Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Official Thread for Irrational Brady-Manning Arguments

by Aaron Schatz

Note: This thread first appeared back in July 2004 as a way to move all the Brady-Manning debate out of other discussions and into one place. I don't know why people have a tendency to lose their minds over this issue, but it really does take over every discussion thread if we let it. Certainly this week, with the Colts playing the Patriots again, we're in danger of this site becoming all Brady-Manning all the time. So, please leave that issue to this thread. Thanks.

We seem to have a problem that has developed at Football Outsiders.  For a number of reasons, we can't seem to get away from having almost every discussion thread turn into an argument about Tom Brady vs. (insert another quarterback here).

There are a few reasons for this.  First of all, as everybody knows, we have more Patriots fans reading this website than fans of other teams.  When the site launched a year ago, the first place we promoted ourselves was on Boston Sports Media Watch.  These initial readers have spread the word to their fellow Patriots fans, which means that we get mentioned more on Patriots-oriented message boards than other message boards.  We get discussed occasionally on Boston-based sports radio WEEI.  We got more Boston publicity at the end of the season, when we were the subject of a huge feature story in the Boston Globe on Super Bowl Sunday.  On top of all this, it's reasonable to believe that Patriots fans are more open to the kind of conventional wisdom-challenging statistics I've introduced on this website due to the influence of the current management of the Red Sox.  (I don't know, is there a lot of A's-Raiders crossover?  49ers, perhaps?  Do we have a lot of Toronto Argonauts fans here?)

The second reason for all the Tom Brady talk is that we've had a number of discussion threads and articles in the offseason that lent themselves to that sort of thing.  When we introduced a discussion called "Most Underrated QB," as much as I wanted it to turn into a big Bobby Hebert celebration, it was obvious what would happen.  When Mike and I got the idea of doing our own version of Pete Prisco's Top 50 Players list, I realized we were going to get caught up in the Brady thing again.  And that's because of the third reason why we get all this Tom Brady talk.  When it comes to on field performance, Tom Brady may be the most controversial player in the NFL today.  In fact, he's similar to another very popular player out there, and Patriots fans aren't going to want to hear this.

Tom Brady is Derek Jeter.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to say this.  Think about the similarities, though, and the comparison is obvious.  Both players are known for winning, for performing in the clutch, and for making the players around them better.  Both players are even bigger celebrities outside the world of sports than they would be otherwise because of good looks and a habit of dating young actresses and models.  Neither player, according to raw numbers, is really among the best players in the game.  Both players inspire non-stop debate between love and hate.  Every Tom Brady discussion is bound to end the same way every Derek Jeter discussion is bound to end, with the Patriots/Yankees fan pointing at their fingers and saying, "Hey, it's all about the rings."

There is one difference, which is important when we're talking about discussions on this site.  Derek Jeter is routinely lambasted in sabermetric circles as being overrated, primarily on defense.  Yet here on Football Outsiders, the closest thing to a sabermetric football website out there, we're pretty high on Tom Brady.  Particularly me, which is why people complain about Patriot fan bias.  But the issue isn't fan bias, but rather the question of whether our new statistics are so good at isolating the value of specific players that we can discount what we subjectively see happen on the field with our own eyes.  As the creator of the statistics, I can tell you the answer is no.  They are the best thing out there, but quarterback DVOA, for example, is still dependent in some part on the receivers, the offensive line, and the offensive system.  The reason I think Tom Brady is probably a better quarterback than his DVOA shows is the same reason I think Donovan McNabb is probably a better quarterback than his DVOA shows (and Trent Green is not the second-best quarterback in football).  Trust me when I tell you I have neither a pro-Eagle nor an anti-Chiefs bias.

There is another difference, I guess, since discussions of Derek Jeter are all wrapped up in the idea of the "shortstop trinity" and I don't think such a thing exists in football.  Although, I don't know, perhaps Peyton Manning is Alex Rodriguez and the oft-injured Steve McNair is oft-injured Nomar Garciaparra.  I suppose this makes McNabb into Miguel Tejada or something.

