Peyton and Eli Manning have 91,946 passing yards, 658 touchdowns, 363 games, 15 Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl rings between them. They are two of the most recognizable, marketable names in the country's most popular sport. But this week's game between the Broncos and the Giants in New Jersey will only be the third time the two brothers have faced each other in the regular season.
Fans, networks, the NFL and everyone else are excited about it. The only people who aren't looking forward to the game are the Manning's themselves.
"We don't like it," Archie Manning, the father, told Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times. "[Peyton and Eli] don't like it, but, hey, you've kind of got to look at it as kind of an honor and how blessed we are to have two sons playing quarterback in the NFL.
"It's happened twice, and this may be the last time."
If the two quarterbacks stay with their current teams, their next regularly scheduled in-season meeting would not occur until 2017. Peyton would be 41. Eli would be 36.
The Last Manning Bowl? Weighty stuff. We're just here for some potentially good football.
A look back at the last two Manning Bowls from Mark Sandritter.
Manning Bowl I
The first Manning Bowl occurred in the 2006 season opener. Both teams were coming off playoff seasons and Peyton's Colts were favored by just three points. The game lived up to the hype with the teams going back-and-forth. New York cut the lead to 23-21 with 8:08 to play. Peyton, however, did what he's done a lot of times, leading the Colts on a final key drive beginning with 3:51 to play. A field goal with 1:16 secured the 26-21 victory.
The brothers put up comparable stats with Petyon completing 25-of-41 passes for 276 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Eli completed 20-of-34 passes for 247 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Manning Bowl II
The brothers met again in 2010 and this time it was all Peyton and the Colts. Indianapolis jumped out to a 24-0 lead at halftime and cruised to a 38-14 victory. Eli started the game 1-of-6 and things didn't get much better. He finished 13-of-24 for 161 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also lost two fumbles, including one that was recovered for an Indianapolis touchdown.
Unlike Eli, Peyton was extremely sharp completing 20-of-26 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 7.9 yards per attempt in the first two Manning Bowls, slightly ahead of his career average of 7.7. Eli combined for 7.0 yards per attempt with five turnovers in two games.
Manning Bowl III?
The Brothers Manning are coming off two very different weeks. Eli played like Manning Bowl II. His running back lost a pair of fumbles. Eli threw three interceptions in a loss to the Cowboys that was never as close as the final score said.
All Peyton did was throw seven touchdown passes.
Cast of Characters
PEYTON MANNINGPretty amazing what happens when you replace a human neck with leftover parts from Terminator 2. Maybe playing football at 41 isn't such a stretch.
He's averaging more than 96 receiving yards per game with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. What's he done lately? He caught two of Manning's seven touchdowns last week to go with 161 yards.
There is another Manning brother, a third. He does not play professional football. He's not even going to this game, seriously.
New Jersey is the dumping ground for everything that doesn't fit in New York, be they homes with white picket fences, the bodies of people who talked to the police and massive football stadiums. If you've seen the opening credits to The Sopranos you've seen the scenic drive one takes from New York City into the swamps of New Jersey.
Recently Buffalo Bills fans have pointed out that theirs is the only team to play in New York State. While technically true, this is due to 17th century colonial jockeying and not any meaningful cultural reason. It takes me about as long to get to MetLife from Brooklyn as it takes me to get to Yankee Stadium. Besides, my ex-girlfriend was from Western New York. She ate Tim Horton's and listened to the Tragically Hip. Face it, Buffalo, you're part of Canada.