Sorry, Mark Sanchez.
Bill Belichick has been in the league a long time and his Patriots teams have beaten a lot of good quarterbacks. It’s no surprise that Peyton Manning, newly jacket-ed Hall of Famer, is the best of the bunch, according to Belichick.
In fact, in an uncharactersitic move, Belichick offered some high praise of Manning (via The Boston Globe):
He is definitely the best quarterback I’ve coached against. There have been quarterbacks who called their own plays, but it was nowhere near the same as what he did. He basically called every play by adjusting and/or changing the play once he saw what the defense was doing. He excelled at using the cadence and recognizing blitzes, and more than any one single offensive player, he forced us to change and adapt defensive game plans.
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Belichick isn’t exactly one to offer even a tiny peek behind the Patriots curtain, so for the New England head coach to admit how much trouble Manning gave him is certainly high praise.
The Patriots and Belichick, though, got the upper hand on Manning in his career: The former Colts and Broncos QB was 8-12 overall vs. the Patriots (playoffs and regular season combined), but that win mark is most among QBs that Belichick has played against.
Manning was the headliner for this weekend’s Hall of Fame class, joining the 2020 class in Canton; Others included Bill Cowher, Calvin Johnson, Troy Polamalu, Jimmy Johnson and Calvin Johnson.
Belichick and Manning’s last matchup was in the 2015 playoffs (Manning and the Broncos won the AFC championship game 20-18), but expect them — or at least their busts — to meet again in Canton one day.