Anyway, I'm not saying this because I wanted to start another Tom Brady discussion.  That discussion is already going.  I am saying this because I want to be able to set up a permanent thread where the Tom Brady argument can go on ad infinitum without getting in the way of discussing the other 1700 players in the National Football League.  This isn't really the last Tom Brady article, of course; I have to talk about him when I'm writing about the Patriots and if they make another playoff run this year I'm sure he will come up a few times.  But from now on when a discussion breaks down into Brady vs. Player X, I'm just going to toss on a link to this discussion thread and tell people to bring it over here.

By the way, this discussion is far, far sillier than the other discussion threads on this site, and it is meant to be.  The rest of the website is not like this.


by Rich (not verified) :: Mon, 06/27/2005 - 12:49pm

Basically, Manning plays great against the sub-par pass D's and the Colts usually win. Brady plays good-to-great against the same caliber D's but the Pats ALWAYS win. When facing tougher pass D's, Manning becomes human and incapable of playing a great game - only when the Colts are in the dome do they win in these situations. Brady played in far more of these games, having mixed results (6 games were fair to poor showings) but what impresses me is that he IS capable of playing great against the toughest competition and typically when the stakes are highest. His 3 games above 100.0 (against top 10 pass D's) were Week 3 @ Buffalo, the AFCCG @ Pittsburgh and the SB vs. Philly. Notice all of these were away from Gillette and 2 were PLAYOFF games?!?!? Brady obviously rises to the occasion and plays his best when the odds are stacked against him while Manning predictably turns in worse performances when facing stiff competition. Which QB would you rather have?

by MCS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 1:30pm

Favre. He's always entertaining.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 7:51pm


by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 8:35pm

I think Brady will clearly prove to be the best, since he now has the Diet Pepsi Machine to throw to. Unless the King joins up with Indy, that is.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 11/01/2005 - 9:45pm

RE: 275

Right on.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sat, 11/05/2005 - 11:57pm

The answer is obvious: Manning is clearly better than Brady, except for those situations in which they are essentially equivalent and those in which Brady is superior. And vice versa. Any other position is indefensible.

by Sergio (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 2:38am

Yay! It's back!

by jules (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 3:01am

Dilfer 1
Manning 0

Nuff said.

by Tank Younger (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 7:46am

275 has it right.

Manning is clearly the better quarterback. Brady has 3 rings because the Patriots have had the better team overall and vastly superior coaching.

Bellichek and the bruising Bostonians could have gone to 3 superbowls with Trent Green or Matt Hasselbeck or Michael Vi... or Trent Green.

The fighting horseshoes have it together this year though. Look for Brady and co. to lose big Monday night.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 10:43am

Bellichek and the bruising Bostonians could have gone to 3 superbowls with Trent Green or Matt Hasselbeck or Michael Vi… or Trent Green.
Probably true. They could even have won two of them with Green or Hasselbeck.

The win in 38 was Brady's. Hasselbeck or Green might have staked the Patriots to the 11-point lead they had in the fourth, but I would not have trusted either of them to come back to retake the lead, then again to break the tie at the end, after the Pats' defense collapsed. Maybe Manning could have, maybe Favre in his prime. No other QB in the league.

by Ken (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 2:43pm

Boy, do I love train wrecks.

by Ken (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 2:44pm

I also love the fact that this thread has a printable version. Has anyone ever bothered to print it? If so, I think they'd have the "Environmental Terrorist of the Year" award sewn up.

by Josh (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 4:27pm

Supid argument. We all know Bruschi will be the best QB on the field when these teams play Monday

by Biffy (not verified) :: Sun, 11/06/2005 - 10:27pm

Brady isn't bad, despite the fact that he is nothing more than a steaming pile of Manning-poo. That's how good Manning is. Even his poo can win a superbowl.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:45am

I just have to say...I love this thread. It's like an annual guilty pleasure for me. :D

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:50am

So here's the question...if Brady wins tonight, with the obviously INFERIOR team right now....what will Manning fans come up with? :D

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:59am

So here’s the question…if Brady wins tonight, with the obviously INFERIOR team right now….what will Manning fans come up with?

Unless the fans in question are Polian and Dungy -- in that case, they'll come up with rule changes, too. ;-)

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 12:09pm

Best. Thread. Ever.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 12:26pm

Adam (#802 )--

I agree.

Of course, it's clear that the Brady fans contributed far more to its greatness...

