Voting's Tuesday night. The matchup, however, is Sunday night: Indy at New England for mid-season bragging rights and a likely home-field advantage in the AFC championship in January; Denver, and not San Diego, having something to say about that notwithstanding.
Most likely it is out of sentiment I believe Tom Brady to be the better quarterback than is Peyton Manning. In fact, an argument I made over a decade ago applies here:
I was on a plane to or from Boston, I don't remember so well. Sitting beside me was a very tall black man -- or I could put it the way Carlin would disdainfully have it: a man who happens to be black. Sadly, I cannot remember his name either. I do recall, however, he was handsome and well dressed, as though he just stepped off the cover of GQ. It turned out he was a retired NFL lineman, who played for the Denver Broncos for all of, what, three, four years? I had never heard of him, but then what non-Phoenician has heard of any non-skilled player on the current Arizona Cardinals roster? Sit the fuck down, Bob Costas!
So we, the GQ lineman & I, debated over who the best QBs in the NFL were, and who, at the time, happened to be John Elway and Joe Montana. He was understandably partial to his former teammate Elway, whom he rated over Montana as a leader. I acknowledged his point but countered that, yes, Elway has the cajones but Montana has the bling, i.e., the jewelry, i.e., several Superbowl titles under his belt with corresponding rings on his fingers. End of debate, eh? Well, no. Elway had since won two Superbowls. All things being equal, then, I'd have to take him over Montana were I to start a team today.
Of course, if Peyton Manning had had Adam Vinatieri kicking against Pittsburgh last January instead of Mike Vanderchoke (who happens to be Bill Parcell's headache right now), he'd likely have that ring today. But he doesn't and Brady has three. Ring-a-Ding Ding!
Meanwhile, Manning's performance against the Pats in the playoffs two years ago, where Teddy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, et al., put a hurtin' on the vaunted Colt offense to the tune of 21-3 (and whereupon the Pats fans righteously and hysterically chanted at Manning: "Cut that meat! Cut that meat!), gave cause for me to wonder how Brady might perform against Bill Belichick's myriad defensive schemes. Now that would be an interesting match-up.
As it is, I suspect Brady's is the greater analytical acumen to Manning's, and maybe -- just maybe -- his cajones are a size larger.
Footnote: I'm on the record here & now that Tom Brady will one day be President of the United States. Word is he has political ambitions, and his aura is such that anything less than POTUS would seem uncharacteristic of the story arc. My profound fear, though, is of the likelihood he's Republican.