Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Official Thread for Irrational Brady-Manning Arguments Part II

The original version of this thread first appeared back in July 2004 as a way to move all the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning debate out of other discussions and into one place. We 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. At one point, a discussion of the San Francisco 49ers' salary cap problems turned into a debate over Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Every time the Colts play the Patriots, we are in danger of this site becoming all Brady-Manning all the time. Therefore, Football Outsiders has two hard and fast rules:

1) Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are tied for the title of best quarterback in football.
2) Any discussion of whether one is better than the other must go in this thread, and will be deleted from all other discussion threads.

If you want to read the first 850+ comments in this thread, and a longer discussion of the whole Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning problem, click here.

Disclaimer: 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 Dave (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 3:24am

I don't know where some of you guys are getting this stuff about the Pats having bad defenses some of the time. In the years they won the Super Bowl, their defenses ranked 6th, 1st, and 2nd in points allowed. In their first Super Bowl run, they allowed 13, 17, and 17 points in their 3 playoff games. The last 17 points was against maybe one of the best offenses of all time. In their second playoff run, they gave up 14, 14, and 29. In that game against Carolina, they played very well in the first half if I remember right and then just fell apart. One bad half doesn't take away fromt the fact that they were very good. In their 3rd playoff run, they gave up 3, 27 , and 21. Pretty good defenses. In the years they haven't won Super Bowls with Brady at QB, they have finished 17th in both years in points allowed. That was while their offense had pretty similar production to the Super Bowls teams. Seems like the defense was the thing that changed and a big reason they were winning Super Bowls.

As far as Manning's defenses go, his have been a lot worse. They have ranked 29, 17, 15, 31, 7, 20, 19, and 2 in points allowed since Manning has been QB. For the most part, even Brady's worst defenses have been better than Manning's. I guess you can ask why didn't they win it last year with that defense? I guess you can also ask why his field goal kicker couldn't make that kick. That is one more thing Brady's teams have had that Manning's hasn't. So while Manning has better offensive players, Brady has had better players in every other facet of the game. So when you guys talk about wins and Super Bowls, which is ridiculous, be sure to understand that.

by chris (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 3:28am

Being a slightly biased eagles fan (losing to the Pats in the SB is still causing irrational pain) I'd take Brady in any playoff game over any/all of the Mannings. Brady didn't really put up any eye popping stats in those games, but he did put his team in position to win the game. In the regular season i'd go with Manning. He puts up better stats and his team consistently is the best team in the league, prior to the post-season.
You can't really compare the two, one has the stats, the other has the rings with pretty good stats himself. It's like trying to compare Marino to Montana. Both were great QBs and are in the Hall of Fame for a reason.

RE: 283
If this happens, i'm going to start watching ESPN's Pro-Bowling tour on sundays instead of football.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 9:12am

I don’t know where some of you guys are getting this stuff about the Pats having bad defenses some of the time.

Who the heck said that? Seriously show me.

I guess you can ask why didn’t they win it last year with that defense?

Well it is a difficult thing to win. Some people think that all it takes is a top ranked defense and Manning. Obviously that is not the case.

I guess you can also ask why his field goal kicker couldn’t make that kick.

Because kickers sometimes miss kicks. Adam missed two in 38.

So while Manning has better offensive players, Brady has had better players in every other facet of the game. So when you guys talk about wins and Super Bowls, which is ridiculous, be sure to understand that.

So when some of you guys talk about stats and TD, which is ridiculous, be sure to understand that all those better defensive and other players do nothing for his stats.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 10:19am

293: Well, here's one Indy fan who is quite certain in his heart of hearts that he would not rather have Brady as QB. Nothing against Brady, he's a great QB. I'm not saying Peyton's better.

But for the past 7 years, especially since 2003, the Colts have provided an exceptionally entertaining brand of football, punctuated by amazing performances, heart-stopping games, and sustained excellence, and Peyton has been a huge part of that.

No, they haven't won a Super Bowl. But let's be realistic - only one team wins every year, and doesn't mean that fans of all of the other teams should storm the gates with torches and pitchforks. Maybe 3 Super Bowls this decade have made NE fans lose a little perspective - the Super Bowl is not the only significant or interesting or important football game played every year.

I'll happily take 28 consecutive victories in meaningful games during the regular season (and no, I'm not even slightly interested in debating the meaning of "meaningful" here). And I'm exceedingly grateful that I've had the opportunity to see Peyton practice his art so well for so long.

by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 10:28am

Who the heck said that? Seriously show me.

#303, check out some of Rich Conley's responses after I said that the Pats have had the benefit of a stellar defense.

by SB (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 10:28am

It amazes me how many people still cling on to the myths (not facts) about Brady:

He can't possibly be any good because:
- he's a 6th round draft pick with no arm strength
- he can't throw more than 5 yards downfield so that's why the Patriots designed a system for him
- he's been carried by his defense and his coaches all through his career
- any QB could do at least as well as Brady has in the Patriots system (like Bledsoe - oh wait...never mind, forget I said that)
- he is just a Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson wannabe. Guys who just manage the game, try not to make mistakes, and let their defense win for them.

Let it go. Accept reality. Brady (and Peyton Manning) are the two best quarterbacks in the game today. Period.

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 10:36am

I’ll happily take 28 consecutive victories in meaningful games during the regular season (and no, I’m not even slightly interested in debating the meaning of “meaningful� here). And I’m exceedingly grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to see Peyton practice his art so well for so long.

Boston fans will recognize this sentiment as the "most days in first place" syndrome. You sometimes buy into this sort of thing before you win, but never afterwards.

by Kalyan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:12am

Ok ... chew on this ...

I would pay to watch Peyton Manning play. I would want Tom Brady to play if my life depended on it.

The difference between the two is that i think TB is clutch and Manning is Class. For manning to be considered clutch, he needs to have maybe 5-7 Denver type games (in post season) and TB needs to take his stats to the next level (4000 yds, 30+ TDs, 100+ QB rating) for a couple of years to be considered "Class".

If there are some cricket fans, this is the same debate about who is the better batsman - Brian Lara or Sachin Tendulkar.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:46am

#305 - Here is the response from Rich that I think you are alluding to:

Will, Indy’s defensive DVOA(-9)in 2005 was similar enough to NE in 2004 and 2001 (-11,-6).

If you want to say Brady has had a better D, sure, but Peyton did have a year where he had a great D….and lost.

2003 was an aberation, the Pats D was dominant. In the other years, they’ve been good, but no better than Peyton had in 2005.

Which part of that statement is equivalent to:

I don’t know where some of you guys are getting this stuff about the Pats having bad defenses some of the time.

Or is there another post that I missed where Rich says they have a bad defense. You called Rich out specifically so I imagine that you have specific post in mind?

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:54am

Re:Boston fans will recognize this sentiment as the “most days in first place� syndrome. You sometimes buy into this sort of thing before you win, but never afterwards.

If this is true, then I pray that the Colts never win the Super Bowl...

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:08pm

306: Who believes that? I don't think I've heard anyone (non-jokingly) advance any of those positions at all, certainly not since 2003 (although it's possible that I have, but just forgot because I'd dismiss anyone advancing such opinions as an idiot).

Contrast that with this:

It amazes me how many people still cling on to the myths (not facts) about Manning:

- He's a selfish, me-first player who cares more about his own stats than his team's performance
- He's a soft choker who routinely craps the bed whenever the game means anything
- He's played poorly in every single game against the Patriots
- He sucks outdoors, in the cold, etc.
- His teammates hate him

These are just as ludicrous, yet they seem to have found a lot of truck in the greater Boston/NE area...

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:21pm

Re 310:

It's interesting that you can say that, yet Colts fans bristle at the idea that Manning is a great pure quarterback while Brady is a "winner." I mean, isn't that basically what you're saying? That you'd rather have a lot of fun blowouts against Houston?

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:26pm

"I’ll happily take 28 consecutive victories in meaningful games during the regular season (and no, I’m not even slightly interested in debating the meaning of “meaningful� here)."

DaveO, my man, would you settle for 21 consecutive victories? You do know the Pats did that, right? Won 21 games in a row (including a couple of undebatably meaningful ones)? So it's not just a matter of 3 SB wins. Our perspective includes the best of both worlds: quality and quantity.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:30pm

No, that's not what I'm saying at all.

Colts fans bristle when they hear Manning described as a loser, not when Brady is described as a winner. And what I'm saying is that I'd rather be able to appreciate going into every season with an excellent, entertaining, intriguing team that tends to deliver outstanding games (even when they lose), with the legitimate belief that there's a good chance that they will contend for a Super Bowl, and be able to watch an artful QB delivering excellent games; all without the mindset that somehow if they didn't win the superbowl, then it's all a big failure and that they obviously suck and the QB sucks and they need to blow everyhing up.

by Darth Goofy (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:31pm

My first time to chime in on this irrational debate. First the irrationality:

Patriots suck!!! If McGinnist hadn't ever faked an injury that one game, the Colts would have won then and the Superbowl that year. McGinnest is SATAN! Manning is the football equivelent of Zeus and Brady is equal to... I don't know... the Minotouar... cause he is evil and no real person ever looks that good all he time... he doesn't even have the red forhead after he takes off his helmet that Manning does

It seems to me that even if Manning wins the Superbowl this year, even by 56-9, the TB fans will still say that TB has three rings and Manning sucks. I realize that Manning has great weapons to throw to and TB has less. However, this is football and these things are part of the game. Look at Steve Young... he is considered a great QB, but his early years in Tampa were horrific... his years in SF were great... why? He had the great Jerry Rice (:irrational: who will have his records broken by Harrison, by the way :end irrational:) and other players to throw to. Anyway, there will never be consensus, and I believe this thread is only here to provide an outlet to those fans who care the most.


by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:35pm

313: Good for you. No snark there - I mean that.

Just don't project that perspective on the rest of the league that hasn't recently gone through that same stretch. It isn't all a question of "we're the best, so everyone else obviously sucks". Not when it comes to football teams, and certainly not when it comes to individual players.

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:43pm

I don't think anyone's saying that Peyton Manning sucks, DaveO.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:47pm

No, but I have heard each of those points in my list advanced quite seriously, and not just in the irrational thread.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 12:48pm

#314 - with the legitimate belief that there’s a good chance that they (colts) will contend for a Super Bowl

Interesting comments. What gives you this belief? We have repeatedly heard throughout this thread that Manning hasn't won because of the defense. As the defense continues to lose players to FA and injury without replacement and no significant emphasis is placed on that side of the ball other then in 2005 (which even some colt fans want to dismiss), it is hard to think that it will improve. So I am curious, what makes you think that they have a good chance to compete for the superbowl?

by doktarr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:05pm

RE: 314,

Well put (as are the rest of your comments). I bet every fan of a downtrodden franchise is nodding vigorously at those comments. Rooting for a consistently excellent team is a reward in and of itself.

RE: 319,

The Colts were not the favorites (or at least should not have been the favorites) any year in the playoffs except last year. Despite that, they had a very real chance of winning the Super Bowl every time they made the playoffs. Any given Sunday, yadda yadda...

This is why those who suggest Manning will win it all before he retires are probably right - even if he never plays on a truly dominant team in January, if he plays enough games in January he will eventually manage upon a winning streak. Just ask Jerome Bettis.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:20pm


Because the NFL is a whole heck of a lot more complex and interesting and random than "Awesome team with a clutch QB who Just Wins and Genius coach, that is therefore clearly superior to everyone else will therefore always beat the soft dome team with the sucky D and loser QB."

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:23pm

319: Two words, Adam Vinatieri.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:36pm

#320, part 2 - I think this general sentiment, which I believe is shared by the general media, is what annoys me as a pats fan more then anything else. Winning superbowls isn't difficult, it just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Any given Sunday, yadda yadda...bull.

The expectation, by many, every year is that the Colts are a superbowl caliber team. Why? Oh, because Peyton Manning is so great. But when the playoffs come along and the Colts lose, its not because Manning isn't as great as the media makes him out to be, it is because of the the defense. Huh? Its the same defense that they had at the begining of the season. What changed? Nothing.

Inevitably the next season that poor defense and special teams are forgoten and the Colts are once again predicted to go to the superbowl by a multitude of media members. Why? Peyton Manning.

Everyone speaks about how the Patriots win superbowls as a team. They had a defense, they had the kicker, they had the QB, the o-line etc, etc. Supposedly, responsibility for those wins cannot be ascribed to individual players on those teams. Its a fair argument but one that isn't consistently applied when speaking about Manning. When it comes to the Colts, they can win superbowls simply because of Peyton Manning. Or at least that that is the expectation of many in the media and at least the one Colts fan above.

Its the definition of irrational.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:39pm

Here's the LATimes's Bob Oates's contribution to The Thread (from yesterday's LAT):

IN THE NFL again this year, Manning and Brady are getting better results than any two other quarterbacks -- though they're drastically different types.

Manning, by comparison with Brady, doesn't move around fluidly or gracefully or with much athleticism when he drops back to pass. Magnificently mobile, Brady is one of the league's finest in-the-pocket scramblers. Against a rush, he knows how to readjust himself, how to keep buying time.

And though in Indianapolis Manning has the better cast of receivers, by far better than Brady's, the Patriot passer has taught himself to get along with raw, new, improving receivers nearly every year of his seven New England seasons.

Belichick believes there's no need for expensive, experienced receiving talent, and maybe, with the quarterback he has, that's right. So as Brady keeps winning, he continues as the one well-paid Patriot (with an income of about $10 million). Some of us think of Brady as the foremost NFL quarterback since Joe Namath -- possibly since John Unitas and Norm Van Brocklin long ago.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:43pm

Hmmmm, Brady as the new Namath might not be a bad analogy. Brady will have better stats, but his coolness&cockiness quotient is right up there with Namath.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 1:50pm

Ok, after this I think I'll shut up for a while...

A Colts fan's incredibly biased and one-sided executive summary of the astounding awsomeness of the irrational "Brady vs. Manning" phenomenon.

The setting - 2001, post-Superbowl

Pats Fan: W00t! Can you believe that? The way this season started and now a super bowl? This team? You kidding me? Holy crap, that Brady has some poise. No way we win this with Bledsoe. No freakin' way.

Colts Fan: Damn. Ah well. (Giggle) Imagine if we'd drafted Leaf?

move to 2003 - post-Superbowl

Pats Fan: W00t! Awesome! Take that all of you Brady doubters!

Colts Fan: Damn. Ah well, nice year nonetheless. Peyton seems to be coming on strong, no? Sucks that the Colts (and Manning in particular) haven't really seemed to bring it when it counts the most. Still, Foxboro in January - no piece of cake...

Cut to mid-2004, scene of National Media fellating Peyton Manning

National Media: Slurp, slurp, slurp...

Pats Fan Hey? What's the deal? What the Hell has he won? Dude's seriously overrated. He has to be - craps the bed whenever he plays the Pats. What the Hell has he won?

