Tom Brady Might Be More of Drew Brees' Caliber Than Peyton Manning's

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIDecember 28, 2008

The 2008 season has taught us a lot.

So much has changed since 2007 that it has perhaps now given NFL analysts and fans alike, the opportunity to re-evaluate their perceptions of history.

For years, the debate has always been about who is better between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Due to the severe injury Brady sustained combined with the exceptional performance of Drew Brees this season, I feel a new comparison has become worthy of discussion.

Let's face it, Peyton Manning's MVP-caliber season has propelled him into a stratosphere that few if any other quarterbacks have ever been in the realm of.

He has thrown for 19,182 more yards than Tom Brady.

He has thrown 136 more touchdown passes than Tom Brady.

His career quarterback rating is higher despite playing for longer, making his quarterback rating all the more difficult to maintain at such a high level.

He has been to five more Pro Bowls than Tom Brady.

Yes he has played longer but until Brady comes anywhere near the production that is Peyton Manning's record-setting numbers, he has to be viewed more in the league of a player such as Drew Brees.

I've heard the very poor arguments such as...

"Tom Brady has won two more Super Bowls than Peyton."

and "He's never had the same weapons as Peyton Manning."

Such lack of insight has been addressed here...and here...

When people finally realize that Super Bowl rings are a result of a "team" effort, they will be further along in understanding the content of this proposed comparison.

Now it is time to take a look at the careers of both Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Both quarterbacks began their careers in 2001 and despite both players missing playing time since, they have both played about an equal amount of time. Here are the numbers...

Tom Brady (110 Games): 2,301 of 3,650 for 26,446 yards, 197 touchdowns, and 86 interceptions. Quarterback rating of 92.9

Drew Brees(106 Games): 2,334 for 3,653 for 26,258 yards, 168 touchdowns, and 99 interceptions. Quarterback rating of 89.4

Those numbers are almost identical.

The argument has often been made that Tom Brady has never had any "weapons." Drew Brees is certainly a player that comes to mind when noticing that he usually seemed to lack quality receivers.

Only two players ever eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark in San Diego and now New Orleans, one of them being a tight end in Antonio Gates.

But unlike Tom Brady, Brees has rarely had a quality defense to back him up, thus he played in more pressure situations and had to do more as an individual to help his team win.

To me, that makes his statistics all the more impressive.

Tom Brady has been to four Pro Bowls and Brees has been to three.

Tom Brady won both the league MVP and Offensive Player of The Year award in 2007 and Drew Brees is a major candidate to win the Offensive Player of The Year award this year.

Now, I wouldn't be as bold as to say that Drew Brees is better than Tom Brady. I personally believe that Brady is the better quarterback.

But if you look at the comparison in an impartial manor, it looks like Tom Brady is more in Drew Brees' league than Peyton Manning's.