BOSTON (CBS) – Toucher and Rich were joined by legendary CBS Sports television announcer Jim Nantz on Wednesday morning, and the play-by-play man envisions a realistic scenario where Peyton Manning could retire at the conclusion of the postseason.
Could Sunday afternoon really be the final chapter to the Brady/Manning saga?
If Peyton goes on to win a Super Bowl, don’t be surprised if he rides off into the sunset, according to Nantz.
“As magnificent as it is, I can’t think of another rivalry like it right now, or even anything in the last 25 – 30 years that can compare to having those two marquee names in the same game.”
Nantz suggested that the game will likely come down to players not named Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but that in the annals of sports history it will simply be about the quarterback who won, and the quarterback who lost.
Taking the historical perspective, Nantz said, “I don’t know if we will ever see it again,” which gave some pause to those who were listening.
“But aren’t they scheduled to play next regular season?”
Yes, the Broncos and Patriots will meet sometime during the 2014 season, but the quarterback under center for Denver may not wear #18 according to Jim Nantz.
“Let’s enjoy it while we have it. This may be the last one for all we know.”
“I know Peyton can downplay it all he wants, but this would be a big one. This would be a really, really big one to take another franchise to the Super Bowl. Now, he would have to go win that game. Just beating Brady and losing in New York would not be enough [to change the opinion of his legacy]. He’s got to go get ’em both.”
“A second Super Bowl changes the way everybody will look at him, and that’s why I think if he got it, it might be the right time to say, ‘You know what John Elway, I’m looking at you everyday in the building and I think of what you did and how you ended your career, that’s pretty good.'”
“If everybody is going to judge you on your last performance, that would be quite a way to walk out: with a Lombardi Trophy.”
Aside from the obvious Brady/Manning storyline, Jim Nantz also had some thoughts on Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, calling the injury a “really big deal” that could ultimately be the difference in the game.
He also touched on the Wes Welker comparison to Julian Edelman, who has been “off the charts fantastic” this season for the Patriots.
Welker may be long in the tooth and not what he used to be, but the former Patriot is “anxious” to redeem himself against New England after his botched punt return attempt cost them their week 12 matchup.
Listen to the full interview below: