Lost in the mix of the Colts-Patriots rivalry, the Dungy-Belichick rivalry, and the Manning-Brady rivalry, I can sense a new rivalry brewing (at least in my eyes): Joseph Addai vs. Laurence Maroney. That does not seem totally illogical now, does it? Both running backs came in to the league last year as rookies. Both have great quarterbacks and great supporting casts. As Manning and Brady each get older, along with their receivers, I think that Addai v. Maroney will become the centerpiece of the Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots rivalry.
So let's compare these two men of the hour:
November 5, 2006
Addai: 18 rushes, 43 yards, 1 TD
Maroney: 16 rushes, 63 yards
January 21, 2007
Addai: 14 rushes, 56 yards, 1 TD
Maroney: 8 rushes, 13 yards
November 4, 2007
Addai: 26 rushes, 112 yards, 5 receptions, 114 yards, 1 TD
Maroney: 15 rushes, 59 yards
Overall, I would have to say that Joseph Addai is definitely "winning" this rivalry. First off, he's got the ring. Secondly, the Colts are 2-1 since he and Maroney came into the league. Thirdly, he has the better stats so far. Head-to-head, they were relatively even until their last showdown, when Addai definitely took the lead in this rivalry. But as Maroney develops (this season would be his rookie season had he stayed at Minnesota), he could definitely excel in the NFL, past Addai.
There are not many other people who would see this as a rivalry, partly because of the Manning-Brady stuff that overshadows it, but I will always be comparing Addai and Maroney.
Interesting take, eh?