For those of you who enjoyed the A-Rod versus David Ortiz post, here is another spicy fiasco — the issue of Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning. These two are very generally excepted as the best quarterbacks in the NFL, yet the question of who is better strikes an emotional chord with nearly all football fans. Generally, you hear that Peyton Manning is the better player. While that is largely a foolish statement, it is certainly correct in some aspects. Here I will hash out the differences that I see between these two. Let’s start with some career seasonal averages (these number include all seasons with more than one game played, so Tom Brady’s 2008 season is not included).
TD’s INT’s YARDS
Tom Brady 28 12 3845
Peyton Manning 30 15 4177
As with the David Ortiz – Alex Rodriguez scenario, I find these number to be very comparable. Their numbers for completion percentage and rating are nearly identical as well.
Let’s start with Peyton Manning. Most fans will say that Manning is a more talented player. They will look at his consistency in passing for a ton of yards, his touchdown numbers, and his ability to audible at the line of scrimmage. They will look at his 4 MVP awards. These same fans used to note his record-breaking season of 49 TD’s — the only problem with that now is Tom Brady broke his record. Peyton has long had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to throw to, whereas previous to the acquisition of Randy Moss Tom Brady’s best target was Deion Branch. Once Brady landed a big time receiver, he immediately broke Peyton’s record. Yet while the numbers and records don’t really back up the suggestion that Manning is a more talented passer, I still think that he is. Yes, I said it, I think Manning is a better passer than Brady is. While their numbers are comparable I am amazed every time I watch Peyton at his ability to weave the ball through the defense into his receivers’ hands. He gets the ball to impossible spots more often than Tom Brady does — that shows me that he has more pure talent as a passer. Unfortunately for him, it’s not a very tangible attribute.
Simply put, Brady has 3 Super Bowl rings and Manning has 1. Many haters will credit Brady’s Super Bowl victories to playing on teams widely credited with having great defenses. But a closer look shows this to be untrue of the Super Bowls in which Brady has played. Brady has gone head to head with both Donovan McNabb and Kurt Warner, both of whom put up huge numbers against the Patriots defense. Manning’s lone victory came against Rex Grossman, who practically handed the Colts a victory in a 165 yard effort featuring 2 interceptions and a lost fumble. Both quarterbacks have one loss on their record as well and although Tom Brady’s loss certainly stung more as he went into the game undefeated, I still have to give him an edge in his loss. Brady drove down the field that game against the Giants and put the ball in the end zone putting his team ahead with only a minute or so left on the clock. Every Giants fan alive thought that they had lost — the rest of what unfolded is history. But when it came time to be clutch and deliver in the last moments of the game, Brady once again responded. Manning turned the ball over by throwing a pick resulting in a Saints touchdown.
Both players are phenomenal in their own right. But when the tough gets going, I see a cool calm confidence in Brady whereas I occasionally see panic in Peyton’s eyes. We have all seen our share of Peyton Manning head shaking in disbelief. Peyton is a more talented passer, but ultimately you have to give the advantage to Brady.