Manning vs. Brady…An Honest Look

Peyton Manning or Tom Brady…Who’s Better? (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)

I’m tired of this “Brady is the greatest!” banter. Finally, let the stats tell the truth!

Of course I am absolutely bias toward Manning, but let’s get real here! It’s taken Brady over 70 more passes than Manning to hit 50 TDs and snapping the last ball of every single game in 2007 to do it when Manning sat out more than half of the fourth quarters he played in 2004. That’s called not being good enough to consistently show up in quarters 1-3 and having to pad the stats in the Q4. Manning also had a passer rating of 121.1 to Brady’s 117.2.

Let’s warm up our comparison with some other highlights from Peyton’s career…Here are some overall stats (from CBS Sportsline, ESPN and Pro Football Reference):

Most season with 4,000+ passing yards: 8
Most consecutive seasons with 4,000+ yards: 6
Most consecutive seasons with at least 25 TD passes: 10
Most games with a perfect passer rating: 4
Most consecutive games started to begin a career as a QB: 160
Higher season passer-rating: 121.1 (2004)
Most consecutive games with at least 2 TD passes: 13 (games 1-13, 2004)
Most consecutive games with at least 4 TD passes: 5 (games 7-11, 2004)
Most games with at least 4 TD passes in a season: 6, 2004 (tied with Marino, 1984)
Most passing attempts: 575
Most completions: 326
Most passing yards: 3,739
Most TD passes: 26
Most consecutive games with at least one TD pass: 13 (games 1-13, 1998)
Most completions (career): 956
Most passing/receiving yards (career): 12,931
Most passing/receiving TDs (career): 109
Most passing attempts (career): 134
Most completions (career): 81
Most passing yards (career): 1,131
Most passing TDs (career): 12
*There are over 48 franchise records, so I’m not even about to go into them. Just know that he is the single greatest quarterback to wear the Blue out of a long line of decent to impressive QBs.


Now, for the comparison! This should settle all the “Brady’s-the-best/Peyton’s-overrated” crap going around!!! Oh, and these stats have Peyton’s rank in the all-time lists for each category available. I would put Brady‘s but, gosh, he just doesn’t have any ranking yet. Hm. I italicized the stats where Peyton beats Tom and indented where Tom beats Peyton to make it easier to keep track. All stats are from nfl.

A Quick Note:
Peyton Manning entered the league in 1998, #1 in Draft.
Tom Brady entered the league in 2000, #199 in Draft.

Games Played/Started w/ Percentage: Manning: 160/160 (100%)…Brady: 112/110 (98.2%)
     Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: Manning: 1/1…Brady: 3/4
TD passesManning: 306 (4th)…Brady: 197
Passes Completed/Attempts: Manning: 3,468/5,405 (8th)…Brady: 2,294/3,642
Completion Percentage: Manning: 64.2% (4th)…Brady: 63.0%
Passing Yards: Manning: 41,626 (9th)…Brady: 26,370 yards
Career Passer Rating: Manning: 94.7 (2nd)…Brady: 92.9
Passing Yard Average per Play: Manning: 7.7…Brady: 7.2
Passing Yards per Game: Manning: 260.2 (1st)…Brady: 235.5
     TDs in a Season: Manning: 49…Brady: 50
     INTs: Manning: 153 …Brady: 86
     Percentage of INTs to Pass Attempts: Manning: 2.8%…Brady: 2.3%
Sacks: Manning: 191 …Brady: 203
Sacks/Yardage Lost: Manning: 1,232 …Brady: 1,278
Rushing Attempts: Manning: 289…Brady: 276
Rushing Yardage: Manning: 696…Brady: 533
Rushing Yard Average: Manning: 2.4…Brady: 1.9
Rushing TDs: Manning: 16…Brady: 5
Fumbles Lost/Fumbles: Manning: 17/51…Brady: 29/65

When it comes to winning Super Bowls, Brady’s been there and he’s done it, and, yes, that’s important. He’s been a part of more Championship-caliber teams than Manning, but we’re talking about stats and who is going to go down as The Greatest. Peyton has this hands down as of 2008! Let the stats talk…

Manning is the greatest QB to ever have taken a snap! No question.

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  • Michael

    It’s hard to not be biased when you are, but Jonathon is absolutely right.  The most important thing is winning the Super Bowl, but if you are rating an individuals performance then you have to through championships out of the window.  Championships are won by a TEAM and this comparison is based on individual performance.  and on that level Brady has yet to get into Peyton’s league. 

  • jonathon

    No doubt. Brady is a good QB, there’s no question. He’s outstanding in the pocket and he’s got that calculating sense about him that makes him one of the best QBs to bring your team back from a 4th quarter deficit, but there is no comparison statistically between Brady and Peyton Manning. NO COMPARISON. Anyone who disagrees, look at the stats. Look. At. The. Stats.

  • Tim

    and Maris played six more games than Ruth…just imagine what Brady would do with all the weapons Peyton has had in his career.  Edge, Harrison, Wayne…Troy Brown, Antowain Smith, Kevin Faulk, one season of Randy Moss?One player is a winner, the other one isn’t.  Ask anybody who they would take right now, and there’s no question it would be Brady.   

  • jonathon

    Well, going on your argument, I’d say that I’d choose Randy Moss.

