Brady vs. Manning

JODY VANCE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:52 PM ET

With so much focus on the opening of the NHL, thrilling MLB pennant races -- followed by a dud of a World Series -- and various scandals in the general sporting world, I realized I've somewhat lost touch with four-down pigskin.

I love the CFL, but there is nothing quite like the NFL. Driven by huge television contracts and increasingly popular football pools, the NFL typically provides a multitude of stories and angles.

So, if you're in the same boat as me, let me save you some research.

Here is Jody's Pigskin Primer for a huge Sunday that marks the start of the NFL season's second half.

With all due respect to the early games, the main course for my feast of football in week nine begins at 4:15 p.m. eastern Sunday on CBS.

Nothing gets the gridiron adrenalin going like Tom Brady's undefeated Patriots in Indy to meet Peyton Manning's undefeated Colts.

It's the playoffs come early!

Since the 8-0 Pats have won every game by a minimum of 17 points this season and Brady is on pace to shatter Manning's single-season TD record of 49 -- the argument is certainly there to take the visitors.

But the other side of his equation cannot be ignored, as Indy is just the second team in league history to open three straight seasons at 7-0. They've won 12 straight and are the defending Super Bowl Champs. Good news elsewhere -- the Lions and Browns are surprisingly above .500 and thinking about playoffs -- no, seriously, they are.

I'm happy to report a perennial fave in Brett Favre (and, to a lesser extent, Vinny Testaverde) has found the fountain of youth.

Randy Moss has been spectacular in New England running over opposing defences instead of meter maids.

Fans feeling the pain big time include the long-suffering Dolphins --right there with them are the Rams ... both are winless headed into week 9.

All-Pro theatre major Chad Johnson and his Bengals are wallowing in the basement alongside the Michael Vick-less Falcons.

If you bleed blue and white here in T.O. consider those who don the green and white of the J-E-T-S -- four letters, one win. Ouch.

-- Jody Vance is a longtime sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV.


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