Peyton Manning against Tom Brady Part 17 is now in the past, and it added further detail to the long-known fact that The Sheriff is better than Tommy Terrific. It’s just, many people don’t want to realize it.
With Manning now 3-2 against Brady in playoff games, it’s just another reminder we learned (for about the last five or so years,) that Manning is the best quarterback to play since Joe Montana.
Though these two legends have given us so many great debates as to who the better man is, people need to stop overlooking Manning’s accomplishments. He’s simply on another level, and we have seen multiple Tom Bradys before. Yes, you read that correctly.
10 Super Bowl appearances between the two men. Seven MVPs. Countless records set and Division Champions every year, what more can you ask from these two? They’ve fought for league supremacy for 15 years.
I doubt we’ll ever see a two-men rivalry in sports like this ever again, because we’re in an era where defense wins championships and record-breaking quarterbacks are few and far between.
With both men pushing 40, there is no doubt this rivalry is nearing its end, and eventually, the debate as to the better quarterback will be, who knows, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson? Andrew Luck and Blake Bortles?
We’ll find out at some point, but it’s time for us to cherish this rivalry because it may have very well played its final chapter.
Before people jump to conclusions and get mad at me for thinking Brady is inferior to his “rival” (both men are actually great friends in real life), please understand the reasons I outline as to why Manning is the better between the two.
And away we go.
15. More Competition
When Manning was with the Indianapolis Colts, the AFC South division was fairly weak, but the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars did have some solid years and provided the Colts with competition.
The New England Patriots, meanwhile, had the luxury of having laughingstock Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins in their division. That means five easy wins just about every year.
I mean, Manning had to deal with solid quarterbacks Matt Schaub, Kerry Collins, and Steve McNair for years. Who did Brady even have as quarterback competition in his own division?
14. MVP Awards
How else can you define this?
Manning has won a ridiculous NFL-record, five MVP awards in his career. Four with the Indianapolis Colts, and once with the Denver Broncos.
Brady won it twice, in 2007 and 2011. The fact that the league voters have considered Manning more important to his team on three more occasions than Brady goes to show how much more Manning means to his team.
Speaking on that subject…
13. Manning Means More to His Team
Remember the days when the Indianapolis Colts moved on from Manning in 2012 with the first overall pick by selecting Andrew Luck?
I do. That’s when the Colts, despite offensive talent in Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Dallas Clark, went 2-14 when Manning missed the entire season with a neck injury after undergoing several surgeries.
Meanwhile, the 2008 Patriots played basically the entire season without Tom Brady, who was injured in the first quarter of the first game.
The result? An 11-5 record with Matt Cassel, who barely had any experience in NCAA Football. Bill Belichick worked his magic and gave the Patriots an incredible season without Brady.
The Patriots went 10-6 the year Brady returned. So as it turns out, Manning has meant more to his teams than Brady.
12. Ring Count is Invalid
Ask absolutely any NFL analyst or Patriots fan or anyone who says Brady is better than Manning, and 100 times out of 100, they’ll say “rings.”
That’s nice. Rings really do matter in the NFL, but fans have to understand how invalid the rings are. It seems that people totally forget how Belichick and the other 52 men on the roster contributed to the titles.
If rings are what settles arguments, find me an expert who will call career backup Charlie Batch or even Trent Dilfer better than Dan Marino, or Brett Favre.
Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I’m not hearing a lot of people calling him better than Manning?
I think some logic here is wrong and flawed. Let’s put the rings behind us, because yeah, they’re incredibly invalid.
11. Four Different Coaches
Even Rodney Harrison, who is known for his bias towards the Patriots on NBC, said that the Patriots dynasty would have won three titles if Manning was with Belichick.
Brady’s excelled with ONE head coach who is arguably the best all-time at the position. Belichick is simply on another level with his incredible genius and ability to make everything happen.
Manning? He went to a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy in 2007 and won it all. Despite not having good fits with Jim Caldwell in 2010 and John Fox in 2014, Manning still brought his team to the big game.
Then he went with Gary Kubiak, even though Manning and the coach run completely different offenses.
I would just love to see Brady work without Belichick, but maybe that’s just me. Manning’s done it with four different coaches.
10. Bill Belichick
Brady’s success is owed to Bill Belichick, plain and simple.
As I said earlier, Belichick found a way to win 11 games without Brady in 2008. The coach has simply given Brady everything he has needed to win games in his career. A great coach, general manager, and unbelievable supporting cast.
Not a lot of people will say Caldwell or Fox did a lot to help Manning, but he made the most of the poor coaching systems.
9. Brady Isn’t THAT Clutch
This is honestly getting tiring. Why does Brady seem to get every bit of credit for every win in Patriots history?
It was the Patriots defense that held the Greatest Show on Turf-led offense by Kurt Warner to 17 points. It was that Patriots defense that held the Philadelphia Eagles to 21 in their third title. It was Malcolm Butler who saved last year’s Super Bowl.
Somehow, Brady’s very average stats warranted more attention than his Hall of Fame defense and kicker Adam Vinatieri, who made the difference in the first three Super Bowl victories.
