Analyst Says 2 Rookie QBs 'Could Be The Next Peyton Manning And Tom Brady'

By Jason Hall

August 30, 2021

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
Photo: Getty Images

ESPN analyst Sam Acho made a bold prediction regarding two rookie quarterbacks last week.

During an appearance on First Take, the former NFL outside backer said Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance "could be the next Peyton Manning and Tom Brady," comparing the two rookies to arguably the greatest two passers in NFL history before either played a down of regular season football.

Ocho credited Lance as a perfect fit for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense -- similar to Brady during his time in New England with head coach Bill Belichick -- and said Fields' talent -- like Manning -- would supersede a lack of coaching stability in Chicago, though acknowledged that the two rookies different from Brady and Manning will ultimately bring them success in the modern NFL.

"These two young quarterbacks are the future of the NFL," Ocho said. "We've seen how the NFL's gone, look at MVPs, right, [Green Bay Packers quarterback] Aaron Rodgers can move. [Kansas City Chiefs quarterback] Patrick Mahomes can move. [New York Giants quarterback] Daniel Jones, even though people are asking questions about [him], he can move. [Baltimore Ravens quarterback] Lamar Jackson as well.
"So the future of the NFL when it comes to quarterbacking is changing. You need athletic quarterbacks who can also throw the ball, who can make every throw, but also can move in the pocket. That's what I see with these two young quarterbacks and of the future of the NFL."

Brady -- a seven-time Super Bowl champion -- and Manning -- who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- shared one of the most storied rivalries in NFL history.

During his Hall of Fame speech, Manning joked that Brady would be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in "2035" due to the 44-year-old's incredible longevity, when referencing how inductees were mandated to shorten their speeches, adding that Brady would "only have time to post his acceptance speech on his Instagram account."

Earlier this year, Manning joked that his mother, Olivia Manning, was responsible for Brady missing out on several extra Super Bowl championships.

“If it wasn’t for my mother, Olivia Manning, he’d have 11 of ’em,” Manning said of Brady's seven Super Bowl championships via ProFootballTalk while discussing Brady's next appearance on The Match, a golf event that saw the two compete against each other last year.

Manning defeated Brady's former team, the New England Patriots, during the AFC Championship en route to Super Bowl victories with the Colts (Super Bowl XLI) and Denver Broncos (Super Bowl 50).

His younger brother, Eli Manning, famously holds a 2-0 record against Brady in the Super Bowl, leading the New York Giants to victories in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.

Peyton's Broncos also defeated the Patriots en route to a blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, but it seems he's assuming New England wouldn't have fared much better, otherwise he would have joked that his mother would've prevented Brady from 12 rings instead of 11.

Brady and Manning have long been regarded as the two best quarterbacks of their era and credited by many as the two best of all-time.

Together, the two quarterbacks account for nine Super Bowl championships, seven Super Bowl MVPs and eight regular season MVPs since 2000.

That success created one of the NFL's best on-field rivalries, but the two have shared a friendship off the field, which has seemingly grown in recent years.

In February, Brady recorded 201 yards and three touchdowns on 21 of 29 passing in Super Bowl LV, winning a record fifth Super Bowl MVP Award, which surpassed his own previous record set in Super Bowl LI (2017).

Brady now owns a 7-3 record all-time in the NFL's biggest game and surpassed his own previous record for most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback (6) set in February 2019. The 43-year-old also broke his own record as the oldest quarterback to both start and win a Super Bowl also set in 2019.

The win was Tampa Bay's second Super Bowl victory in franchise history. The Buccaneers are also the only team in NFL history to both host and win a Super Bowl in their home stadium.

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