Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?

January 26, 2011

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[Editor’s note: Brian from (a self improvement web site) follows up his Drew Brees article last week with an article that discusses the relative merits of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.]

In his recent love-fest article praising Drew Brees, Kosmo made this comment – “Manning will go down as the greatest quarterback of this generation (sorry, Brady, but you’re going to come up short in counting stats, such as passing yards and TDs).

While Brady will come up short to Manning in passing yards and TDs, Manning currently comes up short in playoff record and championship rings. In addition you could look at Winning Percentage by Quarterbacks (there’s a handy sortable column there.) Tom Brady has the highest percentage in NFL history in winning 77.6% of his games. He is 3 percent better than the next best which is Staubach, who is 3% than a guy named Montana. Brady is 10% better than Manning. The difference there between the two is vast.

Manning also had a number of seasons passing to pro-bowl, possibly Hall of Fame quality receivers in Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Most of Brady’s work has been with no big names. He had two seasons with Moss and three with Wes Welker who, as an undrafted free agent, wasn’t exactly known as a great talent before playing with Brady. Finally Brady doesn’t get the advantage of playing half his games in a dome like Manning does… Brady plays in New England where the elements make passing more difficult. You don’t have to look too much futher than the Greatest Show on Turf or the Saints success of late to see that playing a dome is a different game.

When we look at quarterback efficiency (QB Rating), Brady and Manning are neck and neck with Brady having a slight edge. In addition, Brady has 2 of the top 5 best seasons. You may argue that QB rating is the best statistic. I would agree with that. For example, the statistic of touchdowns for quarterbacks is suspect. How many times have you seen a quarterback throw a 50 yard bomb to see the player get tackled on the 1. The next few plays are typically running plays to get the score. Should that quarterback be rated lower than the one whose receiver didn’t get tackle at the 1? It doesn’t make sense. However, the compenents of completion percentage, yards per attempt and interceptions make sense. Some may argue that interceptions can be deceptive as there are bad bounces, but those should even out for all quarterbacks. It shouldn’t be surprising that while Manning has great TD numbers, Brady has the far better interception numbers.

It seems you can get into the Hall two ways. You can be a Dan Marino win great stats (61,000 yards and 420 TDs), but be considered a post-season failure. You can be a Troy Aikman with a very mediocre stats (32,945 yards, 165 TDs, and a 81.6 QB rating) with three Super Bowl rings. I would suggest that Tom Brady is a more complete player at this point with the ability to put up the stats of Manning in any given season combined with 3 Super Bowl rings.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 09:58:15

    Actually, I think Brady and Manning are pretty much equals.

    I said that Manning “will go down as the greatest quarterback of this generation.” By this, I mean that history will treat him this way.

    Everyone knows that Barry Bonds (or Hank Aaron, if you prefer) in the all-time homerun king in baseball … but how many know that Yogi Berra won 10 World Series rings? This isn’t exactly applesto apples, since a QB has a bit more influence on a team than a catcher (although catchers are quite important). The fans like the eye popping stats – and Pey-dawg’s stats are going to pop more eyes that T-Bone’s at the end of the day.


  2. Brian @ Be Better Now
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:29:28

    Thanks for publishing my article.

    I don’t think the baseball analogy works. I could counter with a basketball analogy about who Bill Russell won 11 championships. It is very much the first thing that people think about when the name comes up. That’s because he was the keystone player in that dominance. Brady has a similar thing in football with his winning percentage.

    I’m not sure that history is going to treat Peyton Manning as the greatest QB in history because it is a sport where the championships matter so much.

    When it comes to football, fans are less stats-focused and more results oriented.


  3. kosmo
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 20:41:49

    You’re certainly more of a football fan than me, and you raise a good point.

    But if this is true, then why the fascination with Brett Favre? Really, it’s the fact that he won *1* Super Bowl in the 90s?

    Marino, too, is exalted as a great QB … and yet, has no rings on his fingers.


  4. Crunchy
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 10:10:58

    Brady left his pregnant girlfriend for a Supermodel. Manning is cute too, but faithful. From a woman’s perspective, Manning > Brady. 🙂


  5. kosmo
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 10:35:05

    That might be a bit harsh on Brady. My recollection (backed up by Wiki) is that they broke up before he knew she was pregnant. Wiki says the split occurred in December, around the time she got pregnant (which I’m taking to mean that he likely didn’t know, although it’s possible they did know already). Baby was born August 22.

    Whether they should have reunited is a different question (did she even want him back?), but it’s not as if he pushed her into a snowbank on the way to the hospital on delivery day 🙂


  6. taylor
    Feb 24, 2011 @ 20:19:32

    peyton manning is better than tom brady peyton manning has a bullet arm


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