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Peyton Manning takes a shot at Tom Brady

Peyton and Tom are pretty good friends. Though this likely annoys the piss out of New England Patriots fans, who likely still  think Peyton "got lucky" facing the then-Rex Grossman-led Bears in the Super Bowl, resulting in his "only one" Super Bowl win, both players have mutual respect and admiration for one another. They text each other after games, check up with each other during the off-season, and have worked together in the past to ensure that the QBs in this league are well taken care of.

But last night, dare I say, I do believe Peyton Manning took a shot at Tom Brady, who has noticeably been acting like a whiny bitch during games when it comes to lobbying for roughing the passer calls.

Before we get into what Manning said, flash back two weeks ago. On a key drive by the Patriots offense against the Baltimore Ravens, Terrell Suggs attempted to sack Tom Brady. After Brady let his pass fly, Suggs lounged at Brady and brushed up against his knees. Before Suggs seemingly hit the ground, Brady turned to official Ron Winter and started pleading for a flag. Replays show Winters seemed swayed by Brady's pleas and tossed yellow at his feet.

15 yard penalty. Pats first down. The drive would later end with a touchdown.

Contrast this with last night. In his own endzone, late in the second quarter, Peyton Manning lets a pass fly. He is then hit immediately, below the knees, by Kyle Vanden Bosch. The official sees the hit and throws yellow. Vanden Bosch can't believe it, but that is "The Brady Rule" defined. Vanden Bosch spun out of a block, fell, and hit Manning's knee with sufficient force to knock Manning down. By rule, that's a penalty, like it or not.

The 15 yards gives Indy a fresh set of downs, which they use to march 93 yards (aided by two more roughing the passer penalties as the Titans seemed to come unglued prior to halftime) for a TD to close the half.

Now, when Manning was hit by Vanden Bosch, many noticed that he did not turn and plead with the official for a flag, in stark contrast to Brady against the Ravens. And immediately after the flag was thrown, you did not see Manning applaud or pump his fist for the call, also in stark contrast to Brady against the Patriots.

Indeed, following the game, Manning seemed to make it a point that he does not do that kind of stuff:

Manning wanted to differentiate himself from how New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacted in light of a similar, but softer, call in a Week 4 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

"I’ve never asked for a call, I’ve never clapped when they’ve made a call," he said. "I clap when we get the yards because of execution. The first one, I’ve had that hit before to the knee. I don’t know if I have to validate it or not, but I’ve got to see the doctor after this and get treatment. Obviously when you plant that left knee it’s in a vulnerable position, I wear that brace for that reason alone, hopefully it protects me there."

Make no mistake about it folks, that is indeed a shot a Tom Brady. Those calls against the Ravens (which, by rule, were correct I might add) are still fresh in everyone's mind. And when we see Peyton get a call due in part to "The Brady Rule," they become even more fresh. So, when Peyton says "I’ve never asked for a call, I’ve never clapped when they’ve made a call... I clap when we get the yards because of execution," he's thinking about Tom Brady. Peyton never says anything unless he's thought it through.

Like Peyton, I personally like and respect Brady. I was sickened to see him go down in a heap last year and I agree that rules protecting that which we shell out good money to see (quarterbacks) are a good thing.

However, part of people's frustration with "The Brady Rule" is how players, like the rule's namesake, have been seemingly crying for calls because of it. It seems like Manning is also aware this frustration, and is trying to let people know not all QBs cry for yellow, or applaud and fist pump afterward when they get it.