It’s an endless debate that has people riled up. The question always being: who is better? Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? First off, who cares who is better than who? When it comes down to it, these two quarterbacks are first-ballot hall of famers who have made millions upon millions of dollars and have proven themselves in the NFL. They have both won the Super Bowl, an MVP, and went to many pro bowls. Their stats are both remarkable, and they both make money in endorsements/commercials. They both are at the top of their position, sport, and career.
Getting angry and fed up with someone arguing the other side of this debate is a waste of time. This is not a debate where someone is right and someone is wrong. With that said, if you are going to back up one side or the other, make sure you have statistics and evidence for your reasoning.
I think Tom Brady has put together a better career than Peyton Manning. I’m about to make a few points as to why he is a better quarterback, and I fully understand if you disagree. There is no right answer, but there are better answers to this question than others.
#1- Peyton Manning’s history of being bounced in his first game of the postseason. Manning is 11-12 in the postseason, and he has been eliminated 8 times in his first postseason game for that year. Tom Brady on other hand is 18-8 in the postseason, and has only been eliminated in the first game twice. (cannot say wildcard round because some loses have been in the divisional round).
It’s funny to listen to these debates and here both sides argue the same exact thing. “Well, [Brady/Manning] had a better supporting cast”. Really? It’s already an impossible argument to end with a winner, so don’t bring this statement into the discussion. The simple fact is that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have had years where their teams have been stacked with talent, and other years where a combination of injuries and lack of talent cripple the skill on the field. They both played for teams that won divisions and clinched playoff byes. Stop pointing fingers at their respective teams and just agree that they both have played on great teams and not as great teams, yet they both are talented enough to not miss a beat.
#2- Brady has been to 5 Super Bowls, and Peyton Manning has been to 3. There are a couple of arguments to discuss here. Some people, to my disbelief, will not give credit to lost Super Bowls. The thing I cannot stand to hear is when people say they rather have a quarterback go to 4 Super Bowls and win all 4 instead of going to 5 and winning 4 of the 5. What logic is that?
Just because Peyton Manning and the Broncos lost yesterday in the Super Bowl does not mean you just erase what happened this year for him. He won a couple of postseason games and advanced to the Super Bowl. 2 teams every year get there, and even if you don’t win its still a great achievement to win a multiple playoff games in one year.
3 Super Bowl appearances is no small feat. Peyton Manning is not nearly the choke artist he was perceived to be early in his career, but he only has 1 ring compared to Brady’s 3. The same amount of losses, but 2 less rings for Manning. That is significant. Brady has led his team to the Super Bowl 5 times in 12 seasons in where he started (excluding the year he tore his ACL and his rookie year where he was the 3rd string) compared to Manning’s 3 appearances in 15 seasons as a starter.
#3- Postseason stats. Comparing Manning’s 23 career postseason games and Tom Brady’s 26 postseason games, Manning has thrown more interceptions than Tom Brady (Manning averages just over an INT/game while Brady is about .8/game). They both average just about the same amount of passing TDs per game (Manning 1.6/game to Brady’s 1.65/game), and the yards per game are also similar (286/game for Manning, 247/game for Brady). The stats are hard to differentiate.
The reason why this is interesting is the fact that Peyton Manning is known to be statistically a better quarterback than Tom Brady. The statistics show that both players have almost the exact averages over their postseason careers.
The fun little postseason statistic I love to point out is Peyton Manning’s performance in the playoffs when he won his first Super Bowl. In 4 games, he averaged about 230 yards per game while throwing for 3 TDs and 7 INTs. That Colts defense carried this team to a title, so when you hear Brady critics point out how great those Patriots defenses were, don’t be afraid to mention this.
#4- Regular season stats. Let’s just present these stats first…
-Yards: Manning 270/game, Brady 255/game
-Passing TDs: Manning 2.05/game, Brady 1.86/game
-INTs: Brady .69/game, Manning .91/game
-Completion %: Manning 65.4%, Brady 63.4%
-QB rating: Manning 97.2, Brady 95.7
This is another argument used for Manning fans to say Peyton has far better statistics than Brady. The stats show that these guys average very comparable statistics over their careers. You can argue them either way, like saying Manning averages more yards and TDs per game, but then a Brady fan can shoot back saying Brady doesn’t turn the ball over as much. I chalk it up to the fact Manning has played in offenses that threw the ball downfield more over the span of his career. He is going to accumulate more yards because of that, but he also is going to turn the ball over more.
The fact is that both QBs are highly efficient and productive, and the stats do not favor one side more than the other by any significance.
#5- The hardware Brady owns compared to Manning’s. Manning does have 5 MVP trophies compared to Brady’s 2. Manning has only missed the Pro Bowl twice while a starter for 15 years compared to Brady missing 3 times in 12 years in which he started. These awards are not be ignored, but the fact is these awards are given to players. These awards are up for debate. One does not “win” an MVP trophy. One “earns” an MVP trophy.
I care about about what my quarterback can win for me. Tom Brady has lead his team to winning 3 Super Bowl titles. These weren’t awarded to him and his team. These were won.
Sure, a Super Bowl victory is a team award and an MVP is an individual award, but we are talking about players that play the most important position in this sport. The quarterback and center are the only 2 players to touch the ball on every snap of the game (technically only the center touches it on every play, but humor me), so you have to have trust that not only will the quarterback protect the football, but he will also make plays. He is the leader on the football team, and he is typically the one calling the shots in the huddle. Sure, those Super Bowls are not only Tom Brady’s, but he the quarterback.
There is a reason why Peyton Manning is up for MVP every year. He’s the quarterback. Why can someone point out a Super Bowl is a team effort while MVP awards clearly favor the quarterback position? It’s because the quarterback is the game changer. He may not be the sole reason for how a team performs, but he is clearly the single most important player on the team.
To conclude briefly, I feel that after comparing Brady’s and Manning’s statistics (regular season and postseason), there is no strong argument to say who is better than who. Both players have had great success in their careers, but when it comes down to it Brady has had more postseason success while Manning has had more regular season acknowledgment. To me, I want my quarterbacks to win Super Bowls. At the end of the day their is no voting or debate on who wins the Super Bowl. The MVP is awarded to a player, it is not won. It’s close, it’s debatable, but I say Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning.
to note (because I have had this come up in this debate multiple times): Manning supporters at times will fire back at me when I bring up Super Bowl wins. They say, “so then Eli Manning is better than Peyton Manning?!” To point this out, I do recall much sports coverage debating who of the brothers will be considered to have the better career after Eli’s 2nd Super Bowl win. That is a joke. Just because some “experts” bring this up on a t.v. show doesn’t mean you should take it seriously. People get caught up in the moment, and this is a wonderful example.
Super Bowl victories are used to differentiate between quarterbacks that are in the same “tier”, if you will, of talent/success. The number of Super Bowl wins is not the “be all end all” statistic to rank which quarterbacks are better than others. It’s a valuable stat to use, perhaps one of the most valuable, but its not the only stat to use when comparing quarterbacks.
Brady and Manning will go down as two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Debating who is the best will likely never end, so just accept it and do not get mad.