady said he's not thrilled to see Bailey again, either.
"I wish I could have him on our team and not play against him. I'm tired of playing against him," Brady said. "He definitely challenges us. He is a huge factor in every game that we play against them. I have a ton of respect for him and you always have to be careful throwing the ball to his side of the field."
That's what happened back on Jan. 14, 2006, when Bailey made the play that ended New England's dominating dynasty along with Denver's years of playoff misery.
With the goal line almost in reach, Bailey, huffing and puffing, slowed and was bringing the ball down to his hip when tight end Ben Watson caught up and knocked him down, sending the ball flying out of bounds at the 1 - or was it through the end zone?
"Considering how much they won the previous years, they were pretty much unbeatable," Bailey recalled. "To get a play like that and to change the game, to get a win against a team like that, yes, it's a special moment."
Still, Bailey cringes a bit at the thought of getting caught, although he jokingly takes solace in knowing it took a fellow Georgia Bulldogs alum to chase him down.
"If anybody's going to do it," Bailey cracked, "it'd better be a guy from Georgia."
There's the rub.
"Well, it makes me feel like people still respect my game at this age, but I really don't put a lot of thought in the Pro Bowl too much," he said. "It's just, I want to win a ring, and that's why I still play."
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton