And all you really need to know about their respective resumes is that their teams will be meeting in the AFC Championship Game.
Now sure, a Denver Broncos-New England Patriots AFC title tilt matchup appeared on more than a few preseason-prediction ballots, but how these two teams got to this point truly is the point.
Sunday's game will be a war of attrition -- a clash of two wounded combatants who have somehow, some way won a combined 27 games and made it this far in navigating a pair of star-crossed seasons.
In truth, a hypothetical 7-one-7 game pitting the Broncos and Patriots who won't be playing this weekend in the Mile High City would make for quite the compelling matchup.
First, consider the Pats' problems:
-Then in early summer, tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder. That's all that needs to be said here.
-Then throughout the season, standout starters -- several of the All-Pro variety -- such as tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, tackle Sebastian Vollmer and linebackers Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes have fallen like dominoes with season-ending injuries, one seemingly every week.
-And the above list doesn't include key contributors such as running back Shane Vereen, cornerback Aqib Talib and receivers Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson who have been in and out of the lineup with assorted ailments.
-Not even punter Ryan Allen was safe as he injured a shoulder scrambling to recover a high snap in last Saturday's divisional-round playoff win and was replaced the rest of the game by kicker Steven Gostkowski.
Not to be outdone, we get to the damage in Denver:-Similarly, the Broncos' issues started in March, when a fax foul-up nixed the re-signing of pass-rushing standout Elvis Dumervil, who instead found a new home with the Baltimore Ravens.
-Then, even before the first preseason game, the team's top two centers, J.D. Walton and Dan Koppen went down with injuries.
-About the same time, it was announced that All-Pro linebacker Von Miller would be suspended for the first six games of the season for trying to circumnavigate the league's substance-abuse policy.
-Then the games began, and Bronco starters such as tackle Ryan Clady, defensive linemen Kevin Vickerson and Derek Wolfe, safety Rahim Moore, Miller and -- in the latest, cruel ACL twist -- cornerback Chris Harris began dropping off the depth chart with alarming regularity.
-Even head coach John Fox wasn't spared in the carnage as he suffered bye-week chest pains on a North Carolina golf course and missed a month - and coincidentally - the Orange and Blue's toughest stretch of the season while recovering from heart surgery.
-Then there have been the games -- or, in most cases, stretches of games -- missed by the likes of Welker, cornerback Champ Bailey, tackle Orlando Franklin and tight end Julius Thomas.
It's truly been hard to fathom -- unbelievable, really -- but yet there was Manning setting NFL records for TD passes and passing yards in guiding the Broncos to the team single-season points-scored mark, a 13-3 record and a third straight AFC West title.
Meanwhile, back east, there was Brady, deftly leading a young crew and guiding the Pats to comeback wins -- some of the improbable ilk -- over the New Orleans Saints, Broncos, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns en route to a 12-4 mark and their 10th AFC East crown in the last 11 seasons.
And ranking right up there alongside all the other myriad accomplishments in their Hall-of-Fame careers.
And now, after divisional-round wins, one of these QBs, one of these teams is a victory away from a trip to the Super Bowl.
It's -- dare we say it -- last one standing wins.
Ken Pomponio has spent the past 25 years as a sports journalist who has been published extensively in print and online. He's been an avid follower of the Denver sports scene since early childhood, and can be found on Twitter @kenpomp.
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- Peyton Manning
- Tom Brady