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 12:28pm

Tom Brady is a golden God. Some sort of mythical creature that is half man. Half God. Half possible centaur....either way, I wish that he were my dad.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 12:36pm

Tom Brady is a golden God. Some sort of mythical creature that is half man. Half God. Half possible centaur….either way, I wish that he were my dad.

So that would make him 3/4ths human and 1/4th horse?

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 12:43pm

Re: 792 ("Dilfer 1, Manning 0")

Which statement makes more sense?

"see, even a crappy QB has more rings than Manning, therefore Manning sucks"


"if a crappy QB has more rings than Manning, then rings aren't the best way to measure how good a QB is"

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 1:06pm

Welcome back, OTfIBMA!

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 3:43pm

Is anyone else disturbed by the comments Brady made to the press a bit ago, where he was saying basically "is this all there is to life?"

I can't find the article, but it kinda read exactly like the text of someone suffering from depression issues.

by Kami (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 4:53pm

Manning fans are clearly superior to Brady fans. I know this because I am a Manning fan.

..oh the actual PLAYERS? Uh whatever. We don't have to make up our minds yet, and they'll both make the HoF anyway.

by Capt Trips (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 5:29pm

What's consistency worth?

Ever since the Colts lost to the Jets 44-0 (yeah, ZERO) as in N.E.A.F.G. (not even a field goal)I question Manning's consistency. I think he's the best when things are going well... but when he is rattled - look out! He can drop to rock bottom in two shakes of a colts tail ... Brady may not always show the same flashes of brilliance, but he has been the more consistent QB.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:01pm

Re: 792 (â€?Dilfer 1, Manning 0″)

Which statement makes more sense?

“see, even a crappy QB has more rings than Manning, therefore Manning sucks�


“if a crappy QB has more rings than Manning, then rings aren’t the best way to measure how good a QB is�

How is Brady a crappy QB again? want to share some evidence of that?

by stan (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:39pm

Brady is really consistent. As long as you forget about the Miami game last year where he single-handedly lost the game to the worst team in the league after his team had it easily in hand. Perhaps the worst half of football ever played by a QB on a good team against a cellar dweller. Or the Giants game a couple years back where he had one completion for 7 yards in the first half.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:42pm

The abbreviation for Manning-Brady is MB.

The abbreviation for Brady-Manning is BM.

I'm just saying...

by BlueStarDude - When I feel heavy metal (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 6:48pm

Prediction for tonight's game (even though the evidence shows that point predicting is a stupid waste of time):

Manning: 18
Brady: 12

rest of the Colts: 16
rest of the Patriots: 12

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 7:42pm

"Is anyone else disturbed by the comments Brady made to the press a bit ago, where he was saying basically “is this all there is to life?�

I can’t find the article, but it kinda read exactly like the text of someone suffering from depression issues."

Actually, I find it rather refreshing. It shows he still has the fight to go on. Think about it...he's 28. If he thought that was all that life held for him, it'd be quite depressing. For you to accomplish your life dream at 28 and feel there's nothing left would be horribe.

He's just saying that he knows there's more out there and that he has more goals. That's very healthy if you ask me.

by Moon Hippo (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 8:55pm

well... for me, the Manning fans are clearly funnier. You Brady fans take yourselves far too seriously.

I'm just saying...

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 9:19pm

Re: 812

Nice job trying to cherry pick there, but I'd say two bad games out of about 70 or so DOES qualify as "really consistent".

And Stan, if you're going to diss Brady, at least do it right. In his first year there was a game against Denver where he threw three or four interceptions in the second half or so. Completely buried the Pats. Or hell, even the Buffalo game last week where we were 0 at the half.

Who's your favorite QB Stan? I bet you $1,000 dollars I can find a few games where he's played poorly. :p

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 10:15pm

Re: LnGrrrR, #811,

The "crappy QB" in question was Trent Dilfer. You may want to try reading what I wrote and what I was responding to.

BTW, what if I told you my favorite QB was Jom Sorgi? I haven't seen him have a bad game yet, unless kneeling twice is a bad game. ;)

by Moon Hippo (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 10:26pm

I too am a big Jom Sorgi fan - Never a bad play...

by Moon Hippo (not verified) :: Mon, 11/07/2005 - 10:40pm

OMG - I typed his name wrong - the fan club will expel me for this...

by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:14am

Jim Sorgi owns.

by TomC (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:37am

Tom Brady is a golden God. Some sort of mythical creature that is half man. Half God. Half possible centaur….either way, I wish that he were my dad.