Remember Brady’s 100-yard interception to Champ Bailey in the 2005 AFC Divisional? The game-sealing interception in the 2006 AFC Championship? His 14 points scored in Super Bowl XLII despite fielding the greatest offense ever, at the time?
That’s okay. I guess because he did it all on his own, he’s pardoned for the major choke jobs he’s had in the past.
8. Manning’s Made Many Stars
Randy Moss excelled wherever he went. Wes Welker excelled in New England and Denver. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman would do the same anywhere else.
So basically, Brady’s had a few great stars in his system, even though everyone says he has “done more with less.”
Really? How did Dallas Clark do in his career when Manning left? How did Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie do without Peyton? Who were Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and Eric Decker before Manning arrived?
Look at the guy’s Peyton has turned into studs: Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark, Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, and Eric Decker.
Brady has had had four very solid options his whole career, and two of them have proven to be elite wherever they went.
7. Brady’s Supporting Cast
Manning sure would have had more rings if his defense was decent. Remember kids, it was Mike Vanderjagt who missed a late field goal to send the 2005 Divisional against Pittsburgh to overtime.
It was his receivers that had crucial drops in 2007 against San Diego and in Super Bowl XLIV (that onside kick botch didn’t help, either).
It was his defense that gave up a Hail Mary to Baltimore in 2012.
Meanwhile, Brady’s kicker, Adam Vinatieri, made every clutch field goal he had to, in order to win playoff games. His defense also shut down Manning’s offensive juggernaut in two different playoff games.
Hey look, Manning made it to the Super Bowl this year with an elite defense. About time!
6. Their Journey
Manning was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts in 1998 and instantly turned them into a juggernaut.
Brady took over for an 0-2 Patriots team in 2001. So yes, the team rebounded when he replaced Drew Bledsoe. But Brady was still playing with a lights-out defense and strong rushing game which won football games back in the early 2000s.
Manning had to encounter far more adversity and turn the team around on his own, which he did. Brady had all of the pieces lined up to get the Patriots dynasty started.
5. No Cheating Scandals
I’m sorry folks, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Brady was the mastermind who orchestrated Deflategate. The texts messages, the fact he smashed his phone and was so unwilling to cooperate in the investigation is just so obvious. If he had nothing to hide, why smash his phone?
Oh, and when 40 former players and coaches of the Patriots dynasty admitted to stealing opposing teams’ playbooks and videotaping their practice signals, that’s going to leave a huge stain on your success.
So the Patriots have four titles thanks to two major cheating scandals. Pardon Peyton for playing the game fairly.
4. Their Styles of Play
If you look at the way Peyton Manning has played compared to Tom Brady, you need to stop telling me Brady is better.
Brady is in a system where he hangs out in the pocket and throws five-10 yard short passes to Edelman and Gronkowski, who take it the rest of the way. Any quarterback in a Belichick system can do that. We saw Cassel do it.
But Manning’s quarterback ability has allowed him to do way more: The way he reads defenses, his beautiful deep balls (something Brady has never had), his accuracy and mind-reading with his receivers.
Just look at any highlights, it’s that simple. Tell me how many others (besides Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees) have been able to make the throws Manning has. We’ve seen so many people throw short passes like Brady.
3. Many Bradys, One Manning
No one has played the quarterback position like Manning, with his incredible defense-reads, ability to elevate whomever is on his team, and make the most ridiculous throws ever.
But hey, we’ve seen more than one Tom Brady before. Remember Terry Bradshaw and his four titles with Pittsburgh, or the three titles Troy Aikman won with the Dallas Cowboys? Brady did the same for years: He was a game manager with a loaded defense and reliable rushing game, with Hall of Fame coach at the helm.
No one has dominated defenses consistently the way Manning has. It’s hard to think why Brady is better when he’s just a modern-day Bradshaw and Aikman.
Most MVPs ever, most touchdowns in a season, most passing yards in a season, most touchdowns ever, most yards ever, one of two men to beat all 32 NFL teams, 14-time Pro Bowler, largest touchdown/interception differential, all of it.
Oh, and even though he’s a “playoff choker,” he has the most 300-yard playoff games and most game-winning drives in a career.
Brady holds some records, but few as memorable as the ones Peyton holds.
We used stats to call Wayne Gretzky the best ever at hockey, Michael Jordan the best at basketball, Babe Ruth the best of baseball, so why can’t we use stats for football? Hmm. Good question.
Manning has 6,125 completions compared to Brady’s 4,953. The most all-time passing yards with 71,940 compared to 58,028 for Brady.
He has 539 touchdowns compared to Brady’s 428. Manning is fourth all-time in completion percentage with 65.3 compared to Brady’s 63.6. Manning, the “choker” has 45 comeback wins compared to Brady’s 37.
Manning has 270.5 passing yards a game compared to Brady’s 257.9.
Oh, and I think I mentioned something about five MVP awards compared to two? You see, when you consider all of this, you get your answer.
Manning has accomplished far more statistically with five coaches, two teams, many different players, and less cheating scandals.
So yeah, he’s the better quarterback. No question about it.
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