Brady versus Manning

Jamie Heap
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The latest head-to-head battle between NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning on the November 24 edition of NBC’s Sunday Night Football was one for the ages, reinvigorating the debate as to which of the two is the better quarterback.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady owns a 10-4 all-time head-to-head record versus his Denver Broncos counterpart Peyton Manning. Experts believe that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are two of the greatest quarterbacks of this or any generation.

Just when it seemed that the edge belonged to Manning based on his record-breaking touchdown passing pace, Brady, who is having a less than stellar season by his high standards, added another wrinkle to the ongoing debate by overcoming a 24-0 half time deficit. In overtime, the final score was Patriots 34-Broncos 31.

If the Brady VS Manning debate were just based on regular season accomplishments, excluding head-to-head and the postseason, the edge goes to Manning. Manning has four NFL MVP awards and 12 Pro Bowl appearances compared to Brady’s two MVPs and eight Pro Bowl selections. As for division titles, Brady has ten compared to nine for Manning, a negligible difference.

However, when head-to-head matchups and the postseason are factored in, Brady holds a decisive edge over his fellow top 5 all-time NFL quarterback. Brady has won ten of their 14 matchups, including the aforementioned thrilling 34-31 comeback victory a couple Sundays ago. While it is true that one player does not a team make, and that the New England Patriots’ defensive line played an integral role in the comeback through their multiple interceptions of Manning’s passes, the fact remains that, at the end of the day, Brady outperformed his QB counterpart.

It is interesting to note that despite the fact that Manning is now a member of the Denver Broncos that all 14 of their regular and postseason matchups have taken place in either Foxboro, Massachusetts, home of the Patriots, or Indianapolis, Indiana when Peyton Manning was a still a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

As for their postseason resumes, Brady has three Super Bowl titles, the last coming in 2004, and two Super Bowl MVPs compared to Manning’s one in each category.

In terms of conference titles, Brady has five compared to Manning’s two, the same number of times that Peyton Manning’s younger brother Eli Manning has led the New York Giants to Super Bowl victories over Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Leave it to the Manning brothers to offer Brady his greatest gridiron challenges.

Organizations: New England Patriots, NFL, Denver Broncos Indianapolis Colts New York Giants

Geographic location: Foxboro, Massachusetts, Indianapolis, Indiana

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  • threepwood
    December 19, 2013 - 17:38

    The debate used to be "Manning vs. Belichick" then when Brady started pulling in MVP numbers only THEN did it become "Manning vs. Brady". Tom Brady is the Kobe Bryant of the NFL...taking all credit for past success when it was really the defense and Belichick (or Shaq) that made those championships happen.