Bill Simmons: I was talking to my buddy J-Bug, and we were laughing about "The Manning Face", and about what a dork he is, and about how much his teammates hate him, and about how he just pads his stats. Reminds me of Danny getting his ass kicked and bike stolen by Cobra Kai...

Pats Fan Heh, heh. What he said. That Manning, what a loser. Brady SO kicks his ass...

Cut to 2004, Post-SuperBowl...

Colts Fan: DAMN. Oh well, that Peyton - not bad, eh?

National Media: Slurrrrrrp, slurp, slurp...

Pats Fan: Whatever. What the Hell has he won? Dude choked again, lost again. What a Loser. What a Choker. Brady SO kicks his ass...

Colts Fan: Er, first of all, Peyton didn't lose those games, the Colts did. And Brady didn't win those Super Bowls, the Pats did. It's *possible* that Peyton isn't a choking losing dork; Maybe, it's even (gasp) Brady who is getting a little too much credit here. I mean, let's compare their performances, using the otherworldly goodness of the Football Outsiders as well as other objective and infallible statistics and measures, that mathematically prove that Peyton isn't a a choking losing dork...

>Pats Fan: Whatever. What the Hell has he won? Dude choked again, lost again. What a Loser. What a Choker. I mean, let's compare their performances, using the otherworldly goodness of the Football Outsiders as well as other objective and infallible statistics and measures, that mathematically prove that Brady SO kicks his ass...

Colts Fan: Jerk.

Pats Fan: Loser.

DaveO: Well, you started it...

And so it goes, this Thing of Ours...

by doktarr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 2:34pm

RE: 323

There are two separate points here: the "praise Manning/trash the defense bait-and-switch", and the "any given Sunday is BS".

Taking the second point first... there's a monumental difference between saying "every team in the playoffs has a chance", and saying "winning Superbowls is just being in the right place at the right time". The better teams win more often. The 2004 Pats were an awfully good bet to win, and win they did. But the 2001 Pats, and the 2005 Steelers, and lots of other teams, were frankly quite lucky to make it through, and the fact that several of their playoff games were nailbiters only underscores this.

If you can't appreciate your teams' wins and/or dominance, without admitting that there's an element of chance in it, then you're going to be frustrated as a sports fan quite often. Which, come to think of it, a lot of fans are.

As for the "praise Manning/trash the D bait and switch"... you may find some of that in the mainstream media, albeit mixed with a ton of the equally fallacious "Manning chokes in big moments". But that is not the point being advanced here. You keep wanting to ascribe this to our arguments, but it is simply not the case.

Is Manning more responsible for the offensive success of his team than any player in the NFL? Yes. Does that mean he deserves all the credit (or blame) for wins (or losses)? No. Pretty simple, really.

by turgy22 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 3:00pm

Re: #288
Actually, I agree. I've thought for a while now that McNabb has been the best quarterback in the league, and I hate the Eagles. He's not quite as poised or accurate as Manning or Brady, but the dimension he adds to an offense with his running more than makes up for his shortcomings as a pocket passer. He took his team to 3 straight NFC championships with complete and utter crap at the WR position. With the exception of 2001 and 2005, I always believed he did more with less talent than Tom Brady, especially since Andy Reid doesn't believe in the running game.

However, this is supposed to be an irrational Manning vs. Brady thread, so I'll chime in on that. I still believe that Manning is the better QB. Even though he always has and will continue to get stifled in the playoffs, I honestly believe that if Tom Brady had to face a Belichick-coached defense in the playoffs, he'd get just as flustered.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 4:00pm

#327 - But the 2001 Pats, and the 2005 Steelers, and lots of other teams, were frankly quite lucky to make it through, and the fact that several of their playoff games were nailbiters only underscores this.

So what you are telling me is that if the Colts win the superbowl this year, it will be because they were lucky and not because of Peyton Manning, right?

What you are also saying is that Brady won a superbowl with an inferior team in 2001, right?

I just want to make sure I am following the logic of your post correctly.

If you can’t appreciate your teams’ wins and/or dominance, without admitting that there’s an element of chance in it, then you’re going to be frustrated as a sports fan quite often. Which, come to think of it, a lot of fans are.

See I agree that there is luck, but I also believe it goes in both directions. Every team, in every game gets its share of good luck and bad luck. Good teams take advantage of their good luck and bad teams don't. Chaulking everything up to luck seems like a cop-out to me.

As for the “praise Manning/trash the D bait and switch�… you may find some of that in the mainstream media, albeit mixed with a ton of the equally fallacious “Manning chokes in big moments�. But that is not the point being advanced here. You keep wanting to ascribe this to our arguments, but it is simply not the case.

You are joking right? Did you miss the entire exchange about how a 14 point deficit in the first quarter was insurrmountable for Manning to overcome?

Is Manning more responsible for the offensive success of his team than any player in the NFL? Yes.

What the heck does that mean? Talk about irrational, unprovable opinions being tossed out as fact. Oh and Jim Sorgi says hi.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 4:17pm

I just don't understand this debate - does anybody really doubt that Eli Manning is the best QB in history?

by Relationship George (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 4:33pm

It is easy to see why this thread is listed under the irrational arguements title. Its unbelievable the things some people bring up and discuss. A rational person would get a headache trying to reason with this debate. Thats why George is getting upset!

by doktarr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 4:35pm

bsr, your increasing agitation and unwillingness to take my statements at face value is starting to make this pointless (if it wasn't already). Stop trying to twist every argument around, and accept the reality that reasonable minds can disagree.

So what you are telling me is that if the Colts win the superbowl this year, it will be because they were lucky and not because of Peyton Manning, right?

If the Colts win the Superbowl this year without the run defense improving pretty dramatically, then yeah, they will have been lucky. That won't mean that Peyton Manning had nothing to do with it. In all likelihood, he will have had a lot to do with it.

What you are also saying is that Brady won a superbowl with an inferior team in 2001, right?

The Patriots won despite probably not being the best team in the 2001 postseason. Credit for pulling off those upset wins goes to many players, including Brady.

I just want to make sure I am following the logic of your post correctly.

No, that wasn't what you wanted to do. You wanted to twist my words to make a snarky point.

See I agree that there is luck, but I also believe it goes in both directions. Every team, in every game gets its share of good luck and bad luck. Good teams take advantage of their good luck and bad teams don’t. Chaulking everything up to luck seems like a cop-out to me.

Why is everything all-or-nothing? Luck plays a role. It's not everything. I never said it was, and indeed I noted that the best teams usually win. But sometimes very good teams don't "take advantage" of their luck.

Truly dominant teams avoid putting themselves in a situation where a bad outcome in a handful of plays can end their season.

(in response to my "Is Manning more responsible for the offensive success of his team than any player in the NFL? Yes." line) What the heck does that mean? Talk about irrational, unprovable opinions being tossed out as fact.

Opinion? Yes, of course.

Irrational? Why? Logically, somebody in the NFL must fit that criteria. It could be Manning, and if you asked 10 NFL experts to name the 5 guys that they thought were most responsible for their teams offensive success, all 10 experts would put Manning in their top 5. Not only because of his statistics, or because the offense is clearly designed around him, but because he calls the plays.

Unprovable? Well, that's why it's an opinion. But the best stat I can find on this subject would be DPAR, and it at least suggests that I am right.

Tossed around as fact? That's your opinion.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 4:40pm

329: Cassel is way better than Sorgi. Cassel has backed-up three Heismann winners in his career (Palmer, Leinhart, Flutie), Sorgi only one.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 4:54pm

332: Well, it is provable, if we could convince Manning or Brady to take a day off. All we need is to compare their teams offensive DVOA in meaningful games when they play to those same situations when they're on the sidelines. Anyways, this experiment has already been performed, and the answer is Steve Smith.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 5:00pm

B, of course, the experiment is not perfect unless we go back in time and re-play the same game with and without that player. And even then, there's a question of how good the replacement player was. For example, this approach might make Trent Green look bad, because Huard is a pretty good backup.

Steve Smith is obviously crucial to his team, as are LdT and Brady and Manning and McNabb and others. But I'm not sure why you say that "the experiment has been performed". Did I miss the alternate reality game where Sorgi led the Colts to a win over the Broncos?

by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 5:26pm

Peyton looks like a retarded monkey doing the chicken dance when he audibles.

by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 5:33pm

"Vell, Tom and Peyton, dey're just dese guys, you know."

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 5:38pm

If the Colts win the Superbowl this year without the run defense improving pretty dramatically, then yeah, they will have been lucky. That won’t mean that Peyton Manning had nothing to do with it. In all likelihood, he will have had a lot to do with it.

The Patriots won despite probably not being the best team in the 2001 postseason. Credit for pulling off those upset wins goes to many players, including Brady.

No, that wasn’t what you wanted to do. You wanted to twist my words to make a snarky point.

I am not trying to be snarky, just trying to point out the contradictions in the arguments. I am not trying to twist anyones words. They are what they are.

Irrational? Why? Logically, somebody in the NFL must fit that criteria. It could be Manning, and if you asked 10 NFL experts to name the 5 guys that they thought were most responsible for their teams offensive success, all 10 experts would put Manning in their top 5. Not only because of his statistics, or because the offense is clearly designed around him, but because he calls the plays.

No, it is not logical that someone has to fit that criteria as there is not one set of measurable criteria to judge it by. It is purely speculative and subjective and no different then someone saying that Brady is great because he won three superbowls and was the single player most resoposible for those victories.

But the best stat I can find on this subject would be DPAR, and it at least suggests that I am right.

DPAR also then tells us that Kurt Warner, Dunte Culpeper and Rich Gannon were the most responsible for the offensive success of their teams in their respective times in the NFL.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:11pm

I am not trying to be snarky, just trying to point out the contradictions in the arguments. I am not trying to twist anyones words. They are what they are.The point is that the contradictions are not there. Maybe you just misinterpreted me. Do you still think what I'm saying is contradictory after my responses in 332? I think I've been pretty clear on this. Luck plays a role, better teams usually win, everyone shares varying degrees of credit for the successes and failures of a team. You know, basic common sense.

No, it is not logical that someone has to fit that criteria as there is not one set of measurable criteria to judge it by.That's just an argument that you can't get everyone to agree that a given guy is most responsible for his team's offensive success. You're correct that it is unprovable for an arbritrary criteria. But that does not mean that creating some criteria for oneself (say, DPAR, or something less concrete) and then forming an opinion based on it, is irrational.

It is purely speculative and subjectiveIt is only purely speculative and subjective if the criteria you choose are purely subjective. Personally, mine are not.

and no different then someone saying that Brady is great because he won three superbowls and was the single player most resoposible for those victories.First of all, that's a normative statement ("he's great"), not a relative statement ("he's the best"). Secondly, sure. As long as you clearly state your criteria, that's fine by me.

If you think that Brady is the best QB because he was the key offensive player on the most successful team of the decade, and that's your quality criteria, then I wouldn't accuse you of being illogical. I would disagree with your conclusion because I use a different criteria to judge which QB is the best. And that's OK.

DPAR also then tells us that Kurt Warner, Dunte Culpeper and Rich Gannon were the most responsible for the offensive success of their teams in their respective times in the NFL.

Culpepper never finished atop DPAR; his best showing was a very, very distant second to Peyton Manning. Warner and Gannon - yeah, you would say they were the most important parts of their offenses based on DPAR. Didn't they win MVP awards and take their teams to the Superbowl those years? I mean, it's not like DPAR is picking out stinkers here.

Just to be clear - I don't think DPAR is a perfect measure to answer the question, "which player contributes most to his team's offensive success?". But it is a pretty good tool to start with, and to bolster with more heuristic observations.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:13pm

If Damon Huard can come in and replace 90% of Trent Green's performance, I think that states just how important Trent Green is to his offense. It doesn't say how good they are, just how important they are.

by Mike (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:43pm

I believe this argument can only be resovled by acquring 10 pretty girls between 20 and 25, splitting them in fives, having Manning and Brady breed with them and seeing who's kid ends up being the best.

(PS: Manning wins 'cause Brady wont have the energy for Girl #5)

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:57pm


But how are they supposed to breed with a fifth of a girl?

by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:01pm

Cassel is way better than Sorgi. Cassel has backed-up three Heismann winners in his career (Palmer, Leinhart, Flutie), Sorgi only one.

Sorgi's never backed up a Heisman winner, unless you count Ron Dayne during Sorgi's redshirt year at Wisconsin. Manning finished 6th in the Heisman voting in 1995, 8th in 1996, and 2nd in 1997.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:04pm

RE: 340

Well, but it doesn't account for the fact that both sides' coaches will certainly gameplan differently for Huard vs. Green, and that might change other matchups rather significantly, and then once the game starts every single play is influenced by all of the plays before, and then you add in luck, intangibles, momentum, mojo, mogumbo, and all other such superstitious claptrap (which we all nonetheless believe, whether or not we care to admit it) - and by the end, what do we really know?

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:06pm

RE: 343

Besides, Manning never won anything at Tennessee. Loser.

by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:12pm

#335: In 2005, DPAR says that Mannings passing, with the Indy passing offense, scored 112.5 points more than a replacement-level QB with an otherwise average passing offense. Tom Brady, in the New England passing offense, was worth 104.0 points more than a replacement-level QB in an average passing offense. Two factors confounding this analysis. The quality of the passing offenses are hard to separate from the quality of the QB, although it is almost certain that Edgerrin James in 2005 was intrinsically a better receiver than Kevin Faulk in 2005 (I suspect that Harrison-Wayne are intrinsically better WRS than Branch-Givens as well). Also, Brady passed the ball 85 more times than Manning did in 2005, which can be partially explained by the difference in defense quality, the quality of the running game, and Manning playing two less full games than Brady.

My opinion: DPAR and general opinion assesments of player quality suggest that with Mannings supporting cast, Tom Brady would have far greater DPAR than Manning in 2005, but he wouldn't have had to pass as much if he was playing for Indianapolis in 2005, thus he would probably have a DPAR equal to Manning's. Apply the reverse to Peyton Manning and he probably ends up with the same DPAR as Brady.

The big problem though is that football relies on synergy, and the offensive system in Indianapolis and New England are very different, so it is possible that even if their training in the other system was equal to their training in their own system, they would not be able to play as well in it as they do in their own system.

Also, I think that the original thread that appeared before the 2004 season was even more ridiculous than this thread, as Aaron Brooks was ahead of him in DPAR in 2003, and I don't think you can say that the 2003 Saints had better players in the passing game than the 2003 Patriots, or that Brooks was ever a great player. It is only over the last two years that Brady has improved to the point that he is one of the best QBs in the league.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:23pm


Er, I know you clearly mark your second paragraph as opinion, but is your first paragraph supposed to act as evidence for the conclusions reached in the second? 'Cause to me, it looks like there's a gap there big enough to fit Bill Parcells AND his ego...

by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:36pm

Re: 346

You realize that Brady had 85 more pass plays than Manning in 2005, right? On a pass-for-pass basis (not adjusting for supporting cast, of course), Manning was far more valuable, at least according to DPAR and DVOA.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 8:17pm

The point is that the contradictions are not there. Maybe you just misinterpreted me. Do you still think what I’m saying is contradictory after my responses in 332? I think I’ve been pretty clear on this. Luck plays a role, better teams usually win, everyone shares varying degrees of credit for the successes and failures of a team. You know, basic common sense.

