When the twenty-first century came around, pro football was desperate for a new rivalry. So a few years went by and it turned out to be the Indianapolis Colts versus the New England Patriots through the 2006 NFL season. There, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning shared numerous wins, awards and combined for four Super Bowls. Then, 2007 came to be and—although we didn't know it at the time—Eli Manning was in the works for replacing Peyton as Brady's next rival.

When the twenty-first century came around, pro football was desperate for a new rivalry.


So a few years went by and it turned out to be the Indianapolis Colts versus the New England Patriots through the 2006 NFL season.


There, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning shared numerous wins, awards and combined for four Super Bowls. Then, 2007 came to be and—although we didn't know it at the time—Eli Manning was in the works for replacing Peyton as Brady's next rival.


That said, let's look at why Eli versus Brady outweighs Peyton versus Brady.


Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning


From 2001-2010 Tom Brady and Peyton Manning met 13 times, including the postseason. Brady won the first six meetings and had three Super Bowls before Peyton defeated him once.


Then, fortunes slightly changed.


Peyton defeated Brady in five of the next six meetings, including the 2006-07 AFC Championship game. This led to the Colts to their first Super Bowl since the 1970-71 season.


Unfortunately, Peyton sat out the entire 2011 NFL season with potential career-ending neck problems, and he turns 36 before next season anyways. So who knows what direction he and Indianapolis will take before 2012 kicks off?


That being said, Tom Brady bested Peyton Manning with an 8-5 record including 2-1 in the postseason.


Although great, that's not on the level of excitement between younger brother Eli.


Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning


The reason why Eli Manning is the better rivalry for Tom Brady is because he's won on the biggest of stages.


Yes, they've only met three times, with Super Bowl XLVI being their fourth meeting.


However, having two of their meetings being in the Super Bowl is only one time less time than Peyton met Tom in the postseason.


Now, obviously a Super Bowl couldn't happen, as the Colts are also in the AFC. But it's not like Indianapolis was much of a rival until after Brady had won three rings.


Heading for a fourth ring with a perfect season, Eli Manning out played Tom Brady on the biggest of stages with the clock running down. Fast forward to 2011 and we saw Eli once again best Brady in the final minutes.


Only this time, it was in Brady's backyard in New England where the Pats hadn't lost with Tom under center for quite some time. Now that both are meeting again in the Super Bowl, that takes a quarterback rivalry to a whole different level.


And although Brady will be 35 before 2012 kicks off, there's still time for him and Eli to meet again in the Super Bowl.