Two of the greats, but there can only be one!
- In 2013, Peyton Manning has been the story in the NFL. With an offense rolling over opponents by scoring more points than a Madden video game, Manning has played some of if not his greatest football ever. While he will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, unfortunately, he will not be the best quarterback in the NFL when he played. That distinction goes to only one man, Tom Brady. While he may have a slight edge in passing stats, when you look at these two legends as the complete package, Brady is clearly the best. Don’t believe me? Here are the reasons why Brady is greatest quarterback of this generation.
- How they started– When you look at how these quarterbacks started, it is clear that Brady has not only the better story, but the harder journey to stardom. In 1998, Manning was the first pick in the NFL Draft. No surprise there, he had been a star at Tennessee and looked ready to be an immediate NFL starter. In his first season though, Manning went 3-13 with 28 interceptions. Meanwhile, Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round at 199th overall in the 2000 Draft. He had to prove to everyone that he could play, while Manning was just given the keys to a franchise. How did Brady do in his first season as a starter? He just won the Super Bowl and was the MVP of the game. Not a bad way to finish your first season.
- Supporting Casts– Many people will look at the statistics of these quarterbacks and just declare Manning the winner based on overall numbers. True, Manning has over 60,000 passing yards and over 450 touchdowns in his career compared to Brady’s 46,000 and 350. To be fair, Manning’s also had three more seasons than Brady while also having superior casts of talented players. In Indianapolis, Manning had weapons in the forms of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Brandon Stokley, Edgerrin James, and Pierre Garcon, just to name a few. He had some of the best weapons in football which allowed him to set the single season touchdown record with 49 touchdowns. Now in Denver Manning has a vast array of weaponry. In his arsenal are Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas. Meanwhile in New England, Brady has had to deal with an ever revolving roster of castaways and misfits. This year he lost Gronkowski to injury for the majority of the season and now postseason, Wes Welker to free agency, and Aaron Hernandez to prison. Not to mention all the injuries to his receiving core and still had the second best record in the AFC. The season he did have similar weaponry to Manning? He broke Manning’s record with 50 touchdowns in 2007 and was one game away from the perfect season.
- Playoff record– In the regular season Manning may have more total regular season wins, but this is not important when measuring truly great quarterbacks. Sure regular season wins are important, but it’s winning in the playoffs that make great quarterbacks into legendary quarterbacks. Manning is brutal in the playoffs. Despite being the greatest regular season quarterback in NFL history, Manning has come up short in the playoffs time and time again. His record? 10-11. Brutal. Meanwhile Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest postseason quarterbacks ever. Despite struggles in recent years, Brady has an amazing 18-7 record in the postseason. That’s even better than Joe Montana, widely considered the greatest quarterback ever. His postseason record 16-7.
- Postseason touchdowns- Tom Brady has more post season touchdowns then Peyton Manning. Brady has 42 compared to Manning’s 34.
- No sibling rivalry- So Brady may not be a member of The Brady Bunch, but Peyton is a Manning. What’s the problem with that? Nothing, unless you have a younger brother with more rings then you. Ouch. While it’s a long-shot that Eli Manning will break his brother’s records, it’s really Peyton who needs to catch up. With an 8-3 playoff record and two Lombardi trophies compared to Peyton’s one, it’s hard to call Peyton the greatest when his little brother has more hardware. Talk about competing for shelf space at Archie’s house. Not only does Eli have a longer career to win more Super Bowls then his older brother, but he’s also beaten Brady twice for those Super Bowls. That means that the wrong Manning is beating Brady. Sorry Peyton, younger siblings are a pain in the you know what am I right?
- Head to head– Ric Flair once said “To be the man you have to beat the man”! Apparently Manning didn’t get that message. Brady is 8-3 in regular season meetings while also 2-1 in AFC title games. Hey if I had to put my money on it, I’m putting it on Brady to win. That is, until Manning can beat the man.
- Lombardi Trophies– Pretty obvious huh? In the NFL the so-called “Lord of the Rings” resides in Foxboro. Brady’s three Super Bowl victories, in what was the last football dynasty, and five Super Bowl appearances is incredible. Manning only has one Super Bowl win in his two Super Bowl appearances. Unfortunately for Manning, his greatness will be measured by how many rings he will have at the end of his career. Heck, even Eli has more rings then Peyton right now. It’s unfortunate for Manning, but when you are as good as he is, your expected to win Super Bowls. Right now the clock is ticking for Manning to win another ring. For Brady, he already has three rings. He could retire today and his legacy would be one of the greatest based on those three Super Bowls. If he can win more, then he will probably be accepted as the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL. Sorry Peyton, you may have the stats, but until you get the rings the best quarterback of this generation will always be Tom Brady.