So that would make him 3/4ths human and 1/4th horse?

Half man, half woman, three-quarters badger.

by Sean (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 3:22am

Is it all over? Can I come out now?

by Michael (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 3:31am

PEY TON MAN NING clapclap clapclapclap

by 2 cents (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 3:51am

In the famous words: lets not start sucking Manning's pop-sickle just yet. Let him win 1 first.

by 2 cents (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 3:59am

The difference between Brady and Manning is akin to Elway and Marino. Its a question of who would you rather have leading your team for that all important game (or may be a season)?

by Francisco (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 4:10am

Well, I guess we can now definitively say that Manning is better than Brady in every way. Whew! Let's close the thread.

PS: What was up with Robert Kraft ordering everyone out of his box while the Pats were losing? What a baby.

by Michael (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 5:10am

Mastercard is better than Visa.

by Jake S. (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 5:44am


Jeter had some amazing offensive seasons. MVP-caliber just with his O.

Brady's never quite done that, and yet I still think he's All-Pro.

I think the comparison is OK, but get your facts right.

by Browns Dude (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 7:17am

"I can’t find the article, but it kinda read exactly like the text of someone suffering from depression issues."

Nah, he just realized that once you accomplish something you've dreamt about for so long, it's never as good as you thought it would be.

For instance, last week I was "getting to know" Jessica Alba and when the night was over, I thought to myself, "Is that all there is?"
So I called Jennifer Love Hewitt over and after that I was still missing something.
So then I called Chyler Leigh over and I still wasn't fulfilled.

Hey, maybe I am depressed. Or gay :)

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:08am

Browns dude...

Definitely gay. :D

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:27am

Francisco (#827 )--

Well, I guess we can now definitively say that Manning is better than Brady in every way. Whew! Let’s close the thread.
Of course not. If we were willing to do that, this thread would have gone away after last year's playoff game.

by Kami (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:59am

Look at this--look at it, right there. Manning had the ball, and he threw a touchdown. I spoke with the ghost of Johnny Unitas last night and he told me that Manning works hard, has a tremendous amount of poise, and just knows how to win games.

BB and TB both looked awfully...what is it..."whiny?" "pouty?" late in the game last night. I guess they're pretty good, and I would like them, but I just can't get over stuff like petulantly throwing the red flag and then yelling at the ref just because the game isn't going your way.

by Capt Trips (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 12:16pm

Good work Brownie!

by zander106 (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 12:37pm

833 -- Manning has spent *plenty* of time looking whiny and pouty whenever he's losing. If you just watch any of his losses to the Patriots in recent years, he's spent most of his time with his hands on his hips, pointing at teammates and whining to anyone who will listen.

Having said that, I would agree that Belichick was *really* getting bratty with that late challenge flag. That was just petty. Very uncharacteristic. But hey, I guess that's how it is when you've gone from best in the league to .500.

I thought Brady just looked more depressed than whiny sitting on the bench.

Last night's game again proves the inanity of this thread's debate. Brady and Manning both had great lines and high QB ratings. But this time Manning had the better team, so "he" won.

Of course, this debate will continue because: 1) this was a regular-season game, and 2) Brady's DVOA will be higher for this game, I'm sure, because the Colts are way better defensively.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 1:07pm


It will be interesting to see. Brady will probably have a better DVOA, but Peyton converted an insane number of third downs, and his only bad play, the pick, was on third and long. (It's funny - DVOA is starting to affect how I watch the game - I instinctively evaluate every play vis-a-vis expected outcome right after it happens.) If Wayne catches the late TD he looks better.

The pick was actually an interesting play. The right tackle was badly beaten, and Manning had to move left just before he threw to avoid the sack. Clark was open if Manning throws when he wants to, but the quarter second delay makes Clark wait for the ball, and gives Vrabel time to catch up and make a great play. I'd have to see a replay to see if there was another defender in front of Clark. If not, then Peyton should have led him more to avoid the pick. If so, then a lot of the blame goes on the right tackle. But aside from that play, Peyton did a fantastic job of avoiding the rush and getting rid of the ball. People want to give the O-line all the credit for Indy's low sack numbers, but it's as much due to Manning as anything.