Let me rephrase. You said my purpose for asking the question was to twist your words and give a snarky response. I responded by saying that was not my intent, but rather to see if you would contradict yourself. The words would be your own without any twisting or commenting on my part. I didn't imply that you contradicted yourself.

That’s just an argument that you can’t get everyone to agree that a given guy is most responsible for his team’s offensive success. You’re correct that it is unprovable for an arbritrary criteria. But that does not mean that creating some criteria for oneself (say, DPAR, or something less concrete) and then forming an opinion based on it, is irrational.

It is when you have no way to measure that criteria other then what you create on your own. It is the equivalent of me saying : Is Brady the most clutch player in the NFL? Yes.

It is only purely speculative and subjective if the criteria you choose are purely subjective. Personally, mine are not.

The selection of your own set of criteria in and of it self is subjective.

If you think that Brady is the best QB because he was the key offensive player on the most successful team of the decade, and that’s your quality criteria, then I wouldn’t accuse you of being illogical. I would disagree with your conclusion because I use a different criteria to judge which QB is the best. And that’s OK.

I differ on that. If someone wants to say that Manning is great because he calls his own plays and has great stats, I am fine. If someone else wants to say that Brady is great because he was the most important individual of three superbowl teams, then I am also fine. What I do disagree is that either is a basis for comparison to the other. (i.e., Brady is better then Manning because of the three superbowls while Manning.) I also disagree with those that try to claim that their criteria is superior when it is just as subjective as the opposing criteria they are trying to discredit (i.e., Passing stats, which are reliant on other players, are better then wins because wins are reliant on other players).

Didn’t they win MVP awards and take their teams to the Superbowl those years? I mean, it’s not like DPAR is picking out stinkers here.

I included Culpeper in there because he had such a gaudy DPAR for a couple of years there. In hindsight would you say that any of these guys were as good as their DPAR numbers made them out to be? Do you think DPAR did a good job separating the the value of Warner from the value of Faulk? Personally, I would say no. DPAR is a good statistic, but like all statistics in a team sport like football has to be taken with a grain of salt.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 9:00pm

DaveO, right on, brother about everything, including Mary Ann over Ginger. Now, one night with Ginger might have been memorable but upon further review, Mary Ann was the right call. (Plus Ginger put mahi-mahi in her coconut cream pie. ick.)

Now on to whatever putz from the LA Times wrote about fluidity in the pocket, if Brady is so much more f-ing mobile, why does he ALWAYS have many more sacks than Manning. No OL blaming here, since FO loves bashing the Indy OL, despite their lofty DVOA stats--mainly because of low power rushing ratings. I'd argue that Brady is one of the few younger good QBs who is less mobile than Manning.

Now comparing him to Joe Namath is just an insult to Brady--unless he was going for the "Namath beat the Colts in a huge SB upset" theme.

bsr, in #323, it looks like you are blaming Manning for the media's idiocy (preseason hype)--because he doesn't live up to hype. They're trying to sell papers and magazines, first and foremost! (Do you really think the college and b-school rankings change so much every year? They have to have a story to sell the magazines! If USN&WR trumpeted "Wharton is #1 for 11th straight year" on their cover would anybody buy the f-ing thing, aside from Donald Trump?) If Brady stinks up the joint on monday, will we blame him for not being the saviour that Kornheiser annointed him last week? I hope not.

Let's separate a person's skill. quaity/production from what media know-nothings say about him. And from his TV commercials. And his draft status.

Jeremey in #269 you slam Dillon for gaining 3 YPC on 24 carries. That's Godlike compared to Edge's 14 yards on 9 carries vs NYJ in the 2002 playoffs. As long as we're cherry-picking stats, you'll be hard-pressed to improve on that one. He was 14 for 39 in the 2004 playoff loss to NE. Making an off day for Dillon look, well, Timmy Smith like.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 9:18pm

The gamesmanship begins -- each team has listed 17 players as questionable on the initial injury reports.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 10:16pm

#350 That is absolutely not what I am trying to convey. I fully blame the media and fans for my annoyance. Although I must admit that the frustrated Manning face is a guilty pleasure of mine.

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:08pm

Which side would take the bigger hit here if Sorgi or Cassell took over and either won the SB? Colts fans because it would prove that Peyton was the Problem? Or Pats fans because it would prove that Brady was not the Solution?

by Mike (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:17pm

BSR, I don't think it's necessarily inaccurate to say that Warner/Culpepper in those years were phenomenal performers - some people's greatness just doesn't last long. The fact that Warner aged fast (and remember he was old then), or had a large dropoff from his 2-3 good years doesn't necessarily mean he wasnt great those two years. You can't use those few seasons to argue either QB is an all-time great, but you could use them - and most people would at least accept them as viable partners in an argument - for greatest individual seasons. They might lose out to 2004 Peyton, but no one's going to say 'Oh, Warner stunk, he was just uber-lucky and surrounded by great stuff'. He was great that year, too. And so they were amazing. And then he piddled, and so did they.

But he was great then, and DPAR wasnt lying.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:55pm

#356 - I don't know about Sorgi, but I think in the case of Cassel it is fair to say that we don't know what his potential is. There doesn't have to be one solution.

As for Manning, every team is different from year to year. Nothing Sorgi has done would take away from what Manning has accomplished to this time.

#354 - Warner/Culpepper didn't create those DPAR ratings. Those QB, along with their supporting cast created them. That is as fine as the guage can be tuned. Everything beyond that point is conjecture as to how much responsibility any individual in that system has for the results.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:55pm

Someone way, way up above asked for Aaron's quote in Moving the Chains. Here it is (from Page 110):

"Almost every discussion on the site," says Aaron Schatz, who runs a popular football website called Football Outsiders, "turned into Brady versus Manning. There is this image of Brady as a sort of knight in shining armor and Peyton Manning as this prissy little nancy boy whose only concern is the money he makes. At his site, and many others, the quarterback controversy rages on behalf of figures made of cyberstraw.

"From Indianapolis , it's the exact opposite," Schatz explains. "Brady is never as good as Manning, and his defense helps him win games anyways. But, there Brady is not held nearly negative as Manning is [in New England]. I don't know either of these two guys and neither do most people. I have no clue what they're like as people. I'm a statistical analyst, and I think this whole Brady-versus-Manning thing is disrespectful to, among other things, the New England defense."

by BD (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 12:44am

As a Bills fan who hates Manning and Brady I think this is all irrational. We SHOULD be arguing whether JP Losman is better than both of them combined.

Seriously, though, somebody about 700 posts ago mentioned something about Peyton not being able to do well in cold and snowy conditions- that seemed pretty smart to me. That would explain some of Peyton's playoff difficulties if it's true. He is, after all, a Louisiana boy.

Just 2 cents from a (relatively) disinterested observer.

by fromanchu (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 1:06am

re 256
lol why would there be a thread about that? who would debate that maroney is better? he played in the big ten. those running backs are awful. addai is so much better there is no debate at all.

by Matt (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:44am

Fundamental proof that Brady's better.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 5:09am

359 Funny funny shit. You may be right.

by tic toc (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 5:41am

Re: 235, 238 "Worst call in NFL history"

Vinny Testaverde up the middle, touchdown! Jets win! Oh wait that was just his helmet. Well at least there is a football on the jets helmet

by skins fan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 8:49am

To this observer, it's not a question of Brady v Manning. Both are simply EXCELLENT and both are proven game winners that can lead teams to victory (whether holding or chasing a lead) How fortunate are we to have BOTH these guys here at the SAME TIME!

There is not a single question mark in my mind regarding Brady & his accomplishments. When it comes to Manning, and if you are honest with yourself, there is that nagging question (fairy or unfairly) that pops into all our collective heads Can he do it? So all that is left now is Manning v Manning. Not Payton v Eli but PAYTON v PAYTON....so what's new? You say

Here's the rub - these are some NOT all situations that have effected the careers of Brady & Manning. For example, take the "tuck rule" and Vinatieri FG's out of the equation and what do you get ? What if the Colt's Vanderjagt didn't miss? etc Of course you can't change history BUT (call these events skill, good luck, bad luck, whatever!) but these plays DO have a major effect on players CONFIDENCE levels and OVERALL mindsets. There are two different worlds of Thinking you can V's Knowing you can when it comes to being able to GET IT DONE when IT MATTERS MOST.

Thinking you can V's Knowing you can is MASSIVE. I am not trying to take anything away from Brady & the Pats - cause being able to convert opportunities into points (& wins!!) in major playoff games (& SB's) is what defines a champion. The Pat's & Brady are both proven CHAMPIONS

Now, all that is left is Manning v Manning. Here's a guy (that from day 1) was touted as the BEST. That's a huge burden for any human to carry. Mohammed Ali, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordon are some of the VERY FEW that have been able to "handle it" and still DO IT, when it mattered most. At first, nobody expected Brady to do ANYTHING - and sometimes "the underdog tag" with less pressure can bring the BEST out. Not taking anything away from Brady cause it’s getting it done that matters most. Sometimes circumstances can help, that’s all.

Back to Manning and the "load" he still carries. Several times the Colts have been close when it matters (Vanderjagt amongst other situations etc).. But with these losses, even MORE responsibility & PRESSURE falls onto Manning.

So what’s new? You what to know what I saw? Look at reaction of both Manning & Dungy as Vinatieri did what Vinatieri does...ICE THE GAME against the Bronco's. It;s a Big Game with high stakes, outdoors, away from home. It’s a Getting It Done When It Matters Most situation. 1:49 on the clock, Manning flawlessly puts the Colts into a position to win and Vinatieri (cool as you like) delivers!

And here we have (IMO) the missing ingredient in the Manning puzzle. Seriously, go to NFL.com and look! Look at Manning & look at Dungy's reactions to the Vinatieri FG. A huge monkey is NOW off Mr Manning's back.....Thinking you can & Knowing you can When IT Matters are two different worlds. Manning has just stepped into THAT different Hemisphere (finally) of NOW "Knowing"...Look at the clip!!! Look at the reactions. That Final drive and THAT FG to win is MASSIVE. Should the Colts be in a similar position during the playoffs - THAT Drive & THAT FG against the Bronco's becomes even BIGGER!

So now it's up Manning (sure what's new? It's always been up to Manning) BUT BUT BUT It's a DIFFERENT Manning. It's NOW the "Knowing you can Manning" NOT the "Thinking you can Manning"........ AND we have yet to see what Payton Manning can do with that mindset.

by Andy S. (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 10:09am

All this talk about who is the better quarterback makes me realize that I'm much happier as a NE fan than as an Indy fan. Right now you could write "Almost but not quite." as Peyton's NFL epitaph; Tony Dungy's too, for that matter.

I have been able to enjoy the past 6 seasons, to which I am grateful to Kraft, Belichick and Brady.

To be an Indy fan must be very, very hard. Almost to the finish line and never quite making it.

This debate about who is the better quarterback really is just a battle of wits between two unarmed opponents.

by DeepThreat (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:02am

Manning might go into Foxborough and win this week. But is there any doubt he will lose a playoff game this year ?

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:17am

356: If I'm interpreting that quote correctly, this whole thread is disrespecting Rodney Harrison. I better shut up now before shows up at my office and breaks my legs.

by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:20am

I was thinking about some of what was said in this thread last night. In particular, the discussion about why some pats fans feel the need to have Brady be the best quarterback. Now I am curious of the answer to the same question asked of Colts fans. Why do Colts fans feel the need to have Peyton be the unquestioned best? Why do the argue so hard against pats fans? Any Colts fans want to offer up any insight?

by COINFLIP (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:25am

I've posted what I consider to be the definitive Brady/Manning comparison chart on my site.
Comments welcome.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 12:18pm

RE: 360

Only if you think that Correy Dillon

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 12:41pm


I've touched on this on other posts, and there's clues in my silly #326 - but I think (complete Yahoos on either side notwithstanding) that it tends to be more of an issue of "don't dis my Guy" than "My Guy has to be universally recognized as The Best". NE fans love Brady (or at least they ought to), for good reason. Colts fans love Manning (or at least they ought to) for good reason. We get defensive when someone implies that we shouldn't, particularly when they either (in the case of Manning) make up myths about his character and toughness that simply aren't true, or (in the case of Brady) imply that he's just a "system" guy and that his leadership and intangibles don't matter. As evidence - look way back at the very beginning of Part I of this thread - it started out as "is Brady overrated". Manning doesn't come in until later.

The problem comes in when (some of us) fight back by going on the offensive. Some do so by attacking the other guy; others, though, try to justify their faith in their guy, and this is seen by the opposition as an attack on their guy. In either case, it quickly devolves into irrationality and name calling.

I could be wrong, but I think what galls Colts fans is not that they think that there should be no Gods before Manning, but that there seemed to be such vitriol aimed specifically at a guy who just doesn't seem to deserve it. I could be wrong, but it really doesn't seem to me that we hate Brady here in Indy nearly as much.

Sadly, my suspicion is that, if we were to beat NE on Sunday, and then beat them again in the playoffs, and win a Super Bowl, and rack up some more sustained dominance - then you'll start to see the sort of contempt for Brady that y'all see for Peyton. It has less to do with the players, and more to do with the simple fact that you always hold your bee-otch in contempt. Plus, we'll have learned all we need to know about contempt from NE fans...

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 12:43pm

RE: 368

Sorry forgot the rules. Should read "Only if you think Correy Dillon is less than or equal to Dom Rhodes"...

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 12:47pm

366: I'm no Colts fan, but I think I can answer that question. The Colts offense, and their entire team philosophy revolves around Manning. The stretch run play only works because opposing defenses are concerned about the pass. Their WR corps are all fast, crisp route-runners who need to have the ball delivered at exactly the right point to succeed. The defense works best when the other team is forced to play-catchup after falling into an early hole. In short, the Colts need Manning to be the best in order to succeed. The Patriots, on the other hand, can beat a supposed-playoff team by 21+ points when Brady only completes 57% of his passes (Cincinnati this year).

by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 1:05pm

#369 - Interesting points. I do however feel that some of the vitrol and rhetoric from both camps has died down as of late. I think more and more people are willing to say that they are both great without feeling the need to rank them at this time. Of course we will always have our random soldiers on some isolated island that hasn't realized that the war has been over.

#371 - I was looking more for the phsycological aspects of why a colts fan feels like they 'need' to argue as to why their guy has to be number one.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 1:09pm

372: Because, as fans, they "need" their team to be great.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 1:11pm

RE 371:

That's a good point - it's certainly the case that, to a large degree, we do get the notion of "Manning IS the Colts" foisted upon us in all sorts of blatant and subtle ways. That might explain why we seem a little thin skinned about this particular player - you knock Peyton, you knock the Colts.

