The two greatest quarterbacks of the 21st century will square off for the 17th -- and perhaps final -- time next Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.
This unrivaled rivalry began losing its luster, however, the last time the two did battle in November of 2014. With a stunning edge in arm strength and pocket movement, Brady thoroughly outplayed his aging counterpart as nagging injuries and Father Time joined forces to accelerate the erosion of Manning's Hall of Fame skill set.
Since that decisive 43-21 victory, the chasm between the two quarterbacks has only widened.
While Brady remains a legitimate MVP candidate playing at a higher level than he was five years ago, Manning has been a liability at the helm of Gary Kubiak's offense.
Manning has managed just one touchdown versus eight interceptions in five home games this season. After throwing a touchdown pass in 56 consecutive games stretching from November of 2010 through November of 2014, he has been kept out of the end zone in eight of his last 16 games.
Quarterbacks can only absorb so many hits, undergo so many surgeries and come out on the losing end of so many thrillers before their bodies break down. In Manning's case, that point was driven home Sunday when he willingly surrendered in the pocket for an untouched sack, only to be bailed out by a missed call when he popped up for a flutter ball to Emmanuel Sanders.