The Peyton Manning Bill Belichick’s defense will see on Sunday is not the same as the Peyton Manning who beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game two years ago, nor is it the same Peyton Manning who led the Colts in a lot of great battles with the Patriots through the years. At least, that’s how it looks to most of us.
But Belichick said today that he’s expecting a great Manning to play against New England on Sunday, and the Patriots would be foolish to think the 2016 version of Manning will be easy to beat.
“Peyton’s a great player,” Belichick said. “We’ve had tremendous battles with him through the years. There’s no player off our team I have more respect for than Peyton Manning. His preparation, his consistency, his skills, I would never, ever, ever underestimate him under any circumstances.”
Belichick referred to the Broncos as the “best team we’ve played this year,” although the last time the Patriots played the Broncos, it was with Brock Osweiler at quarterback. On Sunday, with Manning at the helm, Belichick thinks he’ll be facing as good a player as he’s ever coached against.