This is a highly debated and argued topic of conversation, not just here on the Sideline Report, but also among the sports media world in general. We’ve been given the rare chance to see not one but two of the greatest quarterbacks every to put on pads in the NFL and we’ve been doubly blessed to see them both on the field head to head numerous times in the playoffs and regular season. It is without a doubt one of the greatest individual player rivalries in NFL history and it has always come back to this one question: Who is the better quarterback, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?
Well, I’m here to settle the debate once and for all. No more will we be cast into a pit of despair, filled with childish name-calling and “Spygate” accusations. Today we will find who truly is the greatest quarterback of our generation, and perhaps of all time. First, I will explain the reasoning behind my system. I’m going to use 15 different statistics and assign a weight, in terms of a point value, to each. I will then tally them all into a calculated value for each player and compare the results. I have painstakingly researched and revised my formula and the weight assigned to each statistic, with the input of many of the helpful participants in this fine forum, so it is as close to fair and accurate as I can make it.
Here are my results in the table below. I have included the entire table, so you are free to double check the math, if you wish.[table “36” not found /]
The results are finally clear: Peyton Manning is the best quarterback of our generation.
Granted, with any weighted formula there is a degree of subjectivity. For instance, were one to more heavily weight post season success and devalue regular season statistics you could skew the results in favor of Brady. That was precisely the reason I asked for user feedback in my points scale, to make sure I was putting up the most objective score possible.
Also, for those who asked for some additional stats that I found in my research that did not make it into the final table, here they are:[table “37” not found /]
I found it interesting how I never truly realized how insanely dominant Peyton Manning has been for his entire career. He was in the top 3 in at least one major statistical category every season, including his rookie year, and in most seasons he was in the top 3 of multiple categories. I could attribute his success in the regular season, compared to Brady, to Manning’s generally better WR corps, the same way I would attribute Brady’s post season successes to his generally better defense, but regardless, his consistent excellence is nothing short of amazing.