Still don't think that that's the same as "Colts fans just need to feel that Peyton is the very best QB" though...

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 2:03pm

374: Hmmm. I seem to have ansered the wrong question. Let me try again.
When Colts fans watch the Colts, they see the best QB playing. Not to say he is/isn't the best, but that's just what they see. So, naturally, when they hear some other guy described as the best, they disagree. Now, when the other guy happens to be the QB of that damn team that keeps beating yours in the playoffs, it makes things more heated, especially cause the fans of that other team have a particular talent for coming off as insufferable jerks. I believe the same phenomenon would have happened back when Favre was winning league MVP awards and losing to the Cowboys in the playoffs, had the internet been more prevalent back then. I'm sure there were plenty of Favre vs. Aikman arguments in sports bars back then. This is an important lesson to my fellow Patriots fans, don't be like Cowboys fans.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 2:19pm

I'm not sure if this proves that comedy has a little bit of truth in it, or that perception becomes reality, but The Onion even seems to be taking sides in this:


Me? I think Peyton's a pampered jerk who gets a lot of slack for being an unbelievable talent. But then, he's taken swipes at my city and its fans, so at least there's a history to it.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 2:28pm

But then, he’s taken swipes at my city and its fans, so at least there’s a history to it

To what are you referring?

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:25pm

Peyton's complained about getting booed in Baltimore: "It's been 13 years, why don't they just get over it?" His actions after John Unitas' death weren't particularly well-thought out either, given Unitas' well-known antipathy to the Irsays and the Indy franchise.

Peyton is supposed to be smarter than that, to hear his hagiographers tell it. But, like other times, he has a problem admitting or apologizing when he is wrong. You need ego to play QB in the NFL, but you also need to know when to keep your mouth shut. I have all the respect in the world for his talent -- how could you not? -- but I can't admire him until he grows up.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:56pm

RE 378:

When did that happen? I can't remember anything remotely like that (although I do remember when he was booed, in Indy, vs. Baltimore, when he was near the Marino record, and he went on record saying something like "I hope that those were Baltimore fans"). Honestly, that quote doesn't sound like him at all - not, Lord Knows, that he has never said anything stupid in the press, but I have never heard him say anything that would even slightly resemble baiting another team, it's players, or fans. Dunno about smart, but I do believe that he has more discipline than that.

As to the Unitas deal - are you referring to his petitioning the league to wear black high tops to honor Johnny U?

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 4:58pm

Dunno about others, but it's not being a fan of Indy or NE (or Manning or Brady) that got me into it. It's the irrational arguments. I despise some of the downright silly arguments that fans use to support their QB. As it turns out, a lot of those are on the side of Brady for whatever reason. The whole 'rings' thing, the "Brady beat Manning head-to-head", the fallacious 'just wins', the clutch aspect, all of that crap.

Brady isn't a system QB. He's a great QB, and he's been a great QB for a couple years now (he was merely good for a couple years, but most franchise QBs only become great in their 4th-6th years). Manning is by any measuring stick a great QB. I despise the notion that a player is not good if they do not win championships, and I despise the notion that a QB wins or loses games the same way that a pitcher wins or loses games - especially if we're not going to use the fairly esoteric rules about which pitcher gets credit for the win/loss.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 5:10pm

He said it after getting booed, along with the rest of the team, when Indy first came to Baltimore. It's something all the other relocated franchises have to put up with every season, except for Indy (the Rams are obviously immaterial, as there is no LA team to visit); yet, to my knowledge, no Raven has ever complained about the reception in Cleveland, or Titan in Houston, or Cardinal in St. Louis, etc.

Yep, that's the Unitas incident I'm talking about. After the league made a point of telling Indy not to do anything, that they would respect Unitas' wishes and let the Ravens conduct the tributes, Peyton pulls that stunt. It's not about him and his wishes; it should be about the deceased and HIS wishes. The way the Colts, Irsay and Peyton acted after Unitas died was pretty shabby; it smacked of "We'll do what we want, whether he would have liked it or not."

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 5:45pm

Re 381:

Yeah, wanting to pay a respectful and personal tribute to a man that Peyton had idolized since he was a little boy - asking permission, and then dropping the matter, with respect, the moment his petition was denied - what a turdburgler.

I submit, also with respect, that your view of this situation might perhaps just possibly be colored just a smidge by some lingering resentment of the Senior Irsay and his cowardly midnight dash. I've heard this kind of take from a few other Baltimorians; and I gotta say, if it's true as you guys seem to suggest that Unitas would have not just denied, but been mortally wounded to the depths of his very soul by such an outrageous and discourteous suggestion, then it's Unitas himself that comes off looking kind of, well, sort of small and petty. Nice way to treat your fans, big guy.

Click on my name for the WWL's account of the incident - since I'm admittedly the recipient of stolen property, and thus cannot really speak on the subject dispassionately, I'll just let everyone else come to their own conclusions on the subject. Do note, however, the feelings of Unitas' own son in the matter...

by doktarr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 6:16pm

RE: 378/381:

Are you sure you're not thinking of Marshall Faulk's comments? Click on my name for the game recap.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 6:30pm

Brady is obviously better than Manning because Brady has been good while playing on an injured shoulder for...oh...about four and a half seasons now. At least, according to the Pats' injury reports. Obviously he's a real man.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 6:30pm

You see, Dave, that is exactly my point -- Unitas had too much respect for his fans, and his relationship with the city, to allow himself to be what he thought was co-opted by Irsay. If Peyton had half as much respect as you claim, he would not have even brought it up -- it wasn't like John was silent on the topic.

However, don't put words in my mouth -- I haven't cursed Manning; I pointed out I didn't like some of his actions, becasue they seemed thoughtless at best, and self-centered at worst. None of this has anything to do with his ability as a quarterback; I just don't like a lot of what I've seen of the guy as a person.

I have seen a lot of Indy fans like you exhibit a blind spot the size of the RCA Dome regarding that issue. You want an acceptance from Baltimore that you will not earn for years, if ever. There are a large number of people who will not like the Indy Colts for the simple reason that they exist. Expect to get booed; have you ever seen the reactions to the Dodgers at a game in New York? Take a lesson from it.

Oh, and if you want to talk about petty, tell your owner that threatening to sue a marching band is Exhibit A.

by Incognito (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 7:22pm

Bob Sanders is better than Rodney Harrison.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 7:24pm

RE 385:

Don't get me wrong, I know well Johnny U's opinion on Irsay and the mad dash out of town. However, unless the man left specific instructions for this particular case, I think you might be confusing those feelings with the specific way that the NFL interpreted those wishes vis. a vis their ruling about team demonstrations following his death.

What were those wishes, exactly? Did he really say "Verily, let it be known that no-one save members of my Dear Baltimore Brethren may deign to offer remembrance!"?. 'Cause that was the league's interpetation, but I don't want to assume that it was really what Johnny U. wanted, 'cause that seems kind of, y'know, sad. Not all Baltimore Colts fans, or Johnny U fans, lived in Baltimore.

Or do you think that, had Peyton been drafted by, say, the Bengals, it would have been OK to petition the league, but the fact that he dared to don the sacred horseshoe in a city far from Ballmer is what made his gesture so odious? Peyton's idea was meant as a personal gesture of respect; Would Johnny U really have spit on Peyton, the lifelong respectful fan, just for wearing the dreaded faux horseshoe while he was doing it? That seems kind of sad, too - but even if it were true, I don't think it makes Peyton a jerk for not assuming that this was the case.

As for "earning acceptance" from Baltimore - I can't imagine anything about which I could care less, and no one I've met in Indy feels differently. Boo away, if it makes you feel better. As an added bonus, do it while gazing at your Superbowl Championship pennant, while carefully sublimating the internal conflict that you must feel for allowing yourself to enjoy the success of a team of brazen impostors who can never measure up to the Sacred Holiness of the original Baltimore Colts. Frankly, we don't care.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 7:28pm

Here,, the Boston Globe adds to the thread.. :-)

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 7:42pm

Re #366, here's my take, having followed the Colts since Joe Namath did something unspeakable to them. They have been quite good a lot, but have sucked more. When they have sucked I have taken solace in the fact that "at least our RB outran theirs" or "our QB had more yardage." Weak, but true.

Sad to say, in most of the 80s and early 90s, I took the most solace in a few scattered stellar performances, because there were not enough wins to enjoy. For me, that has carried over somewhat. Maybe I have the heart of a FF owner, but I have never played it.

Now stepping back and watching a consistent winner, I don't need to have those statistical jolts. In fact, I'd rather avoid them (partly due to ignorant "statboy" comments), so long as a W happens. But it is also patently clear to me that Manning is the best by a good margin (whatever that might mean) and I just can't understand anybody who purports to be rational not seeing it the same as I do. Sometimes I try to convince them, or at least deflate their spurious arguements. Other times I shrug my shoulders and say "life is too short."

That help any?

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 7:44pm

Oh hey, Bob Cook, I just read your article. So which is it, armless or legless?

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 8:12pm

Man, this Silverman guy is a pure asshole (see link at my name). He's passing off tripe like we have in this thread as "journalism." We do it all in good, bitter, back-stabbing fun, like playing the dozens (see: Carlin, George), but this guy think he's for real. I won't go in-depth parsing his diction, but here are a few examples:

"Manning’s belief in his arm strength is almost arrogant as he will bypass the shorter route for the deeper pass if he sees a needle he can thread." Um, support? Perhaps you're psychic.

"While appearing cool under pressure, he has resorted to blaming teammates when things have gone wrong." Um once in his 9-year career, which includes all these spectacular flameouts (you'd think his fatal character flaw for blaming would pop up more often, no? I mean with all these failures.). And it's been checked, supported by his OL as their fault, etc. This joker is dredging up old hash that was debunked, and slinging it out as if he just invented oxygen.

"Here’s another line item on Manning’s resume: How about a 41-0 loss to the Jets in the 2002 playoffs. Manning was 14-of-31 for 137 yards with two interceptions. Brady has never completed less than 51 percent of his passes in any postseason game." Implication that the loss was Manning's fault. Okay, give him 22 of 31, and 2 TD's. Then they only lose 41-14! BFD. While that's nice and all, Silverman doesn't indicate how Manning is on the hook for those 41 points, or how Edge James ran for 14 yards on 9 carries all game. (The same Edge whom Silverman praises as part of a superior supporting cast). Has Brady ever had less D and RB support in a playoff game, or ANY gamne? I doubt it. I'd like to be proven wrong, to at least say "hey I just learned something." But I doubt there is evidence.

Get this: Manning also has "a huge and powerful offensive line" compared to those tu-tu and toe-shoe wearers in Foxboro. They are, by implication, small and weak, and only able to block because of Brady's mojo, or so we are to surmise.

There's a ton of faulty implication going on here. And even in the final word, he refers to Manning as a pitchman--perhaps a double entendre (QB pitching balls as well as pitching products) but the clear meaning is that Manning spends too much time on TV and not enough on football.

Silverman, you are a turd. I have no proof, it's just my opinion, but that seems to be all that's needed. That and the ability to type better than Koko the gorilla. (though she wins on the who can reason better scale.)

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 8:21pm

If Balto the city was so sacred, why did Johnny U finish out his otherwise dignified career in SD?

Any Baltimorean (right word?) who cheers for the Ravens has lost any right to criticize Irsay or Indy because of a team's moving. It would be hypocracy to the highest degree.

It was my impression that the league used the "it's not our uniform policy and all teammates must have matching shoes" argument. Typical beaurocrats! I say Manning should have not said a word and just worn the hightops like Pennington, paid his $5,000 fine, and dealt with Johnny U when they meet in the great beyond.

It might go like this: JU smiles, extends a warm handshake and says, "Son, you are one heckuva QB." Then sucker-punches him in the mouth. "Now give me back the damn hightops, punk." PM wipes blood from his mouth, gives JU the shoes, and thinks, Jeez, thanks for the lame advice, Bob, ya moron.

Then again, maybe not.

by i am a very mean person (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 8:47pm

· ok the afc east is the for the dolphins to take. they have an easier schedule than the patriots and they should take advantage of that. the patriots have gone worse through the offseason, but much better in the draft, so i really dont know what to expect.
bottom line is, i think that the patriots will go 5-1 inside the division, and the dolphins will go 5-1 inside the division, the only loss being to the other team. they might go 4-2 if they choose to give up meaningless week 17 to let culpepper or brady get some rest.
any way you look at it, its going to be close.
:: Stephen Yang — 6/23/2006 @ 12:42 am

· you’re all wrong. i dont know if you guys remember a certain daunte culpepper person passing for 4000 yards and 30 tds? and rushing for a few more tds? do you guys remember that? you are treating daunte like an average QB who wont lead his team to anything. last year was a fluke. he was playing with a horrible vikings team.
daunte will do better this season. i GURANTEE IT. im like joe namath.
:: Stephen Yang — 6/23/2006 @ 8:33 pm

