2004 Peyton Manning Vs. 2007 Tom Brady

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2004 Peyton Manning Vs. 2007 Tom Brady
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In my other thread ("Greatest Statistical Season for QB"), I compared what I believe are the 6 greatest statistical seasons a QB has ever had. Two of these seasons were 2004 Peyton Manning and 2007 Tom Brady. These are extremely close, but I am going to explain why Peyton Manning's season is superior to Brady's.

Going off simple stats, it appears that Brady has better stats. The simple stats I used to compare are Completion percentage (Cmp%), Passing Yards (Yds), Passing TDs (TDs), Interceptions (INTs), Yards per attempt (Y/A), Yards per completion (Y/C), and Quarterback rating (QB Rtg.). Lets compare:

2004 Peyton Manning

16 Games: 336/497, 67.6 Cmp%, 4557 YDs, 49 TDs, 10 INTs, 9.2 Y/A, 13.6 Y/C, 121.1 QB Rtg.

2007 Tom Brady

16 Games: 398/578, 68.9 Cmp%, 4806 YDs, 50 TDs, 8 INTs, 8.3 Y/A, 12.1 Y/C, 117.2 QB Rtg.

Some people in my last thread said Brady's season was better because he had more yards, TDs, and less INTs. But we cannot ignore the fact that Brady had 81 more passing attempts in 2007 than Peyton Manning did in 2004. Manning averaged 31 attempts per game. 81 attempts for Manning would have meant playing more than 2 and a half games. So in essence, Brady played 10 more quarters than Manning.

We don't know what Manning would have done with 10 more quarters, but we can simulate it. The way to do this is pretty simple. We are going to use Manning's averages from his 2004 season to see what he would have done with 81 more attempts. If Manning continued the exact same pace of his 2004 season, here would be his stats with 81 more attempts:

2004 Peyton Manning with 81 more attempts

391/578, 67.6 Cmp%, 5295 Yds, 57 TDs, 12 INTs, 121.1 QB Rtg.

I'm not sure if the QB rating is correct. I think it wouldn't change because his averages stay the same, but I really can't tell you. Heres how I calculated each of these stats: Going off of Manning's 67.6 Cmp%, we can estimate that he would have completed 54 more passes with 81 more attempts. I added that to his passes completed and passes attempted. For Yds, Manning's Y/C (Yards per completion) was 13.6. I multiplied 13.6 times 54 more completions, and got 738 yards. We add that to his total of 4557, and he ends up with 5295. Manning's TD% (% of pass attempts that are TDs) was about 10%. 10% of 81 is 8.1, so he would have had ABOUT 8 more TDs. Add that to his total of 49 and thats 57 TDs. I did the same thing for INTs. His INT% was 2%. That means 2% of all his passes are INTs. 2% of 81 attempts is 1.62. So I rounded it to 2 INTs. He had 10, and with 81 more attempts he would have had ABOUT 2 more, so thats 12.

So I don't believe its fair to penalize Manning because he had 81 less attempts than Brady. Here are the final comparisons:

2004 Peyton Manning with 81 more attempts

391/578, 67.6 Cmp%, 5295 Yds, 57 TDs, 12 INTs, 121.1 QB Rtg.

2007 Tom Brady

16 Games: 398/578, 68.9 Cmp%, 4806 YDs, 50 TDs, 8 INTs, 8.3 Y/A, 12.1 Y/C, 117.2 QB Rtg.

I hope I have made it clear now. I realize that Peyton's stats wouldn't have exactly been what I posted above. The truth is, no one will ever know what Manning's stats would be with 81 more pass attempts. The best we can do is calculate his stats on his 2004 pace with 81 more attempts. And thats what I did. Even if you don't care for these stats because football is unpredictable and because we can't predict the future, don't penalize Manning's counting stats. As I stated before, its almost like Brady played 10 more quarters than Manning did.

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