Much has been said over the years about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. "Brady is more accurate and has three SB rings" and "Peyton Manning hardly gets sacked and leads a no-huddle offense" go the respective arguments. Well, even though I chimed in on this seemingly age-old debate in my last article, I think the idea of pitting one QB against another is quite ridiculous. Rather, the question should be, "what is the better matchup: Tom Brady vs. Reggie White or Peyton Manning vs. Bruce Smith?"
Tom Brady is so comfortable in the pocket that he can take a five-step drop before releasing the ball. That's because Brady is calm and moves around in the pocket while his O-line keeps the pass rushers at bay. But, last year (2009), that same O-line allowed 18 sacks and 70 hits on Brady.
Jumping into the Wayback Machine, Reggie White scored three sacks on Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe in Super Bowl XXXI. White is the No. 2 sack master in NFL history with 198 career sacks that took him to 12 consecutive Pro Bowls.
The reasons I pick to pit the second most prolific defensive end angainst Tom Brady are: 1) Brady hardly gets picked off by today's pass defenders and 2) it would just be too entertaining to see 300 pound and fast-as-lightning Reggie White take Brady out of his comfort zone.
Now, because Reggie White was a defensive end, his initial contact would be made with the tackle and the guard. So, if we could transport White from SB XXXI to 2010, how would he measure up against the Patriots guards and tackles? It's hard to say since Light, Kaczur, Neal and Vollmer are within the same weight range as White was. But, White was extremely fluid and fast in his maneuvers because he used a hump, swim and rip move against offensive linemen.
Hump, swim and rip means that White first body-checked the guy in front of him, then "swam" his arms over the OL's back and shoved off, thereby "ripping" the OL from the pocket. After that, it was open season on the QB. Just ask Drew Bledsoe.
We all know that Drew Bledsoe was no Tom Brady and with the Patriots tackles and guards being of comparable size to White, maybe we should ask them if it would be open season on Brady.
Reggie White was 300 lbs and 6'5". LT Matt Light is 305 lbs and 6'4". Now speed and quickness are intangible since both vary from game to game. But, given White's slight advantage in lower weight and taller height, it is safe to assume that he would be able to move inside of Light and execute the hump, swim and rip. Result: Tom Brady gets sacked.
LG Nick Kaczur is 315 lbs and 6'4". With Kaczur, Brady might have a chance at escaping the "Minister of Defense." There is a large discrepancy between 300 and 315 lbs. If Kaczur is quick enough, he could presumably use momentum against White on the hump. The trick would be that Kaczur not let White get under him since it was in that position that the hump was most effective on account that White would be pushing up and forward with his whole body, thereby rocking Kaczur back on his heels.
However, 315 lbs might be enough to negate White's push and the momentum of Kaczur's push could keep the 300 pounder from touching Brady. But, if White gets his arms around Kaczur's back, he could push off of the 315 pounder and launch himself at Brady. Assuming that Kaczur is on his game and quick enough, White is denied a sack. Result: Tom Brady throws a completion.
Who wins in a matchup?
Now, we move Reggie White to the right side. RG Stephen Neal is the same height and weight as Matt Light. We can assume that the result will be the same: Tom Brady gets sacked.
Then, we have Sebastian Vollmer who is 6'6" tall and weighs 315 lbs. Vollmer is just two inches taller than Kaczur. Again, we can assume the same outcome in comparison to White vs. Kaczur: Tom Brady throws a completion.
That's twice that Brady is saved and twice that Brady is sacked. This works out to almost equal White's average of 1.5 sacks per game in his first four NFL years.
In this scenario two of Brady's OL's got totally schooled and Brady got driven into the ground by the No. 2 sack master. In this scenario, the winner is Reggie White.
But, we'll never know for real. Too bad. It would be great to see how this decade's most decorated QB would respond to the "Minister of Defense."