In sports, there is always a lot of debate over who the greatest player of all time is at a certain position, or just in a specific sport. Naturally, this is occurring in football.
Lately, I keep hearing Peyton Manning's name getting thrown around as the GOAT at the QB position. I will start by saying I don't like to anoint a player as the greatest ever until his career is over and can be judged in its entirety.
I believe it is an insult to players such as Montana, Elway, and other greats to assume someone is clearly on his way to being better than them. So as for Manning, he could ultimately go down as the best QB ever to play the game. However, as of the end of this season he is, in my opinion, not even the best QB playing currently.
Let's face it, the QB is probably the most important position in all sports and winning championships is a big part of greatness at that position. In no other team sport, second closest is probably a goalie in hockey, does one particular position player hold that much more value than anyone on the field.
This is exemplified in all the new rules to try to protect the QBs from hits and injuries. If you are going to be the most important player, by far, it means a large part of your teams success falls on your shoulders and winning is more in your hands than any other player.
I am a big advocate of stats, although not so much QB rating because it can skewed easily. Here are some stats to make a case for Brady over Manning as of right now. These are stats from the playoffs, when Peyton and Brady are suppose to earn those big paychecks, I find to be compelling. You can check their regular season stats too because their winning percentages are pretty much the same as well with a slight edge to Brady.
Overall Playoff Stats:
Manning - 28 TDs, 19 INTs, 62.9%, 87.6 QBR in 18 Games
Brady - 28 TDs, 15 INTs, 62.0%, 85.5 QBR in 18 Games
Wild Card/ Division Games TDs/INTs:
Manning - 21/12 in 13 games
Brady - 15/9 in nine games
So far it seems pretty similar in stats all together with them having extremely similar numbers, but lets dig deeper.
Conference Championships/Superbowls TDs/INTs:
Manning - 7/7 in five games
Brady - 13/6 in nine games
So, in the biggest games, Brady by far outshines Manning. Throwing one fewer INT in four more games. Anyone who has ever played sports wants a guy who can come up big in crunch over the guy who balls all year only to choke in the big game. Brady has only thrown one INT in four superbowls for goodness sake. However, some will still argue that it's not just how you play in the big games, but how you play in all games.
Overall Playoff Record:
Manning - (9-9)
Brady - (14-4)
Now, I know all you Manning lovers out there are still holding on and getting heated probably saying to yourself this guy is clearly a Patriots fan and can't see how Manning reads defenses and has changed the game. Well, first, I am New Yorker and a die-hard Giants Fan. Not too mention a Yankees fan and cannot stand the Boston stuff altogether.
Second, all QBs read defenses. I am not saying Manning doesn't do it exceptionally well and is undoubtedly the best at it. However, I am saying it's the QB's job to know if it is cover two, or three, or man, etc., find where the blitz comes from and point it out.
Yes, Manning runs no huddle in his system exceptionally well, but you cannot blame someone else for winning the old fashion way, or in a different system. It doesn't matter if a running back runs over you or around as long as the end result is a touchdown. A lot of people will like the highlight juke and lean toward that, but it is all the same.
For a QB, it doesn't matter how you get the win as long as you win. There is no better way of winning and both of these guys win Brady just seems to do it a little bit more and a lot more on the biggest stage.
Also for those who want to point to teams and say Brady has always had better teams, that is a fine line to press. Brady won his superbowls with recievers Bethel Johnson, Troy Brown, David Givens, and Deion Branch. All who haven't done much elsewhere.
Also Brady won his first two superbowls with Antowain Smith as the feature back. The defenses were strong, but that's because they relied on Brady then to make something great happen with average recievers freeing them up to bulster their defense more. Also, Brady taking a paycut helps because the man wants to win.
I am sure those of you that are 100 percent Peyton people will almost never be convinced and will point to the fact he has one Super Bowl and that's enough for him to claim the top spot. Well one ring will join you with the likes of Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Jeff Hostetler, and either little brother Eli (who is the man) but multiple places you with names like Montana and Elway.
Of course as I said Manning has plenty of time left to add rings to his fingers and place himself in that best of all time spot. However, so does Tom Brady.