Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning
This blog title alone sparks controversy, causes passions to rise, and, to some, may even be seen as a “no brainer”. But, in all fairness, the choice is clear – the answer is Manning. Well, we are a Colorado-based company, and we have worked with Manning for many years in regards to the Manning Passing Academy and the Manning Football Experience. We know first hand what a great guy he is!
Seriously though, can these two athletes really be compared? First off, one already hung up his cleats. And, second, the other is married to a super model. Alright, we’ll exclude these minor factors.
These two men are undoubtedly iconic, Hall of Fame-destined quarterbacks with unquestionable skill, motivation, and leadership ability. Recently on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly proclaimed, “Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.” Many agree with this statement. If we look at pure numbers as the determining factors, another story is told. If we look at just Super Bowl wins, clearly Brady takes it, with four wins to Manning’s two – and Brady’s still out there charging for more as he approaches middle age. There are a lot of different answers fans can give to support their reasoning.
For fun, let’s look at some numbers. As they are practically the same size and age, let’s pull stats from the seasons they both played (2000 through 2015). We’ll look at total touchdowns, completions, yards, and interceptions as determining factors for who is the better quarterback.
Statistics for the 2000 through 2015 seasons:
Now, from the above, Manning takes it. Even though Manning has no stats for the 2011 season due to a neck surgery, he still played five more games than Brady. That’s because Brady only played one game in his first season and in his 2008 season he only played one game due to a knee injury. If they both played 234 games during this period, Brady would have had to do the following during the five additional games to match Manning in touchdowns, completions, and yards:
- Make 59 more touchdowns (almost 12 touchdowns/game)
- Throw 515 more completed passes (103 passes/game)
- Make 5,038 more yards (over 1,000/game)
Highly unlikely. More likely is Brady’s ability not to be sacked 58 times in those five games.
Based on these numbers alone, Manning is clearly a more prolific passer (and slower when it comes to running for defenders) and the better player.
Yet, the question of who is a better QB is subjective, as thousands of fans and Jim Kelly will attest to. On that note, this writer believes that while Brady seems to make his job look effortless with natural physical prowess, Manning’s pure will and raw talent are what draw me toward the former Bronco. Overall career stats are yet to come, and the Patriot is showing no signs of slowing down, but if we look at that time in history they were both playing, when they were in their prime, Manning is the MVP.