The NFL playoffs just got a whole less ugly. The Mannings, are out. First, the Giants choked their way out of a playoff bid, sparing us the sulking sour puss of Eli Manning. Then, the NFL’s golden child, Peyton Manning, could not guide his team past a lackluster toe-suck effort against the Jets. Just like that, all the attention of irate fans has been turned on Tom Brady. Suddenly, ignorance is flowing like the beer consumption at a kegger. “Whatever, the Jets are gonna smack the Patriots, Tom Brady sucks! He’s a system quarterback! Rex will figure him and Belichick out!” Laughable, I know, but also true. The problem is, when I see these blasphemous status updates of my friends, who don’t know a nickelback from the band “Nickelback”, I can’t blame them. At least not entirely. I blame the analysts on national networks who keep up the charade of comparing Tom Brady to Peyton Manning for all these years and for all the ratings.
Now as I’m sure you all know, based on the wonderful analysis of ex-NFL players, and Chris Berman’s guidance, that Peyton Manning has the stats, while Brady has the championships. But when you take a look at these stats, you find out much more. First, Manning has thrown 2,500 more passes in his career, so you cannot compare raw numbers. When you compare statistics based on yards per attempt, QB rating, and TD:INT ratio, you get these two lines for their careers…
Brady: 7.4 yards per attempt, 95.2 QB Rating, 2.6:1 TD/INT ratio
Manning: 7.6 Yards per attempt, 94.9 QB Rating, 2:1 TD/INT ratio
Based on those simple numbers, you can see that Brady is a tick better in QB Rating, and considerably better in the amount of touchdowns he throws per interception. Manning averages a fraction more yards per attempt, but it would seem to be negligible. Two-tenths of a yards is 7.2 inches after all. My head hurts from mental math, so I’m going to get back to easier stats. It seems the thesis of all those moronic Brady haters (who probably don’t know what a thesis is) rests at: “He’s a system quarterback. He never throws the ball more than five yards. Manning can at least throw the ball down the field.”
Sorry. That’s just not true. If the “system” you’re referencing that Brady runs is the West Coast offense, then yes, it’s true he is a system quarterback. That’s like calling Bar Rafaeli pretty, because she is a byproduct of a “system” in which she wears a bikini, professionally. If that’s true for any girl, my time at a beach would be much more enjoyable. However, since half the offenses in the NFL run some form of a pass-heavy West Coast offense, the first part of your argument is invalid. Jay Cutler in a bikini or running the West Coast offense is still ugly. The opposite of Bar Rafaeli in her bikini.
If Brady not being able to “throw the ball more than five yards” is the next part of your argument, you’re more wrong than a Super Bowl 4th quarter pick six to Tracy Porter . Here are two mystery players statistics over the past six full seasons as NFL Quarterbacks.
Player A: 20+ Yard Completions: 309, 40+ Yard Completions: 63
Player B: 20+ Yard Completions: 293, 40+ Yard Completions: 46
That’s right. Your stomach just dropped when you realized Tom Brady is player A. The man who never throws a pass more than five yards somehow, miraculous as it may seem, has completed more deep passes than Archie’s prodigal son over those last six full seasons. Now, I’m about to compare postseasons, but you can imagine it’s only getting uglier for Peyton’s apologists.
Brady is 14-4 in his postseason career, with three Super Bowls. Peyton is 9-10 in his postseason career, with one Super Bowl. Manning has thrown 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Brady has thrown one less touchdown and five less interceptions, in one less game. I’m going out on a limb and assuming Brady won’t throw five picks against the Jets on Sunday, since he only threw four all season.
What shouldn’t be lost in this blog, is that I don’t think Manning is a bad quarterback. Far from it. It’s just that he’s not on Brady’s level. Sure, Manning has done amazing things in his NFL career. He’s also done it with two hall of fame wide receivers in Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, and a potential hall of fame tight end in Dallas Clark. Brady? He had hall of famer Randy Moss for two full seasons (not including Brady’s lost year for ACL surgery, or Moss’ being traded this season). Otherwise, Brady has thrown to guys like David Patten, Troy Brown, Deion Branch, David Givens, Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, Daniel Graham, Ben Watson, Wes Welker, and the rest of the 2010 misfits turned stars, like Danny Woodhead. Sure, all those wide receivers had very productive years with the Patriots, but once Brady got them their stats, and another team made them rich with a big contract, we rarely heard from them again. Just ask Deion Branch how much easier it is to be a wide receiver with Tom Brady delivering perfect passes to your chest.
When this post-season is all said and done, Brady may be a four-time Super Bowl champion. He will almost definitely be named the 2010 NFL Regular Season MVP, his second. That’s one department Peyton does have Tom beat. Manning’s four regular season MVP awards trump Brady. But if you think Peyton Manning is more valuable than Tom Brady, you’re dead wrong. Look at the stats. Look at the records. Look at the wins and losses. Look at the supermodel wife. No matter how you cut it, Brady beats Manning.