Peyton Manning, Bill Belichick
Peyton Manning, Bill Belichick, Getty Images

Peyton Manning ribs the New England Patriots past cheating ways on Monday Night Football

Oh, that funny Peyton Manning strikes again.

Whether it’s Saturday Night Live, any one of his numerous commercials or anything else over the years, the middle Manning child rarely misses with the comedy. (The Manning family visiting the ESPN Bristol studios for a tour remains one of the all-time great spots.)

Now, retired from the game and already enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Manning is making folks laugh once a week when he and Eli Manning watch Monday Night Football as it’s happening in real-time.

This week’s game featured a 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions. And while the game featured Aaron Rodgers getting back on track, Peyton Manning created the real highlight of the night when he brought up the New England Patriots’ past “bugging” ways.

“Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers in the showers,” Peyton said on the ESPN broadcast after his young brother served it up. “Don’t talk about a play next to my locker because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in there. Very strange to see seven guys hanging out in the shower.”

Manning, 45, played Tom Brady’s Patriots 17 times, coming out on the losing end 11 times (including playoffs). Naturally, as he often does, Manning’s tone when mentioning the Pats’ “bugging” was of the joking variety, but the unavoidable history here is what always makes this a topic—especially in New York Jets land.

It was Eric Mangini’s Jets who blew the lid on the Pats’ so-called “cheating ways” back in 2007 when they alerted the league of Belichick’s illegal taping of the opponent’s sideline. The NFL fined Belichick an absurd $500,000 and the Pats another $250,000 for the incident.

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In addition to the locker room comment, Manning also had another gem just prior.

“I feel like the Packers were listening. Eli, you and I were having a conversation about how they (Packers) should come out and run the ball,” Peyton said. “I think our conversation was bugged. Kinda like the Patriots used to do back in the day.”

As far as the Jets are concerned, the beatdown the Patriots handed them in Sunday’s 25-6 Week 2 loss can hardly be blamed on illegal bugging. New York’s home-opener didn’t allow for such a Belichick advantage, and nor did it go the home team’s way.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, developer and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor | Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (sold in 2020). SEO: XLM Email: robby.sabo[at]
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