All in all, this game was something of a mirror image of the AFC divisional game. One team had a dominant ground game and the other didn't, and most of the difference in results can be explained by that alone. It's not quite as pronounced as that game was, but it's there. The other difference was the better weather allowed both teams to use the vertical passing game more.

In the end, this game doesn't really help the pro-Manning argument, i.e. that Manning is the better QB, but the rest of the team has a huge impact on who wins so that's not a fair way to judge a QB. It more hurts the pro-Brady argument, which is essentially the adage that you judge QBs by W's and L's.

by DenverMatt (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 2:57pm

Well if rings are the measure of a quarterback, then Trent Dilfer is better than Dan Marino and Jim Kelly. Let's eliminate that from the argument.

As a Broncos fan, I would love to have either quarterback (as would any team in the league besides).

I do think Brady is a great quarterback, one of the coolest and most clutch ever, I'll give him that. But on a sidenote he doesn't play for a 'dynasty', 3 lucky Super Bowl wins by a total of 9 points doesn't make you a dynasty. That's not even mentioning what happened to get there, take away the refs in last year's AFC championship (what contact after 5 yards, we didn't see it????) and the 'tucksters' in Oakland and the Pats and Brady have one ring.

by bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 6:13pm

RE: 833 and 835, Brady looked pised off (rightfully so) and not pouty to me. And the reasons we always see Manning look pouty are (1) That's his face. Sorry, no other way to put it. He's not much of a smiler and hasn't got Brady's 1,000 watt smile in the first place; and (2) he takes time to answer the questions in press conferences, every game, win or lose. So we see more of him looking hangdog after losing to the Pats, standing at a podium, trying to explain things politely without using the words "suckage", "major suckage," and "lame-ass Run-D." He's probably in training to be a politician, but he's always there, on camera, trying to be a class act. The anti-Charles Barkeley.

What was the sum total of Brady's comments to the media last night? One sentence, and then stomping off...? I know you're ticked, I would be too. I know you're also supposed to be a leader--maybe that's how you do it. That's not my idea of leadership, weaseling off in a bucket of self-pity. Maybe if the alternative was a TO-like rant, he made the right move, but it appeared a little juvenile to me.

For Belichick, that's sort of his persona, though he's usually more forebearing and acerbic (think Antonin Scalia--unpleasant and mean, but funny), so he can be maybe forgiven for his five sentence assessment before saying, in effect, "that's all folks."

by Ian (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 8:20pm

That Tom Brady. Sure, he puts up pretty numbers, but he's just not a winner. If he was the Patriots wouldn't be 4-4! Now take Peyton Manning. Sure, he doesn't throw a ton of attempts like Brady does, but his team wins, and thats the mark of a great QB. Maybe Brady's defense isn't as good as Manning's, but its all about the QB, baby!

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2005 - 8:47pm

Re 818 and 189: Jom Sorgi sounds like a Star Wars character.

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 3:01pm

RE: 789

Please tell me you didn't just reference your own post from 16 months ago. You might as well just post it again. It's not like anyone would know the difference (unless someone took it upon themselves to read this meaningless thread in one shot).

This whole thread is kind of a joke to me. I seriously can't believe there are morons out there who think Steve Young wasn't anything special. I know there are all kinds of morons, but that really is a special breed...

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 3:08pm

RE: 588

I hope you were kidding. :D

Since I saw Nathan's post, I decided to take it upon myself to read old and irrational posts (and respond when moved by the spirit of FO).

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 3:12pm

RE: 796

Especially since they'd have a lot of "blank" lines and a lot of stuff like:

:: Ken — 11/6/2005 @ 12:44 pm

I actually have printed out FO readers comments on several occasions. I only do it when I have hope that there will be reasonable discussion. Plus, the response of FO reader's to TAQ is usually a good read.

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 3:15pm

RE: 804

When did you start calling Tedy Bruschi "Tom Brady"? Did you realize that you had no hope of ever spelling "Tedy Bruschi" correctly, and you just gave up? :D :P

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 3:16pm

RE: 811

I believe he was calling Trent Dilfer (and others he'd define as >) a crappy QB. Whether that is true or not is another story entirely, though...

