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Brother vs. Brother

Posted Sep 11, 2013

Peyton and Eli Manning acknowledged that there will be "special moments" pregame, but after kickoff, it's all business.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When it comes to Sunday's Broncos-Giants tilt, the focus of the nation will be on the battle of the brothers.

But Peyton and Eli Manning have their sights set on one thing -- a win.

"I think for him, it doesn’t matter if it’s Week 2, if it’s the Super Bowl, if it’s his brother, if it’s not his brother – every game is the biggest game," wide receiver Eric Decker said of his quarterback. "And he gets everyone to feel that way, as well."

Still, even Head Coach John Fox acknowledged that sibling rivalries in the NFL are rare and "kind of a big deal," pointing to Super Bowl XLVII, which featured John Harbaugh coaching against his brother Jim.

Both Eli and Peyton met the press Wednesday and said that they're happy they only have to talk about the matchup for one day. But the quarterbacks had the same perspective on the uniqueness of pregame before taking the same field as a brother.

"When I look back on the times that we played against each other, I think you remember the national anthems and looking over and nodding at your big brother, talking to him before the game for a little bit, the handshake after the game," Eli said. "Those things are special moments."

Peyton agreed.

"You’re certainly playing a good team and the focus all week is getting ready to play a team on the road, a team playing their first home game, a team coming off a division loss, that you know has a lot of pride and is going to respond," he said. "At the same time ... you do take a moment to realize that it is your brother over there that is a quarterback for the New York Giants in the NFL and it is the same person that you grew up with. So it is unique and I think you do take a moment to realize that it is special. But once the game gets started, all week the focus is on their defense, and you can go out there and just play.”

Eli noted that he and Peyton occasionally talk football on the phone (no pun intended) throughout the season, but with Sunday's matchup on the horizon, the two have kept their conversations off the field.

"You just don’t want to give any tips or hints, anything that I could tell my defensive coordinator or he could tell his defensive coordinator," he said. "Even these last six weeks of preseason games and training camp, we really haven’t talked much football about what occurred in games.”

Sunday will mark the third time the two brothers' clubs have met -- first in 2006 and again in 2010, both of which came with Peyton an Indianapolis Colt.

The older brother is 2-0 in the previous two contests.

"This will be the third time, possibly could be the last time," Peyton said. "I think I will take a moment there, whenever it is—in pregame warm-ups, the national anthem, coin toss, whenever that is—I think you do take a moment there. And you kind of capture it and hold onto it. I have a moment from the 2006 game and the 2010 game, but that’s one moment. The rest of the time you’re going out and trying to do your job as a quarterback and help your team win.”

And for anyone thinking the brother vs. brother storyline could be any type of distraction for the Broncos' Manning, tight end Julius Thomas quickly put that to rest.

“Peyton is always going to give it 100 percent – if he’s playing his brother or if he takes us all down there and plays a bunch of guys at the park," he said. "He puts 100 percent into his preparation and he’s going to do that this week."