NFL Top 100–Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning


Over the last few weeks, the NFL Network broadcasted a player-voted release of the top-100 players of the 2010 season. The players were told to select their top-20 players based off the play of the 2010 season alone. Yet, somehow, Redskins QB Donovan McNabb was voted in. McNabb got benched by Head Coach Mike Shannahan for the final 3 games of the season. McNabb threw 14 touchdowns to 15 interceptions and still ranked 100th. This leads me to believe that the instructions given to the players were never clear. McNabb, based off of his career, should be in the top-100 of current players. McNabb, solely based on 2010, is not in the top-100. If you mix both ways of voting, he ends up in the 90-120 range and thus his ranking in the top-100. So, keep all of this confusion in mind when paying attention to the rankings.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning finished#1 and #2, respectively. I think we all knew it would happen. The final two players remained the two biggest names in the game. Brady and Manning. Manning finished ahead of Brady in a voting of all-time players, yet for the 2010 season Brady edged out Manning. Brady, the league MVP, later called Manning “the greatest of all-time”. We’ll skip the debate of how truthful versus how humble that comment was.

Off the top of my head, here is a quick rundown of each quarterback:

Peyton Manning: Obviously one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. You can look at the numbers and place him as “best-ever”. You can look at the regular season records and once again place him at the top. You can watch games in which he played so well in the second half and 4th-quarter in particular and place him at the top. Manning is the kind of quarterback that you would trade multiple top-10 picks for and later look back and feel that you robbed the other team. Peyton Manning gives defensive co-ordinators nightmares all week long leading up to playing him. His team is truly never out of a game when he is playing. Speaking of which, he is always playing. Always. He’s more reliable than Brett Favre. I know Favre played more, but Manning takes less risk. If you want to be a great quarterback, this is the guy you try to mirror.

Tom Brady: Possibly the greatest story in NFL history. Whereas Manning was the first overall pick with the great genes and great college resume, Brady was a 6th rounder who didn’t start every game. He was the guy that was benched for “The Future” of the position. Brady then only played due to how bad Michigan fared in their games. However, Brady always proved a certain knack for raising his level of play in situations that could be dubbed as “crunch time”. Calm, cool, and collected: these words have always described Brady.

However, most of these compliments can be used intermittently between the two.

Some Interesting Stats for both Brady and Manning, courtesy of Pro Football Reference:

Tom Brady has 23 fourth-quarter comebacks and 32 game-winning drives.

Peyton Manning has 35 career fourth-quarter comebacks and 46 game-winning drives.

Tom Brady has a 14-4 career playoff record.

Peyton Manning has a 9-10 career playoff record.

Tom Brady has a 3-1 record in the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning has a 1-1 record in the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady is a 6-time Pro Bowler and a 2-time First Team All-Pro.

Peyton Manning is an 11-time Pro Bowler and 5-time First Team All-Pro (All Pro is worth more due to the fan voting in the Pro Bowl).

Tom Brady is a 2-time Super Bowl MVP.

Peyton Manning is a 1-time Super Bowl MVP.

Brady is a 2-time AP NFL regular-season MVP.

Manning is a 4-time AP NFL regular-season MVP.

Tom Brady has played 145 regular-season games.

Peyton Manning has played 208 regular-season games.

Brady has 261 touchdowns and 103 interceptions.

Manning has 399 touchdowns to 188 interceptions.

My bottom line:

In the regular season I will take Peyton Manning, it’s where he flourishes.

In the playoffs, I’m taking Tom Brady, it’s where he flourishes.