· first of all sid. no i didnt, you are retarded. what i wrote in 129 is correct. maybe next time you can back it up with some proof.
second, alex smith could very well be the best QB in the nfl but if you put peyton manning in his position, i doubt he would have a great season. not as bad as alex smith, but pretty bad. culpepper puts up around the same numbers as trent green, and trent green has a better offensive line, and a better running attack.
plus culpeppers stats are just as good or better than hasslebeck without the line or shaun alexander.
Culpepper will succeed in Miami. Chris Chambers had a very good season last year with Gus Frerotte throwing to him, now he will have at least 1400 yards and 10 tds, guranteed. as for culpepper, he will probably have around 3700 with 25 tds.
ronnie brown also benefits from this because now the defense has to respect the pass and he should get his 1000 yards and 10 tds.
:: Stephen Yang — 6/25/2006 @ 8:52 pm
· you know what i dont understand. ive been arguing the same exact thing as he did, and he was taken seriously. now why is that?
i can be arguing the peyton manning is a good qb and people will still mock me. and i can tell you now, that i know more about football, than everyone here. (except of course, the writer of this article).
now what ive been debating is that culpepper is a better qb than trent green.
trent green is entering his 13th year, and has only 5000 yards more than culpepper. while daunte culpepper is entering his 8th. trent green is going to retire in a few years, and daunte culpepper can catch up to him in a season and a half.
now i know you guys are going to say, well if trent green started as early as culpepper did, then he would have even more yards than culpepper. but trent green might not have been so good if he didnt learn from the sidelines all those years, while culpepper was on the sidelines for only a year. daunte culpepper can run, pass, and turn miami into a playoff contender. he has the talent around him. he will do it.
:: Stephen Yang — 6/27/2006 @ 12:14 am
· daunte culpepper is so much better than brooks. its not even funny anymore. why are people comparing them? they should be comparing culpepper to either
a) Donovan Mcnabb (who is worse than culpepper)
b) Trent Green (who is about the same as culpepper.
aaron brooks is horrible compared to culpepper. he has never had a rating higher than 90.0, he has never had a completion percentage rate higher than 60 percent.
he had two seasons with decent yardage (3832, 3810 ) but he had 22 and 16 interceptions so he was probably just throwing it deep over and over again.
aaron brooks is even a worser rusher, averaging only around 250 yards a season with 2 tds.
culpepper is WAAAAY better than Aaron Brooks. but in all fairness to brooks, i mean WHOS HE GOING TO THROW TO IN NEW ORELANS?? i think he will do MUCH better in oakland with randy moss and jerry porter, and his legs should give him time to find the open receiver.
next, daunte culpepper is already passing and jogging so he wont be slowed down that much during the season. next season he should probably be rushing as much as he has in the past (unless of course there is another injury.)
:: Stephen Yang — 6/28/2006 @ 12:46 am
my name is an alias. obviously. and i do know more about football than anyone here. (since the writer isnt talking anymore)
i dont understand, i have provided opinions and evidence and stuff that makes you think, and no one wants to argue it. i do agree that trent green is similar to rich gannon, but i think that kurt warner is also similar. they have the same throwing style, were amazing QBS for a few years, got their teams to the superbowl, i think they are similar.
but the jaguars game is in miami.
and the seahawks are going to destroy the eagles.
last year. correct me if im wrong, the seahawks beat the eagles 35-0?
and the seahawks have an easy schedule this year.
their schedule is extremely easy for the superbowl runner up.
two games against SF, two games against AZ, two games against the rams.
thats 6-0.
packers, lions, vikings, raiders, another 4 wins
chargers in their seahawks field, 11-0, a game at kansas city, 12-0
against the bears in chicago, i’ll give it to the bears, and that bronco game in invesco field, the broncos will win that one. 12-2
playing the giants in seahawks field, you can even give that to the giants.
and week 17 against the buccanneers who might have the division locked up, you can still give it to the bucs.
12-4, division winner.
oh and chris chambers had 82 receptions for 1118 yards, and 11 tds, by far the best season he has ever had. with frerotte throwing to him.
and now culpepper is going to be throwing to him.
pat, thats what ive been arguing this whole time, that daunte culpepper will make the dophins into a playoff team.
gus frerotte got them to 9-7, culpepper will improve that record by 1 or 2 wins. i can promise you that, that the dolphins are going to make the playoffs, with the other wildcard going to pittsburg/cincinatti

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 9:07pm

RE 391- Nice!

One quibble though - of course, while the great Johnny U is destined for a harp and set of wings, Manning is going straight to Hell, being such a jerk and all.

His torment will be to be forced to sit at a computer with a Desktop Wallpaper made up of a collage of various shots of Brady lifting the Lombardi trophy. The only program he can access is IE (this being Hell, after all) - on it, he can see Brady's bookmarks file, in all of Its Glory; but whenever he selects a link, it opens up ColdHardFootballFacts.com.

by i am a very mean person (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 9:19pm

· The eagles are a horriblle team! they barely got to 6-10 last year, i would be very suprised if the have a winning season this year.
also, i agree that the cowboys shouldve traded up to get winston justice with their second round pick and then maybe get fasano if he slips, or another blocking tight end with good hands. thee cowboys have a solid tight end in jason witten and i think they shouldve worked a lot on their defense as well. their defense and offensive line are the only things that prevent them from breaking this season open, because they have an excellent offense with T.O who also gives Julius Jones space to breathe and Terry Glenn more man to man coverage, also jason witten should get some more catches in and drew bledsoe may have a career season as hhis career comes to an end soon.
i dont know if they drafted a QB lately, but in next years draft i definately suggest picking one up. i dont think theyve had a great qb since TROY AIKMAN AND ROGER STOUBACH!
i dont see any reason why the giants arent a playoff team except for the fact of their tough schedule.
the redskins need to work on their defense a little, and they’ll be back in the playoff hunt.
anyone ever hear of a one man offense, i sure havent! and thats exactly whats going to happen to the eagles. mcnabb is a one man show! and if he gets injured, POOP, 0-16 the eagles shall go.
i have always said the nfc east is the strongest division, and i think they shall have three teams in the playoffs this season. its possible right? cowboys go 13-3, redskins go 12-4, giants go 11-5? they’ll take the two wild card spots and let other teams battle it out.
Let me tell you my season predictions.
Those are my playoff predictions, they are very close to last years with some few changes, but i dont see any reason why the colts shouldnt win the division

arrg. you guys have forced me to this. now instead of all capital, its all tiny. thanks to you guys not wanting to listen to my keen ideas. arizona does have a shot in the playoffs, but its not a very big one. seattle is definately going to win the division, without a doubt.
terrell owens is a great wide receiver, and just because he doesnt have a superbowl ring, doesnt mean that he sucks and is unworthy. he is getting dallas into the playoffs.
the eagles arent going to do good. period. the giants, redskins, and cowboys are going to do better. this is why the nfc east is the strongest division. it features 3 playoff teams, and one almost playoff team. (eagles)

· look people. criticize me all you want, but i speak the truth. i appericiate mr. cabana for agreeing with me, but i dont need any help.
MARK MY WORDS. the eagles are not getting into the playoffs, or even close. THE NFC EAST IS TOO TOUGH OF A DIVISION. i mean do you see the eagles beating any of the elite teams?
i see them going 5-11 with wins against the texans, titans, packers, 49ers, and the titans again. they will probably lose to the giants x2, redskins x2, cowboys x2, buccanneers, jaguars, colts, falcons, panthers.
they might go 6-10 if they upset the falcons which seems possible. their schedule is actually pretty tough now that i see it. but they dont play the pats, broncos, hawks, steelers, bengals, but still, they are not doing better than 6-10 or maybe even 7-9 if their extremely lucky. and who knows, they might lose to the titans or the packers.
what i meant by that is. do you see the eagles beating the colts? is there any chance in hell that donovan mcnabb is going to out QB peyton manning? joseph addai is going to do pretty good running behind that line with the defense focused against the pass.
next, the cowboys, redskins, giants, all improved greatly over the past offseason. all the eagles did is get a DL with their firrst pick and thats it.
cowboys: got T.O and jason allen to help in the secondary.
Redskins: got Archuleta, Brandon Lloyd, Randle El, and little if any help from the draft.
Giants: gott lavar arrington, sinorice moss, sam madison, and a talented de to replace strahan soon.
i dont see how the eagles are going to win this division.
im not a dallas fan. im a broncos fan. and division games are not always tough.
i dont think the colts have any problem beating the texans or titans. i dont think the sea hawks have any problem beating the cardinals, 49ers, and rams. i doubt anyone in the nfc south has any problem beating the saints. the bears can beat everyone in their division easily. the browns and ravens are no challenge for the bengals and steelers.
with T.O and donovan mcnabb the eagles last year went 4-2 in their first 6 games, losing to the falcons and the cowboys. beating the chargers, chiefs (before larry johnson), raiders, and 49ers. all non playoff teams. they went 0-6 against their division.

by i am a very mean person (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 9:21pm

now that's irrational.
C'mon people, step it up.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 9:21pm

DaveO, Not a fan of CHFF, but they have a few fun bits on PM and TB this week. And Indy's run D (with some self-defecating humor about receiving an NFL stats encyclopedia and not seeing the light of day for another year....).

In Hell Manning gets to play football. Wow, he thinks, this ain't so bad. They even let him play QB. So far so good, he tells himself. The he sees the D across from him--the Pats. Well, he thinks, this might be a long day. Who's on my team? Blockers: AZ's current OL. WRs: Roberto Duran and William Fridge Perry. Uh-oh. They don't call it hell for nothing.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 10:28pm

RE: 363

To be an Indy fan must be very, very hard. Almost to the finish line and never quite making it.

Oh, Andy S., you have no idea...

It begins, invariably, on Monday morning (or, infrequently, Tuesday). As the excitement and memories of the previous day's contest begins to fade, it starts to be replaced by... what, exactly? A vague feeling - yet, no, not quite a feeling. More of a hint of a feeling, a rumor, like the distant alarm that you think that you hear upstairs, which remains yet outside of your consciousness no matter how hard you struggle...

By mid-week, this "feeling" has begun to take shape. Now, it's like the itch in the small of your back, that you can't quite reach; scratch it with the remote, and it merely moves around your back...

By Friday, this deepening haze of dread has nearly fully taken root, dominating your thoughts, haunting your dreams. But still, it grows; pulsing, throbbing...

Sunday Morning (or, infrequently, Sunday or Monday night) is the pinnacle of this Torture, this Creeping Horror. By now, the Thing has fructified, calcified. But that's not the worst; no, not by far. For now, this Thing has a name; it is recognized; it is Known in the Biblical sense.

And it is just this: That the day's contest, no matter how anticipated, is by definition Meaningless. Worse, by far; the only possible outcomes are either too horrible for words, or, improbably, even worse still. For if the battle is lost, we must endure the agonizing torture that is felt when one's very soul has been punished, humiliated, ripped to shreds. And if the battle is won; this, my friend, is the worse result of all - for victory carries with it the terrible and ineluctable knowledge that all was ultimately for naught, for once the playoffs arrive, our team, being a soft, fluffy dome team whose only hope is through deceit and finesse, and posessing of a marshmallow Defense, and (most Damning of all!) a loser, jerkazoid, choking, selfish, pouty, dork of a Quarterback; we will taste the agonizing bile of defeat yet again. Imagine, Andy S, the horror if you can - for we Colts fans know with certainty of Sisyphus' unbearable torment.

Then again, I imagine it's as bad or even worse for the fans of the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, Texans, Titans, Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders, Giants, Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, Bears, Vikings, Packers, Lions, Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Seahawks, 49ers, and Cardinals. None of these teams has won a Superbowl in this Millenium either...

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 10:38pm

398: At least Yankee fans feel the same way, then.

by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:57pm


The article linked in #390 makes the one in #391 look like doctoral thesis.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 12:10am


You missed the best line in the article, by far:

A quarterback either has it or he doesn’t — and Brady has it.

Well, now. Now that I read that bit of Pure Reason, I'm beginning to think that I may have been all turned around on this Brady v. Manning bidness...

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 12:47am

401: I thought Ron Mexico had it, and by it, I mean herpes.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 1:01am

Speaking of Pure Reason, some Colts fans chime in...

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 1:12am

And ESPN's Michael "Word" Smith contributes an Irrational Brady and Manning piece to the thread, rather than the usual Brady vs Manning.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:06am

404: LOL!

I could understand someone who doesn't believe in championships at all claiming that Manning is on his way to becoming the best QB ever.

I don't think Brady has any claim until he gets his fourth or fifth Superbowl, which is by all means possible. But I think you have to say Montana has Brady outclassed, no matter what bizarre method you use for rating quarterbacks.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:09am

DaveO, I forget who it was that wrote The gods laugh at Sisyphus. And Sisyphus laughs back.

I guess that means we're all in the funny farm.

399: What if I am both a Yankee fan and Indy fan? Doubly cursed I guess. Even worse, I'd put the Pittsburgh Pirates ahead of the Yankees in my fandom, but, well, a guy can take only so much pain.

404: Yeah, I am wondering what caused Michael "The Other Michael" Smith to jump ship this year? I mean, why now? Manning is doing what he's done the past three seasons and Brady appears to be better than ever. I'm not saying he's wrong exactly, but, dammit, he used to have a horse in this race and now he's got two? I guess that's called covering your bets.

In other news, is it really possible this thread has hit 406 comments in all of five days? Let's see a show of hands for anyone who has read them all? More than once? Skimmed them? Written more than a dozen? We all have a disease.

Okay, I am officially really looking forward to BB's game plan with some serious curiosity and a little bit of dread. I'd love to see something totally unexpected and confounding to me (but not confounding to Indy). I'm thinking the wishbone offense. Wing-T, four TEs, 1 DL and 6 LBs... something new. OOh, I got it: two QB's back in the shotgun--doesn't make much sense here, but with those teams where the better QB is a tossup, that might be kinda interesting. Garrard or Leftwich... who knows/ Who cares? Of course if they both get injured on the same play, the HC will find himself reading the want ads over Denny Green's shoulder on the unemployment line.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 10:48am


I don't think that The Genius needs to really mix it up much this year - frankly, the Colts match up poorly against the Pats on *both* sides of the ball. Ugh.

Ah, well, I suppose they might as well go ahead and play anyway. You never know...

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 11:36am

Heck, why stop at Brady/Manning? We could move on to Pats/Colts in general. :-)

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 11:39am

Or even Belichick/Dungy...

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 12:35pm


Actually, this is one of Shaugnessy's better efforts - he usually makes me shake my head sadly.

I do have a quibble or too, though;
Polian, you might remember, is the guy who complained bitterly when his wide receivers got the cold snot kicked out of them by Patriots defensive backs in the Jan. 18, 2004, AFC Championship game in Foxborough.

This is inaccurate. Polian complained bitterly when his wide receivers got held, grabbed, mugged, and interfered with by the Pat's defensive backs. As well he should have, but it probably would have been better if he just would have put a gun to Dungy's head and ordered him to tell the Colts' DBs to do the same.
The Colts don't like reading they are choke artists, a soft team unable to win the big one. The Patriots don't like to be told what to do by a sore loser with 18 years of experience as an NFL club president or GM

Dan's doing us a real favor here, by illustrating the kind of rhetorical dishonesty that you get from Pats fans all the time; all while appearing to be offering a balanced and thoughtful discussion, while really managing to propogate their favorite canards.

I'm not going to touch the "Soft Colts" meme - that's been done to death, and it goes without saying that no one wants to be called a soft choker. Let's look at the second proposition, though:

Premise - Polian is a lout. Well, hard to argue that one. So stipulated.

Premise - the Pats have beaten the Colts more often than not. No argument there - so far so good.

Premise - Polian has complained loudly when he thought that the Patriots have cheated and gotten away with it. Uh, OK. Maybe ya'll think that that's inappropriate behavior. I guess I could see how it would look that way, especially to the one being accused of doing the cheating (and particularly if he did cheat).

Conclusion - Polian is a sore loser.


by hooper (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 1:06pm

Brady v. Manning?

I'm a lot more interested in Brady v. Vinatieri!

Will this game determine who REALLY won those Super Bowls?

by doktarr (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 1:26pm

I'm surprised the league hasn't come down harder on the Pats about the condition of the field. This isn't really a Pats/Colts issue; they keep it sloppy all the time. It's against the rules and it's a safety issue.

Tom Kelso seems to have left the thread, but just to be clear, it appears the quote he attributed to Manning in 1998 was actually said by Marshall Faulk.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 1:37pm

412: The league has come down on the Patriots about the field. They've made them replace the turf before the game. There was a movie being filmed at Gillette stadium, but when production wrapped on the 25th, the Patriots starting installing new grass. There was some discussion about replacing the grass with field-turf, but that's not allowed mid-season by NFL rule.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 1:42pm


Marshall who? Oh wait, didn't he used to play for the Colts, had a couple nice years, then wore out his welcome and had the gall, the unmitigated audacity to wear somone else's laundry??!

