Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick are longtime rivals, but that doesn't mean they won't take a page out of each other's playbook.
Belichick's Oct. 1 press conference made headlines when, with the Patriots sitting at 2-2 and coming off a blowout loss to the Chiefs, the coach answered every single question with, "We're on to Cincinnati," referring to the Bengals, New England's next opponent.
Guess who the Broncos are playing this week.
Unofficially the sound byte voted most likely to make the rounds. "Got a nice ring to it," Manning says as he exits media huddle.— Paul Klee (@bypaulklee) December 18, 2014
For those keeping score at home, or in Massachusetts, Peyton Manning expressed "I'm on to Cincinnati" twice. Once in middle, once at end.— Paul Klee (@bypaulklee) December 18, 2014
Peyton Manning and thigh listed as questionable for Cincinnati on Monday night. Joke game remains strong to very strong.— Paul Klee (@bypaulklee) December 18, 2014
If you're a Bengals fan, it's tempting to chuckle at Peyton's presser -- but it could also be cause for grave concern. When Belichick pulled the trick the first time around, the Patriots went on to blow out the Bengals 43-17 in prime time.
Denver isn't exactly struggling like the Patriots were back then, as Peyton's team has won its last four games. But the Broncos' offense hasn't been its usual dominant self for much of the the past month-plus, and their game against the Bengals is in prime time, too, coming on Monday night.
The situations are eerily similar, and all those commonalities could mean we're about to see another "on to Cincinnati" blowout.
Or, maybe Manning was just having some fun and nothing more should be read into it beyond that.
- Ben Estes