  • jonathon

    Right? I mean, statistics talk and Peyton is by far the better QB on paper. So, Randy Moss is the one I choose to pair up with the superior QB. That seems to be the link Brady’s been missing all along, just like Peyton’s missing link this season: Marvin Harrison. Are you saying that Brady is nobody without Randy Moss? That’s not true…just like Peyton isn’t a "nobody" without Marvin. They’ve both proved that. We’re talking paper here. And on paper, there’s no question that Manning is the better QB. Now, one day Brady MIGHT surpass Manning on paper, but until then, argue with me about statistics. I dare anybody to make a case that defies documented statistics and still make sense.

  • jonathon

    Oh, and NO ONE says Tom Brady is a bad QB. He is one helluva QB, but on paper Peyton is better. That’s all I’m saying. If not statistics, what defines a sports player. Heart? Subjective. Will Power? Subjective. Physical Strength? Subjective. Perspective? Determination? Confidence? All subjective. Statistics are the only hard proof that we can gauge our sports heroes on. Statistics talk.

  • Tasia

    If anyone insist on comparing Brady and Mannings stats, lets try basing it off away game stats. Manning is a statmonster, they say, so shouldn’t mean anything, right?…Hmm, Manning’s career rating in away games is around 88, while Brady’s is around 93… Explain please… I’ll help you out – Everyone seem to underestimate how much playing in a dome inflates QB stats…Manning is rated around 101 at RCA Dome. Brady has played 10 games so far in a dome, resulting in a 103 average rating…Still think Manning is better?

  • Jonathon

    Are we going to start saying that baseball stats for Seattle Mariners players aren’t as good as, say, the Houston Astros because the humidity in the air makes it difficult for the players to run as fast or the baseball to travel near as far as those in drier, thinner atmospheres? Come on, people only start splitting hairs when they can’t accept the truth. Again, NO ONE is saying that Brady is a bad QB; in fact, I’m pretty sure that people consider Brady one of the best to ever play the game (even begrudged Colts fans). Stats are stats. Maybe you’re having difficulty reading the stats properly. Try it again, I’m sure you’ll see Peyton’s statistics are STILL better than Brady’s. I promise, they haven’t changed.

  • Tasia

    Yes, Mannings stats are better, and I already tried to explain to some extent why.  To summerize: Manning homerating: 101 – awayrating: 88    Brady homerating: 93 – awayrating: 93 … Also keep in mind Brady has a rating of 103 in his 10 games played in a dome… So try again, I’m sure you’ll see Peyton’s statistics are ONLY, ok ok, PARTLY better than Brady’s because he plays 50% of his games in a dome. Lets be clear tho, I’m not saying Manning isn’t great, just think its fair to acknowledge the advantage, he has had over Brady generating stats. Anyway, dome or no dome, what Manning has done is still amazing. And tho I’m in the Bradycorner, I still felt bad for Manning – he played a heck of a game vs Chargers, the D just never showed up and the receivers couldn’t catch anything in the end…

  • Jonathon

    Nice wrap-up of the game against the Chargers. But I think you give Manning too much credit. But, yes, the receivers and the defense just decided to stay home that day. Sad. And concerning Manning’s stats, he still has at least 5 good years left in him. With Indy’s new retractable roof stadium opening in 2008, we’ll just have to wait and see if it really is a dome-vs-stadium issue or not. My bet – however bias – is still on Manning though. Thanks for the responses!

  • bagwell368

    Let’s talk facts.  Firstly Manning started his 49th career game the day Brady was starting his 1st.  So all career total marks are going to heavily support Manning at this point.Brady has played with a rag tag group of WR/TE/RB.  Between 2001 and this year, the Colts have had 14 pro bowl seasons from those positions, the Pats 3.  Brady’s leading reciever last year was Caldwell, who couldn’t even make the Redskins dress roster most weeks this year.  Players that did well on the Pats that went elsewhere and did much less or nothing include David Patten, David Givens, Deion Branch, and the TE that left two years ago.  The Colts have had the services of two sure fire HoF’ers – Harrison and James.  The Pats have no such players for the long haul.  The Colts have well outspent all other NFL teams in offense – almost 2 to 1 over the defense.  The Pats are much more balanced.The results:  For all that advantage Manning has, he is 1.8 QB rating points ahead of Brady, and averages about 25 more yards per game.  Brady is 5 points ahead in playoff QB rating, and holds a 14-2 record while Manning has a 7-7 record.  In season ending games in the playoffs (read SB wins and whatever playoff loss they have) Manning is 1-7 and Brady is 3-2.Subjectively Brady has never thrown teammates under the bus in post game interviews like Manning has.  Manning has frequently thrown up his hands and whined when throwing picks or having recievers dropping balls – Brady stays cool and continues to lead.We are playing next week, and Manning is not.  Brady has a legitimate shot at 4, 5 or 6 rings and Manning does not.It’s great to be a fan, it’s better to be a realist and a fan.

  • bagwell368

    Oh of course the Dome factor.  Manning had 11 games in Domes when he threw 49.  Brady had 1, and had to play the majority of his final games in terrible weather conditions.  I believe (but can’t verify at the moment) that Brady had more perfect QBRT games this year then Manning had in his 49 TD year.

  • Luk3

    To tell you the truth Brady does SUCK…Not to be rude cuz i mean he is in the pros but he is definately not better than Peyton Manning. Peyton is just following in his fathers footsteps.

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