He's dead to me.

by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:01pm

I think against the Colts you want a better field. I've changed my mind about that recently. Yes, a better field makes the WR's faster, but it also makes the DB's faster. Meanwhile, it speeds up the pass rush and makes it harder for the O-line to handle, which makes life more difficult for a pocket passer like Manning.

Can we please port a moratorium on the whole "Patriots mugged the Colts recievers" thing? Please? It's been argued to death. The fact is, most Colts fans, an everyone who likes offense more than defense, is convinced that it happens and will not be persuaded otherwise. Most Pats fans, and everyone who perfers defense ot offense, thinks the Patriots acted well within the rules at the time and the issue was overblown by sore losers. The truth is somewhere in the middle, but both sides were playing with the same refs and the same rules. Really. It gets almost as tiring as listing to pathetic Raiders fans still moaning about the tuck rule five years later (I now live in the East Bay, so I have to listen to that still on the local sports radio!) The more significant problem is that the Colts used their position on the competition committee to enact a rule change that tilted the game more towards their team structure and style of play, in response to a precieved reason why their team lost. It reeked of a conflict of interest, which is why many people get mad about it. It would be like the Falcons getting the competition committee to enact rules that disadvantaged pocket passing QB's, or Denver enacting rules that loosened restrictions on cut blocking.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:15pm


You ask for a moratorium on complaining about the part of that incident (the actions in that game) that Colts fans complain about, and then you turn around and complain about the part of that incident (the re-emphasis of the illegal contact rule) that Pats fans complain about. That's a little hypocritical.

It wasn't a rule change, it was a point of emphasis. I don't have any problem with the Pats DBs played in that game - NFL teams are going to push the envelope of the rules and it's silly to blame them for it. But asking the rule to be enforced, while also clearly being done out of self interest, was entirely reasonable as well.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:35pm

Tsk...tsk...tsk. The Boston Herald is being depressingly rational.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 2:47pm

And... Bill Simmons comes right out and says what he means. Hey, at least he doesn't pretend it's rational. A lot of what annoys him does seem to be his perception of the media coverage (although he doesn't recognize that Brady coverage is roughly as insufferable). All the standard throwaway arguments are in there. I generally agree with his assesment of what Maroney/Dillon will do to the Colts, though.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:09pm

Also, you have to give Simmons credit for absolutely blowing the Rock/Paper/Schissors metaphor out of the water, with an extended metaphor from 1970's boxing. I'll just quote it:
And as I was mentioning this, Borges agreed and even chimed in with a perfect boxing analogy: Back in the '70s, Frazier and Norton gave Ali fits, Foreman crushed Frazier and Norton, and Ali knocked out Foreman in Zaire. It was all about the matchups. Sound familiar? Under this scenario, Denver would be Frazier/Norton, the Colts would be Foreman, and the Pats would be Ali. If you really wanted to extend the comparison, the Chargers would be Earnie Shavers (a heavy puncher who scared everyone but never seemed to get it together), the Steelers would be Ron Lyle (only if Lyle had prevailed in the famous Foreman-Lyle fight, which surpassed last year's Colts-Steelers playoff game on the Roller Coaster Ride Scale), and the Raiders would definitely be Chuck Wepner.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:15pm

Ah, Simmons. Talk about clutch. Always comes through when it counts.

The funny thing is, once he's done with the usual tripe and starts talking about matchups between teams instead of Quarterbacks who Just Win, he starts to sound, well, almost reasonable. Huh. Although reading him makes me wish that I was gambler, and more specifically could wager NFL games exclusively against him.

Man can bring the funny, though.

PS I'm pretty sure that the Sports Guy and the Sports Gal are one and the same...

by Andy S. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:37pm

393 DaveO You are too funny! 22 years ago I dated a woman originally from Indy. She shared with me that COLTS was an acronym for Count On Losing This Sunday. They were no powerhouse in '84. They are a great team. Manning is a great QB. but to quote Corey Dillon not today...not in our house...not this Sunday night. Temps will be in 30s.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:41pm

The thing that bugs me about that Simmons column is that he spends the first half talking about why Manning is a selfish choker who loses because cares only about his numbers, and the second half talking about how the matchups create the RPS situation we've observed over the last three years, without ever seeing the contradiction. Or, maybe he does see it, and is just trying to get attention by pulling the same trick he says Borges is doing.

Either way, it's a perfect link for the irrational discussion thread.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:50pm

418: While reading the Simmons article, I realized I just don't hate the Colts the way he does. I'm not really feeling the antipathy, but you know who I really hate? The Broncos. I hate how we can never seem to stop thier running attack. I hate how Rod Smith always comes up big against the Pats. I hate Champ Bailey. I hate how Plummer never tries a crazy left-handed pass or has a disastrous game against the Patriots. I hate how they changed Mile Hight to Invesco. I hate their Arena league uniforms and their ugly logo. I hate listening to Shannon Stewart craw about how great they are on TV. I do like their cheerleaders, though. And the way the crowd chants "In-Com-Plete" is pretty neat. (Colts Fans, if you want to hear, it, you'll have to watch a game where they're not going against Indy).

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:52pm


To clarify, I wasn't complaining in my post about the fact that the Pats DEs mugged the Colts receivers all game - I'm in complete agreement with the Good doktarr, I think that the Colts probably should have simply reciprocated and at least kept the zebras honest. It was indeed a very smart strategy by a very smart coach coaching a very smart team (it was also, undeniably, a deliberate flouting of the rules - I can't imagine how this is even up for debate).

What I was trying to do was to show how DS intentionally misrepresented the nature of Polian's complaints, leaving out the whole notion of rules infraction vs. enforcement, and instead describing it as if Polian was complaining because his poor widdle Colts were sad that they got beat up by those Big Mean Patriot Bullys. I get that this happy horsehockey goes down like a cool drink of lemonade on a hot day to a certain (vocal) segment of Patriot Nation - it's still intellectually dishonest, though.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 3:56pm

Speaking of the Simmons article, notice how he included a built-in excuse if the Pats lose this week or the Colts win the Superbowl. If they do, it's not because Manning is great, but it's because Bellichick let them have it by letting Vinitieri go. It's the perfect excuse, cause if the Patriots win, it's cause Brady is better, but if the Colts win, it's cause of Vinitieri, and Brady is still better.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:03pm

Yeah, after spending about 1,000 words utterly dismissing Manning and Indy, Simmons goes on to complain about sending Adam V to a rival? A rival? I thought they were unworthy of his spit, and now they are a close competitor? Hmmmm. After reading the first part, I'd figure Simmons would advocate giving the pathetic Colts an extra $10M in cap room (to waste on Manning of course) and spot them a few free DTs in the draft, just to make things interesting. But by the second half of his piece, he's whining about losing a kicker and "this rivalry is too close to throw them a bone." Woah, close? Did I miss someting? With Saint Tom under center and Moses/BB leading them to the promised land nearly every year? Brother Simmons, has your faith been shaken?

It is a perfect article, of course, for this insane thread. Because like many Brady lovers, he touts Manning's supporting case on offense without addressing the disparities on D.

Modest Proposel: If Sunday's game goes into OT, I propose Pioli and Polian (damn, those names are weird to type together) slug it out to determine the winner. Polian's an older guy, but I bet he takes it in the first round.

The "NE is Ali" parallel falls apart in one key way: Ali was a talker--he won half his fights before anybody stepped into the ring, because he had the other guy convinced that he'd be lucky to win. I hated his brash big mouth and hated it more when he inevitably won. I am no fan of the Pats, but they are classy--how many times this week has Rodney H said Colts are the best team in football? More than once (or it's been quoted slightly differently if it was only once).

416 Doktarr is correct, it was NOT a rule change. MJK is right in that Indy/NE played on the same field with the same rules and same refs--the so-called mugging was a crime, but an equally big crime IMHO is that Indy did not adjust on O and repay it on D. HELLO? Anybody home in there, McFly?

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:05pm

As of this year, I am convinced that Vinitieri kicks better than Brady throws. Plus he's more clutch than Bill Simmons.

Anyone who disagrees is clearly an idiot.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:19pm

Re #418
Simmons clinched it for me. I was looking forward to a close, competitive game between teams with different styles. Now, though, I want the Colts to win. Not just win, but win badly. Not just win badly, but absolutely beat the living crap out of the Patriots. I'm talking 1940 NFL Championship-style beating. Ok, maybe 73-0 is too much to ask for. 73-7 would be ok.

The game I'm starting to think of is when FSU went and played at Michigan in the early 90's. You know, the great Michigan teams that were so wonderful and awesome. T-Buck had an INT return for a TD and they crushed the Wolverines like 51-31, and in so doing earned a decade of affection from yours truly.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:30pm

426: Funny you mention Ali convincing opponents they're doomed before the bout starts, cause I'm under the impression that many teams when facing the Colts switch to a vanilla defense because they're afraid to blitz, and try to run the ball in the first half more than normal because they're afraid of going three and out. Also they tend to take more chances like onsides kicks and going for it 4th and short, and all of these things play right into the Colts hands.

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:31pm

Re: Simmons.

I guess if you're willing to be an idiot, you can get a job doing anything you want. My favorite idiotic statement from him is when he decries the current media, who, he argues, all say "The Colts are unstoppable."

Now, I looked for that article. This is what I found:
"It's still a problem: Colts' run defense has to improve" (Indy Star)
"Still, this game comes down to who has the ball last in the final minutes of the game: Brady or Manning." (John Clayton, ESPN)
"Colts, Pats both present unique set of challenges" (Dr. Z, CNNSI)
"Patriots sure to run often on Colts' porous defense" (Peter King, CNNSI)
"Sheridan's line: Patriots by 3" (USA TODAY)
"MVP: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady." (Jay Glazer's midseason picks, FOX)

Where again is that group of articles calling the Colts unstoppable?

by Bronco Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:33pm

I can respect the Colts, after what they did to the Broncos last week, but from playing the Patriots multiple times recently, I just can't see how they can be good. They always suck against the Broncos.

After this Simmons article, I want a Colts rout over the Pats, with pretty boy Brady getting knocked on his holy butt many times. *crosses fingers*

by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:42pm

Just gotta chime in and say I LOVE the new tagline on the header of the site :-)

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:42pm


You sure did see a lot of that last year. This year, though, I think that the conventional wisdom is that you're better off standing up and trading punches. Seems to be working, too.

I think maybe last year, too much credit was given to the scheme of those teams that had shown success vs. the Colts (e.g. the rather simplistic "Manning can't beat the 3-4"), and failed to take into account that the teams that gave the Colts fits had a certain mix or combination where they were good - to - exellent in at least 2 of these 3 areas: scheme (hint: if you frequently stack the line and/or live by the Big Blitz, this ain't you), personnel (hint: if you can get inside pressure with your front 3 or 4, you're in the ballpark), and gameplan ability (hint: don't panic).

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:43pm


I just noticed the mini-banner FO has stuck up at the top of every page.

Good work, guys! :)

by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 4:46pm

OK .... here's a fun little project considering this neverending debate. Build the best quarterback possible using ONLY the physical/mental attributes of Manning and Brady.

i.e. Manning's precision, Brady's coolness under pressure, etc.

by bsr (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 5:14pm

#434 - I find it a bit trite. Kind of like "Hey look at as bending over backwards so as not to look like a Patriots site." Lately, I have just seen them try too hard.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 5:14pm

i don't know what is the most irrational part of simmons' column. manning-brady, wilt-russell, or chris chambers: top 5 reciever.

the new banner is great.

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 5:15pm

435: Okay. I'll take Brady's dreamy eyes. Manning's understated goofy television persona, Brady's chin, Manning's fake moustache, Manning's arm, Brady's ring fingers, Manning's hatred of drunken kickers, Brady's love of goats, Manning's wife, Brady's girlfriend, Manning's little brother, Brady's step-sister Marcia.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 5:20pm

435: I'll take Brady's dashing good looks, his intangibles, and his bookmarks file.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 5:22pm

Also, I'll take either one's salary.

by Lou (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 6:05pm

Simmons is my favorite writer on the net, but you just have to ignore everything he ever says about the Pats. At least he admits hes increadibly biased.

by C (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 6:07pm

If Brady was a lawyer, Bellicheck's son would walk with an apology. If Manning was a lawyer, Bellicheck's son would get life imprisonment.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 6:12pm

Re: 396

now that’s irrational.
C’mon people, step it up.

That's just not fair. Using Stephen Yang as the irrationality standard is like using platinum as the gold standard. It doesn't matter how good the gold is, it'll never be as good as platinum.

by Bill Simmons (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 7:11pm

Look, I know not only which quarterback is better, but which is more clutch. I don't provide any evidence, as usual, but trust me, juuuust trust me!


This whole discussion is kind of funny. Anyone who can measure Manning or Brady's skills independent of the ablility of their recievers isn't writing a column or commenting on a message board. Everyone needs to show a little socratic ignorance here and admit they just don't know which player is better.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 7:19pm


Before you get all indignant, why don't you go read Aaron's disclaimer in the thread description.

by Shane S. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 7:35pm

I think we all know how this debate will be not be decided with our knowledge of advanced statistical tools, but with the skill of Master Brady and Master Mannings' lightsabers.

And to be as much or more irrational, which Star Wars character would each resemble?

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 8:35pm

446: Bellichick is clearly Emperor Palpatine, so that makes Brady Vader. And that would make Manning the guy that Samuel L Jackson played. He seemed cool and unstoppable in the regular season (EP 1-2), but come playoff times (End of Ep 3), Bellichick throws him out the window.

by Scott (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 10:11pm

I can't decide who is better, I need to see Brady play against a Belichick defense designed to stop him and see how he does. That isn't going to happen anytime soon, So I guess I will continue to believe they are both pretty darn good.

by Jeremiah (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 10:18pm

I love stats and I love Peyton Manning. That said, I wonder if I've been in denial about Manning-Brady. I ran a quick study this morning.

