Peyton Manning vs Dan Marino: Which QB Will Be Most Revered in NFL History?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 11:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls a play during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is undoubtedly one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, but how does he compare to former Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino?

In Marino's prestigious NFL career he threw for 420 passing touchdowns and won 147 games as a starting quarterback. 

In Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Manning became only the third quarterback in NFL history to reach the 400-yard touchdown mark, and entering Sunday's contest with the Carolina Panthers was only one touchdown and victory shy of tying Marino's mark. 

Today, Peyton Manning needs win & 1 TD pass to tie @danmarino's career totals (147 wins, 420 TDs). #DENvsCAR

— Jon Zimmer (@NFLhistory) November 11, 2012

Against the Panthers Manning had a typical Peyton Manning game, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown in the Broncos' 36-14 rout over Carolina. The victory accomplished both goals for Manning—he tied Marino in both victories and touchdown passes thrown.

With Manning statistically matching Marino, it now becomes much more difficult to determine exactly which quarterback is the best in the league's history. 

Unfortunately for Marino, he is known as the greatest quarterback to never win a Super Bowl, while Manning was a Super Bowl MVP with the Indianapolis Colts and has a legitimate shot at another Lombardi Trophy this season with the Broncos. 

Marino was named to the Pro Bowl nine times. Manning has made the squad 11 times—and counting. Marino was named NFL MVP just once, while Manning has already won the AP MVP Award four times. Once again, that isn't a final tally for the Broncos quarterback. 

In 17 seasons with the Dolphins, Marino completed 59 percent of his passes for just over 61,000 yards with the aforementioned 420 touchdowns to go along with 252 interceptions. 

Conversely, Manning is in his 15th season in the NFL and has completed 65 percent of his passes for over 57,000 yards to go with the 420 touchdowns and 204 interceptions. He was also the fastest ever to 50,000 yards and 400 touchdowns. 

It's important to note that Manning played in a league that was dramatically shifting to a pass-heavy attack as the NFL evolved into what we know it as today. Manning has managed to promote that evolution more than anyone after his work in Indianapolis, in which he essentially called the offense himself with his exceptional ability to read defenses at the line of scrimmage. 

That's not to take away from Marino's accomplishments as he won registered a historic amount of statistics and victories at the helm of a great offense as well. What separates the two is Manning's ability to win the Super Bowl. 

Peyton Manning versus Dan Marino is a debate that will endure for generations. On Sunday, Manning once again made history. The debate continues as Manning forges his way through another excellent season.