Scripture-quoting Tim Tebow and the Broncos take on the Patriots' Super Bowl-winning golden boy, Tom Brady, on Saturday in an 'Odd Couple' NFL matchup of epic proportions.
The scripture-quoting rookie versus the F-bomb dropping Super Bowl vet. Baby cheeks versus chin dimple. Scrambler versus sniper.
The story lines for Saturday's matchup between Hall of Fame-bound New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Heisman Trophy-winning and Denver Bronco rookie Tim Tebow abound, especially given Tebow's overtime winner against the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend and the sky-high stakes for Brady, who has lost his last three playoff games.
On paper, the Patriots are favored by a 13 point margin – a prediction only fueled by the Patriots' 41-23 drubbing of the Broncos in November, which stopped Tebow's at-times miraculous seven-game winning streak cold in its tracks. And the Patriots have an .800 regular season win percentage while the Broncos are at .500. The same statistical matchup has led to four playoff victories in a row for the NFL playoff contender with the superior record.
Of course the game will be decided as much by the other players on the field as by Brady and Tebow. But it's impossible not to view the Patriots-Broncos matchup on Saturday as being about two all-American men caught up in an "Odd Couple" matchup of epic proportions.
For all their obvious differences, if anything binds the two gridiron leaders it's that ever-elusive “it” factor that goes beyond athleticism or personal beliefs, to something more essential embodied by both: an intensity and love for the game that inspires teammates to overcome pain and fulfill what they believe, at least at the time, is their destinies.