Blog Entry

Manning vs. Brady

Posted on: August 12, 2011 6:58 pm
I was reading one of the top threads today, and the subject of it was whether or not Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. The poll results said he was not, but quite an argument proceeded.

At one point, there was talk of Brady not even being the greatest of his generation. Peyton Manning would be the only competitor for that title, and so I decided to crunch some numbers

First off, we have to define what we are even discussing. What is the definition of the greatest quarterback of all time or even of his generation? Often times, people argue about something but they both have a different take on what they are arguing about.  

So what makes up the greatest quarterback? Is it about pure individual success at the position and truly mastering it? Or is about what their team does and how clutch they are?

I believe the title "Greatest Quarterback" should be donned upon the most skilled person out there. Many quarterbacks are not even considered simply because they played for a terrible team and did not have post season success as a team.

Your success as a player heavily relies on your team. It depends on what kind of defense you have, what kind of running back and blockers you have, and also it can depend on how your kicker.

So in order to figure out how good of a quarterback one is, you have to go to the numbers. But in order for the results not to be slued, you have to take numbers. Just because a player plays longer than another does not mean they are better at their position. I do believe something is to be said for longevity but for this case, we have to use averages and percents.

I started crunching Peyton Manning and Tom Brady's numbers and got mixed results. Both are extremely good quarterbacks with very good stats. Their rivalry adds to this constant dispute of who is greater, and many say Brady just for the fact that he has won more rings. All three of those rings were won by his kicker at the end, and his defense was also superb. Peyton has seen some playoff success, but his defense has often not been as superb as Brady's.

So here are the numbers. The pure evidence of who is better. Granted, that does not solve things as you debate for hours about statistics, but it is a better ground to go off of. The numbers in parentheses are the number of seasons/games for that player.

Tom Brady (9)                                                               Reg. Season                                                            Peyton Manning (13) 
521.7                                                                             Att./Yr.                                                                                         554.6
63.6                                                                               Com. Pct.                                                                                      64.9
3,851.3                                                                           Yds./Yr.                                                                                    4,217.5
7.38                                                                                Yds./Att.                                                                                         7.6
11.6                                                                                Yds./Com.                                                                                    11.7
239.6                                                                              Yds./Game                                                                                  263.6
29.0                                                                                TD/Yr.                                                                                          30.7
5.5                                                                                  TD %                                                                                             5.5
11.4                                                                                INT/Yr.                                                                                         15.2
2.2                                                                                  INT %                                                                                            2.7
27.1                                                                                SK/Yr.                                                                                          17.8
4.9                                                                                  SK %                                                                                             3.1
6.7                                                                                  NY/Att.                                                                                           7.2
6.8                                                                                  ANY/Att.                                                                                         7.0
95.2                                                                                Rate                                                                                            94.9

110                                                                                 Yds./Att.+                                                                                      114
112                                                                                 NYds./Att.+                                                                                    121
115                                                                                 AYds./Att.+                                                                                    116
116                                                                                 ANYds./Att.+                                                                                  120
112                                                                                 CMP%+                                                                                         119
118                                                                                 TD%+                                                                                           118
114                                                                                 INT%+                                                                                          106
110                                                                                 Sk%+                                                                                            123
118                                                                                 Rate+                                                                                           118

(19)                                                                             Post Season                                                                                     (18)

22.3                                                                                 Cmp./G                                                                                       24.2
35.9                                                                                 Att./G                                                                                          38.4
231.9                                                                               Yds./G                                                                                       286.9
1.6                                                                                   TD/G                                                                                            1.6
0.8                                                                                   INT/G                                                                                          1.06
6.46                                                                                 Yds./Att.                                                                                        7.5
10.4                                                                                 Yds./Cmp.                                                                                   11.9
62.2                                                                                 Cmp. %                                                                                       62.9
85.7                                                                                 Rate                                                                                           87.6

(4)                                                                                 Super Bowl                                                                                       (2)

250.3                                                                               Yds./G                                                                                       290.0
25.0                                                                                 Cmp./G                                                                                       28.0
39.0                                                                                 Att./G                                                                                          41.5
1.8                                                                                   TD/G                                                                                            1.0
0.3                                                                                   INT/G                                                                                           1.0
6.4                                                                                   Yds./Att.                                                                                       7.0
10.0                                                                                 Yds./Cmp.                                                                                   10.4
64.1                                                                                 Cmp. %                                                                                       67.4
94.9                                                                                 Rate                                                                                           67.4

So there they are. All stats are from

Overall, they have similar statistics. Peyton is a little better yards wise. Brady throws less INTs, but Peyton is sacked a lot less. You can argue one has a better line than the other, but both are very aware QBs.

In the post season, Peyton has better stats except for INTs, and it is the same case in Super Bowls. Peyton has a much lower rating because of more INTs and less TDs, but he better numbers otherwise.

Interpret the numbers as you will. Peyton has more wins, but Brady has more rings. Their team plays a big role in their personal success and the stats help to show who is better. They have such similar numbers it is very hard to clearly pick out the better one.

Let the debate rage on.

Category: NFL
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