New York Giants v New England Patriots
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It's an incredible feat never before achieved in football, and potentially never to be achieved again. When Tom Brady leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the field at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday to face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, he'll not only be the first player to ever lead his team to hosting a Super Bowl, but it'll also be his 10th appearance. In that lies yet another record, and one that could be increased should he win, his six Super Bowl wins having already set an NFL mark. Being the consummate competitor though, it begs the question if Brady is more pleased with those rings or more displeased with the fact he doesn't have one on each finger and both thumbs -- Eli Manning being a key reason for the absence of two of them.

The battle between Brady and Peyton Manning was the perennial headline in the NFL during the heyday of both -- the former still enjoying his -- but it was what the younger Manning was able to do to Brady that forever changed football history. Not only did Archie's baby boy go 2-0 against Brady in Super Bowl matchups (something no one has ever done), but one of those victories derailed the first 19-0 season in NFL history, and that loss is a particularly large thorn in the side of the four-time Super Bowl MVP.

In speaking with CBS Sports analyst Tony Romo ahead of his battle with Mahomes, Brady lamented the loss in Super Bowl XLII.

"Yea that's Tiger Woods winning at the U.S. Open by 15 strokes -- you still talk about it however many years later," Brady said. "We had beaten some incredible teams. ... We beat the Giants at [Gillette Stadium] the last week of the year. It's just -- in the end, the one game that mattered most, we came up short."

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The Patriots ran roughshod over the league to the tune of 18-0 before falling to the Giants -- a clash we ranked as the No. 1 Super Bowl meeting of Brady's storied career -- racking up an eye-popping 36.8 points per game on average (1st) while allowing only 17.1 points per game weekly (4th). It was a seemingly bulletproof team, but Manning and a starved Giants defense were able to find cracks in it before shattering it altogether and preventing history from being made.

"Really, I give the Giants a lot of credit," Brady said. "They earned it. Eli made some clutch plays, they had a few lucky bounces, they had a helmet catch – but I give them credit. I'll give them credit. Reluctantly, I'll give them credit."

For his part, Eli Manning doesn't ever bring up the game when he talks to Brady, but that doesn't mean it's not discussed.

"It's one of those things, it's not something I ever say or ever think a lot about," Manning said recently. "I've been around Tom numerous times, and I've never brought up a Super Bowl or our games versus them. He actually brings it up. It still bothers him a little bit, especially the '07 one when they had the chance to go down as the greatest team of all time. But I don't have any bragging rights with Tom. 

"This is his 10th Super Bowl, and I'm so impressed with his whole career."

If a loss from 13 years ago is still front and center in Brady's mind, it would do the Chiefs well to shed any thought of him feeling entitled or somehow anointed on Sunday. When the ball gets kicked and the game is underway, it might not simply be outgunning Mahomes and defeating the Chiefs that's driving him, but instead the terror of losing to them -- those two things being completely different yet equally powerful motivators.