A friend of mine who is a Pats fan has been using this season's struggles to convince me that Peyton is not the QB that Tom is. In response, I decided to do a career comparison to show him that, while Tom is one of the greatest QB's of all time, the fact that his team has always been better is why he has won more Super Bowls, and that Peyton is, individually, the better QB. I thought you all might enjoy the comparison if only to help out in winning these debates, which I'm sure most Colts fans have found themselves in at one point or another.
The debate started because of this article by Michael Wilbon: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=wilbon/101208
On defense, Brady has consistently played in a system which is all about defense first. Lets look at the years they won the Super Bowl, and 19-1 (these are scoring defense stats which is way more important than yards)
Pats defense rank: 6 Colts: 32
Pats: 1 Colts: 20
Pats: 2 Colts: 19
Pats: 4 Colts: 1
The only year the colts had a good defense in these years, they got to the divisional playoff game and then gave up something like 200 yards to Darren Sproles on defense and lost. Peyton had a great game so their failure that year was not his fault.
When the Colts won their only Manning led Super Bowl, they had the worst rush defense in the league. Additionally, most every other year in the 2000's, the Pats D has been superior than the Colts... much superior. This year, the Pats D isn't great, but the Colts D is terrible again. Peyton wins despite his defense. Brady wins with help from the defense.
Now, lets look at passer rating:
Outside of Brady's monster year where Randy Moss and him set records, Tom has had 3 years with a passer rating over 90. This year will be his fourth, and it will be his second over 100 (the first was the Moss year). Peyton has had 9 years with a rating over 90, including 3 over 100, one at 99.9 and one at 99.
Now, Edgerrin James left the Colts in 2005. Since then, here are rushing comparisons of the two teams.
2006: Colts 18 4.0 ypc Pats 12 3.9 ypc
2007: Colts 18 3.8 ypc Pats 13 4.1 ypc
2008: Colts 31 3.4 ypc Pats 6 4.4 ypc
2009: Colts 32 3.5 ypc Pats 12 4.1 ypc
2010: Colts 32 3.5 ypc Pats 13 4.2 ypc
I mean... come on.
Now records. Since Brady has been the starter, here are the Pats records:
2008:11-5 (w/ Matt Cassel)
In that same time, here are the Colts records:
Almost identical. Here's the difference: Peyton's done it with no defense and no rushing game. And Cassel did almost the same thing as Brady under Belicheck's system that Brady's been doing for years.
So, you say play offs matter more? Okay. Here you go.
Play-off record: Tom Brady: 14-4 Peyton Manning: 9-9
Okay, big difference there. But how about play off individual statistics?
Tom Brady: 85.5 with a 62 pct pass completion rating 28td's 18int's 4,100 yards
Peyton Manning: 87.6 with a 63 pct pass completion rating 28td's 19int's 5,100 yards
So... what? Their teams have had different results, but their stats are about equal....so.... who do you think is winning and losing these games?
There's a reason Peyton's won 4 mvps and Tom's won 1. It's surrounding talent. Why don't we look at starting offensive lines?
Colts starting offensive line: Ryan Diem, Mike Pollack, Jeff Saturday, Kyle Devan, Charlie Johnson
Combined Pro Bowls: 4 (all by Jeff Satuday)
Pats starting offensive line: Sebastian Vollmer, Quinn Ojinaka, Daniel Koppen, Logan Mankins, Matt Light
Combined Pro Bowls: 5 (by 3 players)(including 3 all pro selections)
The pats have 3 top notch lineman. The Colts have 1, and he's in the twilight of his career.
Receivers? Peyton definitely has had the advantage in that category, I'll give you that. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are HOFers. Dallas Clark is great. Stokley was very good. Brady has had Randy Moss, who is a HOFer, and then Deion Branch and Wes Welker who are good players but nothing more.
So let's review team stats:
Defensive advantage: Pats
Rushing advantage: Pats
Offensive line advantage: Pats
WR advantage: Colts
(I'm not even counting special teams here.... if I did, I guarantee the Pats win that too. The Colts have never had good special teams.)
And individual stats...
Career Stats Advantage: Peyton
Playoff Stats: Tie
And then playoff wins and Super Bowls
Super Bowls: Pats
Strange. It seems that the Pats have the advantage in every TEAM category, but Peyton is way ahead of Tom in individual stats. Must have something to do with the fact that football is a team game and it always will be.
Conclusion: Better team of the 2000s? Pats. Better QB? Peyton
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.