The Peyton Manning / Tom Brady Debate: Recent History

Ken KnightCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2009

In all reality, the NFL of today should be titled the WHYDLFL. That stands for the “What Have You Done Lately Football League.”

This is due to the fact that we live in the “here and now” age of glitzy bling, short memories, and instant gratification.

Allow me to put the recent numbers in front of you so you can decide the “Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?” debate for yourself.

Despite what I feel and what the numbers tell, I have a feeling where Patriots fans will stand on this issue.

There is only one side to that coin.

Based on the ‘here and now,” I am going back over the last three full seasons each of the two has played.

For Manning, it will encompass the combined averages over the ‘06, ‘07, and ‘08 seasons.

To be fair to Brady regarding his 2008 injury, I covered the combined averages amassed over the ‘05, ‘06, and also his record-breaking 2007 seasons.

I am separating regular and postseason comparisons. Many of these numbers are eerily similar and so very close.


The Regular Season Numbers

Please remember, these are the combined averages for each of the entire three-year spans. I believe in the “KISS” format: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

Win pct.: Brady .791 (38-10), Manning .770 (37-11)—Edge by .021 of a percentage points and 1 win = Brady

Comp. pct.: Manning 65.7, Brady 64.5—Edge by 1.2 percentage points = Manning

Total yards: Brady 12,445, Manning 12,439—Edge by 6 yards = Brady

4,000-yard seasons: Manning 3 (’05, ‘06, ’07), Brady 2 (‘05, ’07)—Edge = Manning

Yards per pass play: Brady 7.6, Manning 7.6—Dead even

Yards per game: Brady 259.3, Manning 259.1—Edge by 0.2 yards = Brady

TD passes: Brady 100, Manning 89—Edge by 11 = Brady

Interceptions: Brady 34, Manning 35—Edge by 1 = Brady

Quarterback passer rating: Brady 98.4, Manning 98.0—Edge by 0.4 points = Brady

Division opponents win pct.: Manning .535 (77-67), Brady .368 (53-91)—Edge by .167 = Manning

Head-to-head meetings: Manning is 2-1 and the Colts outscored the Pats 91-61—Edge = Manning

Taking into consideration how close these numbers and stats actually are, I would have to give an overall slight edge to Manning. Clearly, he has had to play in a much tougher division than Brady. He also holds a 2-1 edge in head-to-head wins.

I would like to pose this question: Would the Colts have won 11 games this past season had Manning been injured and lost for the entire season on the second offensive drive of the 2008 season?

You also must remember, Manning was entering the 2008 NFL season coming off of major knee surgery.

I just cannot wait to see how Brady compares when faced with the same situation, coming into the 2009 NFL season with an overrated offensive line that led the NFL in sacks allowed in 2008 with 47.


When It Really Matters: The Playoff Numbers

Win pct.: Manning .666 (4-2), Brady .625 (5-3)—Edge by .041 percentage points = Manning

Comp. pct.: Manning 63.9, Brady 61.6—Edge by 2.3 percentage points = Manning

Total yards: Manning 2,016, Brady 2,003—Edge by 13 yards = Manning

Yards per pass play: Brady 7.6, Manning 7.5—Edge by 0.1 yards = Brady

Yards per game: Manning 323.5, Brady 252.6—Edge by 70.9 yards per game = Manning

TD passes: Brady 15, Manning 7—Edge by 8 TDs = Brady

Interceptions: Brady 9, Manning 9—Edge = Brady (He played in one more game than Manning.)

Quarterback passer rating: Brady 88.2, Manning 86.2—Edge by 2 points = Brady

Head-to-head meetings: Manning is 1-0—Edge = Manning

Please remember this is based on each quarterback's last three full seasons played. THAT IS ALL THIS ARTICLE PERTAINS TO! Do not attempt to bring up any other numbers.

So again, if you are talking about the “here and now,” in my opinion, you would have to give the edge to Manning. He is 1-0 in the Super Bowl over the course of his last full three seasons, and Brady is 0-1 over the course of his last three.

I realize many of the numbers are similar and this subject is quite debatable, but I have got to go with the guy who has done it recently. By the time the next Super Bowl kicks off, it will have been five years since Brady had won one. That is almost ancient history.


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