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 11/09/2005 - 3:19pm

RE: 829

Brady right now is a much better NFL player than Jeter is a MLB player. Jeter was once an elite SS. No longer. He's still good for a SS, because most SSs can't hit.

by thetaildragger (not verified) :: Sat, 11/12/2005 - 2:27am

Solution to this debate: Forget about the rings and wins if you like. Just compare their career ratings against quality defenses.

Unfortunately I don't have that info nor the hours of research required to figure it out...anyone else?

Whatever the result, I think you have to also take into consideration two significant factors:

1. PM has had the HUGE benefit of a dome/carpet offense...(TB's career road dome rating is identical to PM's career HOME rating).

2. Both guys have the benefit of great coaching...but PM has obviously had the benefit of better personnel for most of his career, particularly compared to the guys TB played with his first couple seasons -- winning rings with the payroll the pats had in '01/'03 is pretty sick (particularly their offensive payroll which was under $10M if I remember right)...they needed some breaks but they also needed some mythic coaching, QBing and kicking too (for every "non-tuck"/missed head slap by Woodson, and vinateiri snowbowl kick, there's also 2 snowbowl drives in 4th quarter and overtime where TB is 17 for 17 passing combined)...anyway, you're only as good as the guys around you. Any QB will tell you that play action is their best friend...PM has had two HoFers in the backfield while Brady won two Super Bowls without a running game...and certainly didn't have a HoF receiver like Harrison...yet through each QB's first five seasons TB's passer rating is higher than PM's was. I'm pretty sure the Colts D led the league in turnovers last year so it's a mystery to me why anyone thinks their D is dramatically upgraded this year -- seems pretty similar to me -- quick, aggressive -- great pass rush -- suspect corners -- suspect run D...but it looks like the perception is that they're much better defensively so for PM's sake I hope he wins it all...or the ghosts will be back stronger than ever.

by thetaildragger (not verified) :: Sat, 11/12/2005 - 3:38am

There are technical differences between the two guys that it doesn't look like anyone on this thread is addressing.

Both QBs are great at pre-snap reads and managing the game...PM is excellent on his first read -- ridiculously efficient -- but when it comes to making post snap adjustments or going through a progression, coordinators will tell you that manning is average at best, although he rarely has to worry about doing that because his receivers run such great routes and his timing is so good on the first reads. When Belichick has shut him down it's just by throwing off the timing of the passing game by being physical at the LOS...which they obviously don't have the personnel to do this year.

Post-snap reads are Brady's best strength...nobody is faster in a progression...maybe ever.

Marvin Harrison often just runs decoy routes that are built into the gameplan...you'd never see Harrison running decoy routes with the Pats because Brady would find the guy if he got open.

Like the Colts offense, Brady also utilizes timing routes on occasion, particularly on 3rd downs...but he also is just better at finding the open guy, which any coordinator will tell you is a much tougher thing to defend.

Also as far as the "great protection" TB gets, I mean any NEP fan who watches the games knows how tough it is to see TB getting drilled all the time after he releases the ball.

He's said his philosophy isn't to get the ball out quickly but to let the play develop as much as possible...yes, he has great pocket presence, but it's not like he avoids hits. His toughness is pretty amazing...you don't see him turtle on a rush like Favre does routinely...without the running game this year, he's really been nailed...that Atlanta game guys were hitting him square in the numbers and he was completing rainbows downfield for 60 yard TDs...other than Elway, I've never seen a guy stand in there like that.

by TheTruth (not verified) :: Mon, 11/14/2005 - 5:40pm

Whose tail are you dragging really??
I bet your bedroom is decorated in TB memorabila, not to mention the secret closet altar complete with all the press clippings and pictures taken from bushes at TB house.
Get a hold of yourself, Tom will never be yours.
Maybe you should aim a little lower, try Tom Cruise