Peyton Manning's QB Rating in seasons where the Colts made the playoffs: 99.1

Tom Brady's QB Rating in seasons where the Colts made the playoffs: 89.4

Peyton Manning's Career Playoff QB Rating: 89.1

Tom Brady's Career Playoff QB Rating: 89.4

Just looking at this, one could say that Brady is more 'clutch,' but that it's irrelevant since their playoff numbers wind up being the same anyways. However, a closer glimpse at their statistics in this case would seem to favor Brady, and the reason is marginal value.
I need to look into this further, but clearly Manning's QB rating in the playoffs fluctuates a lot more than Brady's. Brady has had games rated between 70.4 and 130.4 in his playoff career, whereas Manning has ranged the gamut from 31.2 to 158.3. Here, it becomes a matter of perspective I suppose. Should Manning's bad performances outweigh his good?
I would say yes, considering that two of his stellar playoff performances were in blowouts over the Broncos where although his good play might have given them a solid lead, is the difference between going 16 for 26 for 277 yards and 22 for 26 for 377 yards that important? The marginal value is not significant in that case. Compare this to throwing 4 interceptions in a 24-14 loss to the Patriots and the negative outweights the positive in my mind.
Therefore, I would say that Brady's performance, statistically and intangibly, outranks Manning in the playoffs. It's a matter of perspective then: which is more important, the regular season or the playoffs? Marginal value could matter here too!

by Benjamin (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 11:17pm

The fact of the matter is, you could make a case for either QB being better. Manning will lead in pretty much any statistical category due largly to the offensive system he plays in. Brady, however, would probably lead in other statistics if the NFL kept track of things like accuracy of passes with less than 2-3 seconds of protection or bad decisions. What infuriates me is when people make the arguement that Brady is better than Manning because the Patriots beat the Colts. If that argument was a person, I would slap it! Rex Grossman was not a better QB than Matt Leinhart 3 Monday nights ago just because he's team won right? So it's reasonable to assume that there is more to winning a football game than just good QB play. I just want to scream at Bill Simmons when he gets on his soap box about Brady being better because of his body language at the end of games. Brady can act pretty childish when his team is losing too. Please people, stop making this stupid arguement because there are other substantial arguements you can make in support of Brady being a good QB

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 11:49pm

Geez, this is still going on? Anyways, bsr, way back around #300, I misstated what I wanted to say. Show me a playoff game in the years in which the Pats won the Super Bowl, in which the Pats' defense yielded 14 first quarter points. The point is that Manning has never had a good defense which has played a decent playoff game.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 1:41am

From the onion sports section:

INDIANAPOLIS—According to sources close to Ashley Manning, wife of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the All-Pro's constant audibles on the playing field are mirrored in his intimately personal life, a fact that Mrs. Manning sometimes finds exasperating. "I mean, sometimes when we, you know, 'take the field,' and the 'formation' is all 'lined up,' and Peyton gets all set 'under center,' he will start barking out new signals," Mrs. Manning said. "Suddenly, it's 'Flip Right Hawk 62! Deuce Right, Waggle 15H Throwback C-Posts! Dice Right 218 Bastard! Yes! Yes! Yes!' And I'm like, Peyton, we're at 'third and inches' here, honey. Please, just 'snap the ball.'" Mrs. Manning did note, however, that her husband was a remarkably talented "field general" with a "rifle arm" who "led the league" in "finding the end zone" last season.

by OMO (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 2:25am

Brady slappies: "Rings"
Manning slappies: "Dilfer"

Brady slappies: "Harrison and Wayne"
Manning slappies: "Bellchick and Defense"

Brady slappies: "Whiny babies"
Manning slappies: "Injury faking, WR grabbing cheaters"

Brady slappies: "Sucky WRs"
Manning slappies: "Sucky defense"

That's about 400 or so posts...

Greatest. Thread. Evar.

by Raskolnikov (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 2:42am

Wow. I just finished reading the Simmons column, and he's put up some stupid arguments before, but this one takes the cake. I'm glad many posters here also see the flaws in his argument.

The strange thing is, if I were a newbie, I would be completely convinced by Simmons. He says everything with such conviction that you would be impressed with how he's laying out all the facts. One wouldn't realize that he's completely ignoring all the conflicting evidence, and is pulling this argument out of his arse.

I was neutral about this completely irrational, emotionally-charged Brady vs. Manning thing. Both are wonderful, historically great QBs.

But after reading this column, I'm rooting for Manning to beat the crap out of the Pats and win the Super Bowl just for this one year. Because an idiotic column like this Simmons piece deserves its just deserts.

by Fat Tony (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 1:49pm

So if a prominent web columnist writes an idiotic column criticizing Brady you'll change your mind and root for the Pats?

by Raskolnikov (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 2:27pm

This was a Grade A hatchet job by Simmons.

Yes, if another columnist/commentator/reporter of comparable prominence wrote something equally ridiculous about Brady, then the pendulum probably swings back.

But Simmons's viciousness has me rooting for Manning to, for this one time, exorcise his demons. Then I'd love to see the look on Bill Simmons's face.

by DeepThreat (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 3:27pm

For what it's worth:
Brady has a better career passer rating than Manning indoors...
...AND outdoors!
Games Comp. Att. Pct. Yards YPA TDs INTs Rating
Brady 11 228 342 66.7 2,727 8.0 23 8 103.5
Manning 82 1,787 2,689 66.5 22,025 8.2 175 73 102.0
Games Comp. Att. Pct. Yards YPA TDs INTs Rating
Brady 87 1,709 2,805 60.9 19,399 6.9 129 67 87.0
Manning 62 1,362 2,187 62.3 15,591 7.1 99 67 86.0

by Lou (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 6:08pm

I'm also rooting for the Colts to KILL the Pats now. But, even if Manning is perfect on the day and the Colts win 49-0 Simmons will just say it doesn't matter because its the regular season.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 6:25pm

re 452--FUNNY!

by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 7:42pm

452 Wasn't that a couple years old? Still good,tho.

453 That pretty much sums it up. Whaddaya do in your spare time, write Cliff's Notes?

Here's another perspective:
A win Sunday would give Manning and Tony Dungy the Indy franchise record for most wins by a quarterback-coach tandem at 56-16. Johnny Unitas and Don Shula were 55-20-3.

Since Shula and Unitas are both regarded as the top 1 or 2 or 3 in their respective positions, and Manning and Dungy (who is not quite regarded as even a top-10 all time coach) are about to pass them with wins (their fewer losses already mean they're ahead on winning pct), then Manning must be the best ever.

Whew. A few loose threads there, logic-wise, but chew on that for while.... It doesn't take into account throwing stats and live-ball vs dead ball eras, and DOES take into account whole team quality and wins (which Brady backers say are the only important thing). Ergo. Manning is the best. whew.

by Paulette (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 9:05pm

RE 460

Uhhhh, Belichick and Brady are 74-22 which tops Dungy-Peyton. Take out playoffs and they are still 64-21.


by MSauce (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 9:09pm

I'm hearing a lot of arguments about Peyton being more scary than Brady. As in, if you hear about the colts coming to town you fear manning, and when you hear about the pats you fear the entire team. True, but if my favorite team (not named the Broncos) was playing the Colts in the playoffs, i would not fear Manning in the slightest. Whereas, if my team was facing the pats, i would crap my pants fearing brady. Bradys numbers aren't as great, but he improves during crunch time. And the goal of every team in football is to win the super bowl, isn't it? Argue all you'd like about Brady playing on better teams, but you cannot tell me that Brady's 01 Patriots were a better team than Manning's colts were last year. I don't know why people forget that the Colts last year had a great defense, a great running game, and a great O-line. That Colts team (as a unit) was by far the best team in the league last year. Brady is much better in the winning aspect of the game, Manning in the statistics. What would you rather have? And this hasn't just been true in the Pros. Both Brady and Manning played in Orange Bowls while in college. Wanna take a guess who led their team to an overtime win? Take a stab at which ones team got smoked in the orange Bowl. Manning should win games with the stats he has. Brady DOES win games with the stats he has. This is why Brady is a better Quarterback.

by Jake (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 10:24pm

re 461
I'm way too lazy to check the numbers myself, but that doesn't seem right, considering Manning has been in the league longer and started every game. How can Brady have played more games when it doesn't include the playoffs?

by Paulette (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 10:54pm

re 463

The original post only referenced Peyton-Dungy's record which is 2002-present. Brady-Belichick go back to 2001.
Hope that clears it up.

by jive (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 11:27pm

I can't wait to see Manning choke again.

by Sal (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 11:36pm

At least the Colts won't have to worry about their kicker missing a clutch kick.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 12:20am

Deepthreat 457:

You have all four of those stat lines wrong. Out of date, maybe?

Brady has a better rating indoors (pretty small sample size, though).

Peyton has a better rating outdoors, and overall.

by Jake (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 12:20am


I didn't mean the FO discussion, as silly as that sounds, just the Brady v. Manning debate in general.

by J.D. (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 1:02am

Re: Every comment in this thread...


by Jake (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 4:30am

re 464
That's right, I forgot about the whole Mora era. Oyy.

by Count (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 5:53am

Simmons is a great writer. His last column wasn't a piece of analysis, it was a "voice of the fan" article. And I agree with the premise- its fun to hate certain teams, its fun to root against them. Certainly the analysis is shitty from the POV of how to win games, but that's not what he does best. It is pretty funny that a number of people here are vigorously rooting against the Patriots because of one article, but it does fit the idea in said article of sports hatred being fun.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 10:12am

#461 et al--

Since Bobman was comparing Manning/Dungy to Unitas/Shula in post #460, his conclusion must mean that Manning is the best Colts quarterback ever. Which is fine with me -- I was three when Unitas hung up the cleats, so I have no emotional attachment to him.

Of course, that would suggest that Brady's also the best, and by a wider margin than Manning, since the Patriots have no Hall of Fame quarterbacks or coaches. (Raymond Berry's in the Hall of Fame, but as a player.)

by Nathan (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 12:07pm

5: you always find a way to state things in an elegent and yet simple way. Bravo sir.

by clem (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 5:50pm

After three unsuccessful interception attempts, Dyslexy Rexy finally connects with a defender. Good work Rex.

by stan (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 5:50pm


Manning played the Orange Bowl with a knee the size of basketball. The Vols lost, because the Huskers ran the ball right down their throat. Of course, Peyton has never played defense as well as Brady.

by clem (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 5:51pm

Oops, wrong thread. Speaking of Dyslexy... :P

by Not saying (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 9:26pm

Re: 473

If someone else praises #5 now, you have to win some sort of prize.

Also, I agree with #43 entirely. Someone else said the same thing later, but it just wasn't put as well as it was in comment 43. I mean, that was just brilliant.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 11/05/2006 - 9:47pm

1. Tonight will give us the final, definitive answer to the question "who is better?"!!! And in other news, Nicole Kidman has agreed to marry me.

2. When I'm on my deathbed, I'm going to look back and say "I spent two or three or maybe even four hours of my life reading the Irrational Brady-Manning thread on FO." And I'm going to really, really regret it.

by Jeff Tedford (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 12:29am

Neither quarterback is any good, because neither one "puts it on the shelf."

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 2:04am

I suppose the only argument left is the playoff success, now.

by DaveO (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 2:23am


Oh, I'm sure we'll think of something...

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:45am

doktarr and DaveO,

Don't be foolish. Clearly if Brady lost and played poorly and Manning won (and Vinatieri choked!) this, by definition, was not a "big game." It was a stat-padder game and does not really count.

Mmmmm, Kool Aid. This stuff is good.

Hey Sal, 466, waaaa-ha-ha! An hour ago I'd have thought you were right, but not now....

Starshatterer 472, Good point. I was taking it as a matter of faith that Unitas is generally regarded as #1 or #2 or #3 all time, esp playing in an era when QBs jobs were to hand off and manage the game. Perhaps I am just old and biased. (at 42 nt that old, but biased... yes. My impression is if you ask any 60+ year old football fan, he'll say Unitas is #1.) And that Shula was a top coach, but maybe it's just the # of victories. Is Manning the best Colt QB? Maybe, which is an amazing thing to say. Different eras, though, so I'll say apples and oranges.

But what's the deal with the graphic on screen during Sunday Night Football (while Indy was beating NE) about Manning and Dungy having the highest winning percentage of any QB/Coach combo (min 50 wins or games or whatnot)??? I assumed Brady and BB have a higher percentage... then again, now that I think about it, Manning's two losing seasons were with Jim "We Suck" Mora, his 3-13 rookie campaign and his 6-10 Edge-less season.

Okay, so maybe neither stats nor wins nor winning percentage nor MVPs matter, it's just Lombardis.... The criteria for judging Brady as better keep getting narrower and narrower. Eventually, some day, it will be "brightness of smile" and "length of sideburns" that keep him, narrowly but deservingly, in the lead.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:50am

Oops, Paulette, I just saw yours at 461. I THOUGHT BB and TB had better numbers than PM and TD. More wins at least, but a lower win pct.

But in reality, look at the freakin' percentages for both of the tandems. Freak show high. In baseball they translate to about 121-126 wins per season on average for five straight years. That settles it, these guys both bite.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:52am

I was pretty close on the Colts score (post 295). I just didn't expect all the interceptions.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 5:59am

Sooooo ummmm yeah... if this was a message board I might suggest locking the thread :)

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 10:37am

Manning and Dungy having the highest winning percentage of any QB/Coach combo (min 50 wins or games or whatnot)??? I assumed Brady and BB have a higher percentage…

I don;t know where they came up with that, but it ain't correct

by my calculations, Manning/Dungy are at 59-20 for a .747 winning %age

Paul Brown & Otto are at 55-17-1 for a .760

(and that's not even counting the AAFC Browns)

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 1:13pm


I think they said best percentage since the merger.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 2:30pm

480, 481, 482 - Wow, that was a definitive turnaround from position. You now want to make the argument that head to head is the definitive comparison?

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 2:39pm

bsr 488,

My position hasn't changed. My opinion of both of these guys is more or less the same as it was coming in. The biggest changes for me are upgrading my opinions of Bob Sanders and Rodney Harrison (as we saw how much they matter to each team by their respective presence and absence). I also downgrade BB for not running the ball more.

I just don't see how the opposition can make the argument that Brady "just wins" or Manning "chokes in the big ones" when this was an obviously huge game (enormous bye week and HFA implications). It's not that my argument is stronger, it's that the pro-Brady, anti-Manning argument is weaker.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 2:45pm

Additionally, I just re-read the comments you were "responding" to. They don't in any sense, constitute a turnaround in argument. We are clearly mocking the anti-Manning arguments, as oppose to co-opting them as our own.

You have this habit of trying to characterize our statements as something other than they are, when what we're actually saying is pretty clear and rhetorically consistent. It's annoying.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:18pm

490 - How is your statement "clearly mocking" the anti-Manning arguements? Now maybe that is how you meant them, but please don't assume that I should have sensed your sarcasm from your eleven word post. As for a turnaround, your post most certainly is. You gave the impression that this one game defined something. Earlier you gave the impression that wins are a team thing and players should be measured on a body of work and certainly not head to head. If that is not the intent of your post then so be it.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:23pm

Oh and while we are at it, lets also give some credit to Marvin Harrison (Who was amazing out there and certainly doesn't get enough credit) and the Indy back seven (who were all over the field and were blanketing receivers). Manning was great out there, but I think a good chunk of the responsibility for that win went to those guys.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:31pm

#491 - I realize that irony is often difficult to discern in text, but the tone of those posts were indeed pretty transparent. Unless you're being ironic right now, in which case it went right over my head, and I'm being an idiot. In that case, I, too, am in fact being ironic, and am therefore mocking you for mocking me for mocking your mockery.

