One of Tom Brady's best throws of the Buccaneers' Week 6 blowout of the Packers, or better yet the season, was a beautiful touch pass to Rob Gronkowski toward the sideline.
The immediate assumption by most on that throw was, "Oh, that's a vintage Brady to Gronk connection right there. Great throw, great catch, first down."
Hold it right there, though. Peyton Manning is here to say that the throw was accidental. In his latest episode of Detail, the five-time MVP and one of Brady's biggest rivals broke down why the throw wasn't as great as everyone made it out to be.
"Do you think Tom was throwing to Gronk?" Manning said. "Troy Aikman thought he was. Thought it was one of the best throws he made all game. I'm not so sure. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's coming out here to Evans."
Manning's hypothesis was that Brady was looking wide receiver Mike Evans on a hitch to set up a 3rd-and-short situation. But with the Packers corner playing off on Evans and sitting on short throws, Brady was going to throw an interception if he went to Evans on the hitch.
So as Evans rerouted and turned upfield, Brady lofted a pass that Gronkowski eventually ran under and caught for a first down.
"I'm going to throw kind of a high ball to Evans that's going to be Evans' ball or nobody else's, but guess who runs right underneath it? It's Gronk," Manning said. "Will we get Tom to admit who he was throwing to? I don't think so. He wouldn't admit that he didn't know it was fourth down. There's no way he's going to admit he wasn't throwing to Gronk, especially after Aikman says, What an unbelievable throw."
Manning also went on to make jokes about how easy NFL players have it these days with empty press conference rooms where they answer questions over Zoom.
"How lucky are these guys?" Manning said. "No press conferences with reporters right in your face, asking you, Who were you throwing to? Why did you take that sack? Were you going for it on fourth down? Did you know it was fourth down? The Zoom interviews, they're easy to do, so you don't have to explain it."
The Manning-Brady rivalry rages on, and it never gets old.