Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, the top individual rivalry in the NFL for the past decade-plus, highlights the Week 5 NFL live play-by-play betting games available at Bovada on Sunday as Denver visits New England.
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Manning (15th year) and Brady (13th) have six NFL MVP awards (record four for No. 18), four Super Bowl rings and 23 combined playoff wins between them. Both are locks for Canton five years after they retire. Sunday will be the 13th meeting all-time between the quarterbacks, but of course the first time Brady has faced Manning as a Bronco. Brady holds an 8-4 advantage (6-3 regular season), but Manning has won four of the past six after starting 0-6 vs. Brady.
That the game is in New England doesn't bode well for Manning, although most previous matchups came later in the year when winter weather was a factor. Including playoffs, Manning is 2-8 at New England and has thrown 22 interceptions compared to 18 touchdowns. You can also expect a close game. The past five Brady-Manning matchups (including playoffs) have been decided by a touchdown or less - this time New England is a 7-point favorite with the total at 51.5.
Their last meeting was Nov. 21, 2010, in Foxboro, a 31-28 Pats win over the Colts. New England intercepted a Manning pass at the Patriots' 6 with 31 seconds remaining to clinch the win.
Both Manning and Brady come off big games in Week 4 victories that ended two-game losing streaks for Denver and New England. Manning was 30 of 38 for 338 yards and three scores in a 37-6 win over Oakland. If you erase Manning's first quarter in a Monday night game a few weeks ago at Atlanta, he has eight touchdowns and no interceptions this year.
Brady was 22 of 36 for 340 yards and three touchdowns in a 52-28 win at Buffalo in which the Patriots scored 45 second-half points. That amount of points in the second half was the most in franchise history and fourth-most in NFL history. It was also the most by a team losing at halftime since 1950. Brady and Manning had the NFL's two highest QB ratings last week before Jay Cutler surpassed them on Monday night.
This will mark just the second game in NFL history that pits two starting quarterbacks with at least 125 regular-season wins (Manning has 143 and Brady 126): the other was in 1998 when Miami's Dan Marino faced Denver's John Elway.
Eagles at Steelers (-3.5, 44): Perhaps no team has been more fortunate this season than 3-1 Philadelphia. It is the first team in NFL history whose first three wins of a season were by a combined margin of four points or less.
QB Michael Vick solved his turnover problems in last Sunday's 19-17 win over the Giants. Vick entered with an NFL-high nine giveaways but had none as the Eagles beat the Giants for the eighth time in the past nine meetings. Philadelphia had 12 total turnovers the first three weeks but zero vs. New York. Pittsburgh was on a bye last week, which allowed defensive stars Troy Polamalu and James Harrison to heal, and both should play Sunday. In addition, running back Rashard Mendenhall should make his season debut. The Steelers are looking to avoid their first 1-3 start since coach Mike Tomlin took over in 2007.
The Steelers are a terrific 9-0 ATS in their past nine after a loss and they entered the bye after a 34-31 defeat at Oakland. This is the first Eagles-Steelers regular-season game since 2008, when Vick was out of the NFL.
Chargers at Saints (-4, 54): Only one 0-4 team has reached the playoffs in the current format, the 1992 Chargers, but the New Orleans Saints are hoping to buck history and get back to the postseason despite their shocking 0-4 start.
New Orleans didn't lose a game at home last year and covered in all of them but has failed to do either in two so far this season. The Saints rank No. 32 in the NFL in total defense and rushing defense and 29th in points allowed (29.8). Drew Brees should make NFL history on Sunday - he is currently tied with Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas by throwing for a TD in a record 47 straight games.
San Diego's lone loss is to Atlanta, one of three unbeatens remaining. The Chargers bounced back from that with a 37-20 victory at Kansas City a week ago. San Diego turned the Chiefs' six turnovers into 24 points. Chargers QB Philip Rivers eclipsed the 25,000 passing yards mark Sunday in his 104th game, the seventh-fastest to do so in history. No. 5 was Brees (103), who wasn't re-signed by the Chargers after the 2005 season in favor of the younger Rivers.
The Chargers have covered their past six games vs. teams with losing records.
Monday, Texans at Jets (+9, 41): The Houston Texans continue to be the Bovada Super Bowl favorites, now at 9/2, and they go to New Jersey on Monday to face a Jets team that appears to be coming apart at the seams and will be missing arguably its best offensive and defensive players.
A week after losing All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis for the season, the Jets lost top receiver Santonio Holmes in last week's 34-0 home blowout loss to San Francisco. He also could miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. That certainly won't help struggling QB Mark Sanchez, who has completed just 44.3 percent of his passes in the past three games and is last in the league in that category.
The Jets ranks 23rd or worse in scoring, rushing and passing offense, but Coach Rex Ryan says he's not ready to put Tim Tebow at quarterback ahead of Sanchez. Against the Niners, the Jets had just 145 yards of offense, the fourth time in team history they history that the Jets were shut out with fewer than 150 yards of offense.
Houston, meanwhile, is 4-0 for the first time and leads the NFL in point differential at plus-70. Only one of Houston's wins has been by less than 20 points, and the Texans lead the NFL in points allowed per game at 14.0. Houston has covered 10 of its past 12 games after a win and seven of its past eight on the road. Oddly, the Texans haven't covered in Week 5 in the past seven seasons. Houston and the Jets last played in 2010, a 30-27 New York home win.
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