Just minutes after sending the Steelers back to Pittsburgh, after the vast majority of players wandered out of sight from the cameras, Peyton Manning stood on the field for his postgame interview. At the end of that interview, Manning was asked about what lies ahead after the Broncos' 23-16 win over the Steelers: another matchup with Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Manning, showing more mobility than he has in his entire 18-year career, danced around the question, even admitting to his non-answer. But Manning made up for his dodge, stealing a Bill Belichick line to sum up his emotions.
"To kind of quote Bill Belichick, we'll be on to New England," Manning said.
It's a phrase that Belichick's used on more than one occasion, including almost exactly a year go when the Patriots defeated the Colts in the AFC title game. After that win, Belichick proclaimed the Patriots were onto Seattle (even though the Super Bowl was played in Arizona).
And that made it an especially fitting way for Manning to set up his 17th overall matchup and fifth postseason meeting with Brady and the Patriots. This time, a trip to the Super Bowl will be at stake.