Manning and Brady meeting on the cards

02 January 2013 10:15:46 EST
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

After months of looking like the top seed in the AFC, the Houston Texans somehow managed to lose three of four down the stretch and with it a first round bye.

Instead the AFC South Division title winners will host the Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium on Wild Card Weekend and the New England Patriots will enjoy the week at home. Should the Texans defeat the visiting Bengals then Houston will travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro for a rematch of the Week 14 match up between the two sides. Then it was no contest as Tom Brady threw for 296-yards and four touchdowns as New England jumped out to a 28-0 lead early in the third quarter before easing to a 42-14 pasting of the visitors.

Sunday sees the return of the Colts to Baltimore. The locals have still never forgiven the franchise for sneaking out of town to Indianapolis, literally in the middle of the night, and a very raucous crowd will roar the Ravens on. There's still no word on whether veteran linebacker Ray Lewis will play for the home side. Activated last week, the perennial All-Pro and future first ballot Hall of Famer remains a game-changer even if the evidence of wear and tear is beginning to show on the former Miami Hurricane.

Unless the Bengals pull an upset over the Houston Texans, the winner of the Colts vs. Ravens will head to the Sports Authority Field at Mike High in Denver to play the Broncos. Losers earlier in the season to the Texans before Peyton Manning had found his rhythm, Denver has scored at least 30 points in each home victory thereafter and unlike the NFC where top seed Atlanta looks vulnerable, the AFC seems to be heading towards the 14th game between Brady and Manning in their storied head to head rivalry.

Brady's Patriots are 11/10 to win the Super Bowl, while Manning's Denver Broncos can be backed at 1212/1.

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