Peyton Manning is 4-10 against Tom Brady and the Patriots, including a 1-2 mark in AFC Championship games. There's more: Overall, Manning is 10-11 in the postseason while Brady is 18-7. And, oh yeah, Manning has just one Super Bowl ring to Brady's three.
These are all talking points in the lead up to the latest Manning-Brady Bowl, Sunday's conference championship get-together between two of the game's greatest quarterbacks. Vegas favors the hometown Broncos (-4.5), as do five of the eight CBSSports.com experts, but Denver's executive vice president of football operations John Elway -- the last man to lead the team to a title, by the way -- thinks Manning doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
“He's won a Super Bowl. For some reason he doesn't seem to get the credit for having won one Super Bowl already,” Elway told the New York Daily News Tuesday. “I think maybe the comparison is Tom going to five and Peyton having been to two and winning one, that may be it.”
The Daily News makes the case that Manning's public perception problem is that his lone Super Bowl win came against the Rex Grossman-led Bears. Also not helping: Eli Manning, Peyton's younger brother, has two Lombardi Trophies with the Giants in six fewer NFL seasons.
“Fair or not, that's the way it is,” Elway continued. “As a quarterback, especially the level you're at with Peyton, that's what they are going to look at. If we can win a championship this year, it's going to help with Peyton's legacy. Even if we don't, I think the year that he's had this year is going to still help with his legacy. He's had a tremendous year. For some reason, Peyton is not getting the credit -- he's been there twice and he got one. You get to the point where Peyton is, the greatness that he's had, there is always someone trying to put chinks in the armor and that's what they go after.”
Elway can take solace in knowing that we're already firm believers in Manning's legacy. The man came back from four neck surgeries and was one of the NFL's best players during the 2012 season -- at age 36. And somehow, he's gotten better in 2013.
Of course, if Manning and the Broncos win their next two games, that will give him two Super Bowl rings, pulling him even with Eli and just one behind Brady, whose last Super Bowl win would have come in Feb. 2005.