Brees and Manning = Passing wins.
In the 1973 Super Bowl, Bob Griese threw a grand total of 11 passes to help the Miami Dolphins complete the NFL's only perfect season.
The sport was more wide open a generation later, when winning quarterback Troy Aikman tossed 23 passes in the 1996 championship game for the Dallas Cowboys. The Baltimore Ravens allowed Trent Dilfer to throw a whopping 25 times when they won the league title in 2001.
Peyton Manning and Drew Brees may surpass those numbers before halftime in Sunday's Super Bowl between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, because passing wins like never before.
Every 12-year-old fan can recite the NFL's common coaching mantra: Run the ball, control the clock and play good defense. But that longtime model for winning championships may be headed the way of leather helmets.
"The game has changed," former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher says. "It's catered to throwing."
Manning and Brees do it better than anyone else, which is a big reason their teams are in the title game.
Brees set an NFL record with his completion percentage of 70.6, and Manning ranked second at 68.8.
Brees led the league with 34 touchdown passes, and Manning tied Brett Favre for second at 33. Brees ranked first in passing efficiency, and Manning was on pace for an NFL-high 4,800 yards before resting for the playoffs late in the regular season.
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