by KC fan (not verified) :: Sun, 01/08/2006 - 2:34pm

I cannot stand fans who say Brady is the best. His stats, or lack of, have never impressed me. Brady didn't win 3 Super Bowls, the Patriots did. Brady didn't win 10 straight playoff games, the Patriots did. Brady is just an average QB on a team of winners. Having the best defense in football doesnt hurt either. As a QB, it's not hard to win when your defense gives up just one or 2 TD's a game. As far as the best QB's ever, he's not even close to the top 10. You can mark my words, Tom Brady will never win a league MVP. That takes talent...and stats. To win that prestigious award, he has to put up Montana-Favre-Manning numbers. His mediocre stats wont get him there. Not to take away from his 3 rings, I give him credit for that, but almost any other NFL QB could have done it with that team. Brady was just in the right place at the right time. Anybody can throw 5yd screen passes, but until he starts putting up some numbers or winning with a mediocre team, he will always be the most overrated QB in football.

by thetaildragger (not verified) :: Fri, 01/20/2006 - 2:42am

re: #849

solid comeback dude. Can't argue there.

Actually I've always had a crush on Peyton...the way he plays football reminds me of a chick.

by Chuck Stapeles (not verified) :: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 1:40am

I like #848's post. Brady is hard to defend. Manning is easy to defend when you pick on him (ie - a better than average defense). Sorry, but when Manning wins a Super Bowl, let's start talking again. Until then, he's this millenium's Dan Fouts.

#850 - Then when Peyton wins a Super Bowl, it will be the Colts, right? What about the Colts' defense this year? Stop smokin' the weed and at least admit 4th quarter game-winning drives in playoffs count for something. "Anybody" couldn't to that regardless of the team.

Stats? Who cares. Do you care about Fouts' stats or Super Bowl rings? Super Bowls, well, that is what they play for, yes?

Meanwhile, as the debate rages, Brady gets better and better...

by caleb johnson (not verified) :: Sun, 03/19/2006 - 2:59am

Tom Brady is one of the most overated quarterbacks in the N.F.L and he certainly is not in the same league as Vinnie Testeverde or Tony Romo. If it were up to me i would put Brady on the sideline so he could take notes on the wonderfull skills of Koy Detmer. Drew Bledsoe should take over the Patriots once again since when he played ther were none of the current superstrs such as Corey Dillon, Deion Branch, or even David Givens.

by caleb johnson (not verified) :: Sun, 03/19/2006 - 5:46pm


by Mike (not verified) :: Sat, 07/08/2006 - 7:08pm

855 posts to debate Manning vs Brady.

by Peremptor (not verified) :: Sat, 08/05/2006 - 8:05pm

Their both ok for qbs. For my money P. Rivers will be better than both of them put together before he's through with the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

by trivia bettor (not verified) :: Thu, 09/07/2006 - 2:27am

How fast was John Riggens in the 100 yard dash?

by Kami (not verified) :: Sat, 09/30/2006 - 3:56am

Faster than Brady, but Brady's got the rings.

by Elrastaman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/27/2012 - 12:10am

Well, a LOT of time has passed since the last post on this thread. All I can say is this: Three rings and two of the best seasons in QB history mean that you can't use the "average stats" argument. Fact is, Brady was a franchise quarterback from day one, but he had a serious lack of ancillary components. Does Manning have more MVP's? Sure. But Manning has always had a great supporting cast. Brady's 2010 season showed that he could do the same thing, with fewer ancillary parts (the O-line was very good, but the Boston TE Party had not developed into what it is now). As for Welker, he's very, very good... but I think probably not HOF. And the running game is just there. It exists, nothing more, nothing less. Let's not forget that he was hobbled with a defense that was pretty bad at the time. Anyway, I think both are great, but since Manning's future productivity seems doubtful, I think Brady will have the better career in the end.

by theslothook :: Thu, 07/26/2012 - 4:29pm

I cant understand, especially since you posted this in 2012-- that brady's had the weaker cast while manning has had the better supporting cast. Really? The same supporting cast that went 0-16? The running game for the pats exists, nothing more nothing less---its been ranked in the top 5 dvoa every year while conversely the colts running game has been abysmal from 08 and onward. Finally...brady has been saddled with a bad defense and lo and behold, he wasn't won since then. Brady missed 2008 and the pats were JUST FINE even on offense without him(cassel had a career year that he hasn't come close to in KC) while the colts imploded without manning.

Both are great but to act like brady has been secretly carrying a flawed team is really the story of manning, not brady.