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McNabb, Manning Have Great Respect For Each Other


Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning are among the best quarterbacks of this generation, but they rarely face off against each other.

This Sunday night's game between Manning's Indianapolis Colts and McNabb's Redskins is just the third time their teams have played each other in the NFL.

In 1999, McNabb's rookie year, Manning and the Indianapolis Colts defeated McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles 44-17. Three years later, Manning completed 18-of-23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-13 rout.

In the years that have followed their last encounter, Manning and McNabb have certainly emerged as among the best quarterbacks of this generation.

You're bound to find Manning in the top five of most NFL career passing records: 51,373 passing yards (third), 4,378 pass completions (third) and 377 touchdowns (third).

McNabb is further down the list, but he is in the top 25 all-time: 34,188 passing yards (19th), 2,897 pass completions (15th) and 220 touchdowns (21st).

Manning, 34, is a four-time league MVP and has 10 Pro Bowl nods. McNabb, 33, has earned six Pro Bowl berths and was NFC Offensive Player Of the Year in 2004.

Theyre winners, too. Manning has a .680 winning percentage and McNabb has a .650 winning percentage, second and third among active QBs.

McNabb vs. Manning is not exactly a rivalry on par with Manning and Tom Brady, New England's three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

From afar, they have developed great respect for each other.

"I truly respect him," McNabb said on Wednesday. "Peyton and I have known each other for a long time. We're about the same age. We came out of high school at the same time. We've been in this league for a long time. The things he has been able to do, the consecutive games starting, and the success they've had – he's won Super Bowls, he's put up great numbers, and he has played with Hall of Fame receivers.


"Peyton is a great guy first and foremost and a lot of times that gets overlooked because of the things he does. But overall I'm happy for him."

Said Manning in a conference call with Washington, D.C., reporters: "Well, Donovan and I are good friends. I'm one year older than him, but I pull for him all the time. I'm happy to see everything he has been able to accomplish in his career.

"I congratulated him when he went to the Redskins. I know he's excited about his opportunity."

Both McNabb and Manning know the spotlight will be on them in Sunday night's nationally televised matchup.

Just like two weeks ago when a lot was made of the McNabb vs. Michael Vick in Philadelphia, McNabb downplayed the matchup against Manning.

"Early on in your career, when you come into the NFL, you compete against Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Steve Young – those were the competitions I looked to because I remember watching those guys in high school," McNabb said. "Not to really date me, but those are the matchups I looked forward to. As you get older, you play a couple years in this league, you look past that.

"In this situation, I just look forward to competing against the Indianapolis defense and what we have to do in order to be successful."

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