Well, say what you will, but Peyton Manning certainly established that he is the best quarterback in the NFL. After he is bout with Tom Brady on Sunday Night Football, Manning’s 300+ yards and 2 touchdowns were clearly the better of the stats between the two high profile quarterbacks. And when you consider that Manning led his team to victory and that Peyton has won the last 2 meetings between the two, it is quite clear that Manning is the better quarterback.
“Oh, but wait! Brady has three Superbowl rings!”
Look, I am not discounting Brady’s superior playoff history and clutch ability. But when I look at everything that Brady has done in the post-season, I’ve seen Peyton do the same things in the regular season. Yes, it wasn’t with the same pressure and burden that comes with performing in the playoffs, but the point is that he has done everything that Brady has done; he just needs to do it in the playoffs. The real point to my argument is that Brady can’t do everything Manning has done.
Manning has thrown for over 4,000 yards in six out of his 8 seasons in the NFL. Brady has done it just once.
Manning averages 30.5 touchdown passes per year. Brady averages only 24.6 touchdown passes in seasons in which he started at least 15 games.
Manning has career quarterback rating of 94.3. Brady has a career quarterback rating of 88.8.
And while I understand that Manning is in a more stat friendly quarterback system, you can attribute that to the fact that he is one of the few quarterbacks in the league that can run such a sophisticated offense…if he’s not the only one.
Despite that, you cannot ignore the fact that Brady has not accomplished the same on-field feats that Manning has. He may be a more clutch player, a better playoff performer and a superior big time player, but he is not a better quarterback than Manning.
Still, everybody wants to point back to the 3 Superbowls Brady has won and the fact that he has beaten Manning in the playoffs. But Manning has 5-7 more years to rectify that.
Barry Bonds was said to be a bad playoff performer until he performed in the playoffs. He has never won a World Series, but he is the best player to ever play the game of baseball.
John Elway was said to have not been capable of winning the big one, until he won it. And then of course, he won two.
Michael Jordan could not get past Boston early in his career. And then he could not get past Detroit in the middle of his career. Nobody was saying he was the greatest until he won. But he was no better a player before he won than he was after he won. He just put it all together in the playoff and got it done. He ended up with 6 rings.
So all this talk about Manning not being as good as Brady because of Brady’s rings is kind of foolish. Manning is much better, does more things, and has done things Brady will never do. Brady has won a championship, and that’s important for a quarterback’s resume. But do you really want to say that Brady is a better quarterback than Dan Marino?
I don’t. Brady is a better clutch performer, but he is no Dan Marino. And as that night of Sunday football proves, he is no Peyton Manning either.