In conclusion, I choose the cup furthest from me.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:51pm

George, thanks for the independent backup.

If it makes it easier to understand, bsr, insert the words "for the Brady camp" in between "I suppose the only argument left" and "is the playoff success". I really don't understand how you could interpret this otherwise - there isn't a rational alternate interpretation. Or how you could think Bobman wasn't being sarcastic. He mentioned drinking the Kool Aid, for goodness sake.

Again, I never deviated from the argument you describe ("wins are a team thing and players should be measured on a body of work"). The only thing this one game did was further underline the absurdity of judging players based on a small number of plays - something that those who want to build up Brady at Manning's expense often do.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 3:58pm

And yes, Harrison was great and the secondary played well. No argument. The biggest shock of the game was that the Pats kept asking Brady to force the ball in to tight spots in stead of pounding the ball with Dillon.

And I hope that you can recognize that Manning was great, DESPITE having no running game to speak of, and not a lot of time to throw. The only time I remember him having a lot of time to throw was when he put the ball on Wayne's numbers on that post route for 33 yards.

As I've said earlier in this thread, the Colts have better talent at #1 receiver and #2 receiver than the Pats, but the Colts backs and TEs are no better (maybe a bit worse this year) and the Pats line is more physically dominant. The Pats obviously have more receiver depth as well, alothough this simply speaks to team philosophy (spread the ball, versus relying on your top receivers).

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 4:38pm

Doktarr, how dare you, you lowly fan of chokers and soft teams, put words in my mouth. I am--and I cannot state this clearly enough--





there. In black and white.

To an Indy fan and at least one NYG fan, the mockery was pretty clear. I know sarcasm doesn't always travel well, but I think we tried to make it pretty clear in an unintentional dogpile on poor rationale. (Unintentional in that we just happened to have the same thoughts and posted in succession--anyone randomly interrupting our three posts might have made it less... um, dense with sarcasm, and maybe harder to detect.)

bsr, no offense intended (after all, this SI an irrational thread), but IMHO, it's time ro recalibrate the old sarcasometer.

by Jamie C (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 4:40pm

Brady plays on a far better team.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 4:42pm

Independent George... a Princess Bride reference? Can't have too many of them, even if you are immune to iocane powder.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 4:49pm

494 - I took your words as a dismissal of any argument, reasonable or otherwise, of Brady's abilities based on the results of this game. If that is not how they were intended then, as I have said, so be it.

495 - At one point I noticed nine defenders in the box. The running game was going well, but they still were going to have to throw it occassionally. They definitely could have ran it more but the Colts were also having some success stuffing it the second half.

And Manning certainly was great in this game. He displayed alot more poise under pressure then I have ever seen him have in the past. He certainly had better protection in the first half, but the Pats were doing a good job of brining pressure in the second half. In fact that was the one positive I could take from this game, as a pats fan. They at least seemed to be able to slow him down in the second half. I had no such confidence going into this game. I certainly am looking forward to a rematch, if there is one. Of course, this time it will be in the dome.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 5:21pm

If you can't tell doktarr is sarcastic...okay. Whatever. Seemed pretty clear to me. Not quite as clear as Bobman, but clear.

Harrison was fantastic, but seeing Manning scramble for his life, get absolutely crushed while throwing a deep go route to Harrison (and apparently Clark)...it's hard for me to say that this is somehow all Harrison's credit. Yeah, Harrison ran the right route, but Manning made that play out of thin air.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 5:55pm

500 - The use of sarcasm was clear. Where that sarcasm was directed was not. The sarcasm could have been directed towards, "mocking the anti-manning arguments", as he put it; or they could have been taken as mocking the notion of Brady being in the same class as Manning, which is how I took the comments. Now doktarr has said that his comments are more the former rather then the later so I will take his word on it, but I don't think my reading of it was too outlandish.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 6:04pm

500 (again) - And as for that Harrison reception, Manning did a tremendous job of escaping Seymour and making a throw, but I have to say that my memory tells me that I was more impressed with the catch. It was basically just thrown up there and Harrison made a hell of a catch. Not only that but M. Harrison literally took out R. Harrison for the rest of the game with that catch. Bastard! :)

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 6:40pm

#502: I'm just saying that not every QB makes that throw. Not every QB makes that read, escapes from people, knows his people will be there, and puts it where it needs to be. Harrison made a great catch, but it wasn't like it was a horrible pass - it was right where it had to be for Harrison to make that catch and beat the safety coverage. And more importantly, Manning knew that was the play, knew where he'd be, ran away from two great linemen and made the throw on the run.

It impressed the hell out of me. Capping it off later with a pass to Harrison in the end zone that looked like it was against a HS defense.

Harrison did bail him out here and there, but Manning showed me something I'd not seen in him before - he got pounded, took pressure up the middle and on the sides, and just got up and made more plays. He's always been able to defeat sellout blitzes; what he hasn't been able to do as reliably is beat good pressure. That should scare his opponents.

I'm not upset Rodney got hurt while pulling Marvin down by the face mask.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 8:40pm

Polian is that you?

by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 9:17pm

Personally, I have to go with Manning. Brady's material was a bit dated when he grew big, plus Manning was more willing to touch topics and reach audiences much more than Brady.

Oh, I thought this was for discussion of Bernard Manning versus Pat Brady. My mistake.

by underthebus (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 9:44pm

#493 Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

by Darth Goofy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 12:09am

This thread has to stop rignt now. I mean it!!!

(wait for it)...

by doktarr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 12:15am


Anybody want a peanut?

by dje (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 1:34am

As a Colt fan who watches Manning every week, I wouldn't trade Manning for Brady, but I'm sure that if I was a New England fan, I wouldn't trade Brady for Manning. After all, Pats fans have a lot to appreciate.

I don't have much to say about Brady. He is obviously a great quarterback.

I think, however, that the argument usually centers on Manning as opposed to Brady. Most people who watch Manning on a regular basis are amazed, week in and week out. Most weeks, it is hard to believe that there has ever been a better QB. But, then someone references his six playoff losses and wonders if he could really be all that good. I understand. I often thought that Dan Marino looked like the best QB in football when I watched him, but I tended to favor Joe Montana, because of his team success. (Never mind that Joe Montana beat him with a much better all around team.)

The question for me, then, is not whether Manning is better than Brady, but rather, can the Colts win the Super Bowl and get the monkey of his back. The truth is that nobody knows the answer to that. My analysis is that if the Colts win the Super Bowl this year, Manning will need to carry them to Super Bowl victory in a way that has rarely, if ever, happened. The Colts do not look like a typical Super Bowl team. Many Super Bowl teams need the QB to manage the game and not make mistakes, but the Colts will need Manning to dominate.

Manning's problem in the past has been that he stuggles when pass protection breaks down, particularly when the running game also gets shut down. The Patriots, in particular, have had great success by disguising coverages and changing schemes as the game progresses. This has tended to undermine Manning's preparation, because Manning hasn't been able to adjust quickly enough to the new looks, given the intense pressure. (The Colts don't help his cause, in my opinion, by rarely using motion to reveal coverages.)

That said, I see a different Manning this year than in past years. I think he is getting better at handling pressure. It was clearly difficult in the second half last night, but Manning handles it amazingly well now. I am cautiously optimistic that this is his year.

by Anthony (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 3:58am

All I have to say is that Javon Walker is quickly becoming, once again a threat to be reckoned with.

by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 8:32am

Putting aside the QB question for a second, are any Colts' fans interested in swapping receiver corps? Harrison and Wayne for Gabriel and Jackson? We'll throw in Reche Caldwell for free.

Not enough? How about if we add Kevin Faulk and/or Ben Watson?

by Kal (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 12:18pm

Putting aside the QB question for a second, are any Colts’ fans interested in swapping receiver corps? Harrison and Wayne for Gabriel and Jackson? We’ll throw in Reche Caldwell for free.

Not enough? How about if we add Kevin Faulk and/or Ben Watson?

Any Pats fans interested in swapping Vrabel, Bruschi, Seymour and Harrison for any of the players on the Colt's D?

I'll be sure to bring up this argument the next time someone says that Branch wasn't important to the Pats.

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 12:26pm

I’ll be sure to bring up this argument the next time someone says that Branch wasn’t important to the Pats.

You mean youd swap Harrison and Wayne for Branch, Gabriel and Jackson. Deal!

Any Pats fans interested in swapping Vrabel, Bruschi, Seymour and Harrison for any of the players on the Colt’s D?

Well Seymour would be out of the question but I know I would certainly have to give some serious thought to a Freeny, June and Sanders excahnge for Vrabel, Brushci and Harrison. All three pats players are a bit long in the tooth and the injuries are starting to pile up on Harrison. I don't know, what do Colts fans think?

by Darth Goofy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 12:48pm


Your lack of comprehension is astounding. What Kal is saying is that Branch actually was important. Read Kal's post again, this time with non-Patriot colored glasses on. Not everything someone says is anti-Patriots. And, as a Colts fan, I would make that defensive trade... probably the offensive trade (assuming that the three receivers you are giving the Colts are automatically given the 6-7 years of playing time with Manning)... I do believe that Manning makes the receivers look better... although Harrison and Wayne are very good receivers

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 1:09pm

Hey jackass, follow the thread. Kal was responding to Rick who talked about swaping receiving cores. He then goes on to say that he would "bring up this argument" next time someone brought up the fact that Branch wasn't improtant. Well Einstein, I was just pointing out that it still doesn't make the trade balanced and hence the argument doesn't counter anything about Branch's relative importance. If you can't follow a thread beyond one post then try not to be such a dick.

by donald (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 2:46pm

brady is a whiny little bitch. manning kicks as. 'nuff said.

when do those dvoa rankings come out so i can go off about how gay they are? anyone know? that's the best part of my mondays.

by Darth Goofy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 3:01pm


I apologize, I had read post 513 incorrectly. Now that I am reading it, I cannot see why I thought you had misunderstood Kal's arguement. I do know that Kal was responding to Rick... I was responding to your response to Kal... all of which does add to the irrationality of this thread. Also, if you notice, I did respond to you as well re:trading players. Again, I apologize for the irrational flaming post of hatred dorected towards you. It must be caused by the Microbiology class I had just attended. Those crazy microbes...

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 3:26pm

517 - I appreciate the apology and apologize in kind for going off a bit myself. Trust me, I would be the last one to agrue that Branch wasn't an important part of the Pats offense. I just think Kal's line of reasoning was off. I also think it is important to remind people when posting to attack the issues and not the poster.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 3:29pm

I agree that Freeney, June, and Sanders are not significantly worse than Vrabel, Brushci, and Harrison, and they are younger of course. Freeney would be a bad fit in the 3-4, though.

Unless you think the Colts have some great natural talent drafting TEs, Ben Utecht's performance of late suggests Manning's ability to elevate his receiver's numbers as well. Stokely's stats on the Ravens also underline this point. You could even argue Harrison's numbers in 1996-1997 point to this effect (this is questionable since most receivers take a few years to mature - but Harrison is emphatically not most receivers).

Again, Manning has a better #1 and #2. The rest of the offensive talent is very comparable. The backs are very even this year, I think. The Pats have a more physical line, although the Colts are good at running their unique system. The Pats offense relies on more receivers by its nature. The Indy offense relies on Wayne and Harrison to beat single coverage every time they find it (and Peyton to put the ball on them), while the Pats offense relies on multiple patterns and sending someone into the soft spot in the zone (and Brady to hit that soft spot). Losing Wayne and Harrison would hurt the Indy offense more than adding Wayne and Harrison would help the Pats offense.

by Kal (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 3:44pm

My point was simply that there are plenty of Pats fans who say that Branch wasn't important, and then those same Pats fans go to deride their current receivers while Branch does great in Seattle. I'm sure that Branch and Givens aren't the equal of Harrison and Wayne, but that wasn't my point; I was arguing that receivers do indeed matter, and the point that Rich would trade receiving corps points to that. In other words, when a Pats fan says 'receiving corps don't matter', if I ask them if they'd trade Harrison and Wayne for Caldwell, Gabriel and Jackson, what do you think their answer would be? And do you see how that would defeat that argument?

That's all.

As to Manning making his receivers look better, I think a lot of it comes down to playing together for so long. Some times a receiver is just plain good by himself (TO is a good example; so is Holt and Rice). Some times a receiver is good by himself but becomes stellar when paired with a QB that he knows well. Harrison I think would do good in another team and with another QB, but he does amazingly with Manning because of the experience.

It's beginning to look like Givens and Patten were the 'improved by Brady' category, but Branch was the real deal. Similarly, I think that Marcus Pollard was decent but became stellar with Manning.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 3:58pm

Funny link: Coldhardfootballfacts.com, a Patriots homer website known for its longstanding Pro-Brady, anti-Manning stance, has now issues something of a reversal of their opinion of the Colts/Pats dynamic and of Brady's cluchosity, on the heels of some uncharacteristic praise of Manning.

I take all three links with a grain of salt, due to coldhardfootballfacts's tendency for hyperbole. But at the same time, I give them credit. Their evaluation of Brady/Manning depended largely on team performance during big games, and when those performances reverse, they stay on message rather than try to re-craft their argument. It's admirable, in an odd way.

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 4:02pm

519 - I don't think I necessarily agree with anything you said, except that I don't know about Freeny being bad in a 3-4. Not saying he would be great, but remember MacGinnest for a long time played DE in a 4-3 much like Freeny. There is a possibility of a conversion.

520 - Well there are going to be alot of people that make a lot of crazy arguments. I do, however, see the argument that WR are not what the team builds their offense or team around. As such they will never have the passing attack of the Colts. I think this is what Rick was trying to get at, although I can't speak for him.

As for the Branch being the real deal, I certainly think he was a very good WR. I don't know if I would call him great but he certainly was very good and the best the Patriots had. More importantly, he had the relationship with Brady, which Brady clearly doesn't have with his new corps. I would also point out that I think he is having a good season this year but not a great one, not unless you want to say that Gabriel is having a great season as well. So far, in about the same amount of games, Gabriel and Branch have put up similar numbers.

by Kal (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 4:14pm

#522: Branch has played in one less game, played with Seneca Wallace throwing to him in 2 1/2 games, and been the second receiver next to DJax and still put up great numbers. I don't see how it's even a remote comparison to Gabriel. Then again, DVOA has them within a couple percentage points, so you may have a point. I just know what I've seen so far in him, and he's done really well in the games he's been in even though DJax is a strong weapon. Gabriel...has not.

What impresses me more is that he's doing well with both Hass and Wallace, and that's pretty unusual for a WR. Gabriel is just doing okay with Brady.

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 4:16pm

522 - I meant to say that I don't necessarily DISAGREE with anything you said. Sorry about that.

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 4:29pm

#523 - I don't know if Gabriel was really in one less game. He was hampered by injury when he first arrived and although the stats book says he made it on the field, I don't remember him there. He also didn't make it out onto the field until the second half of the Bronco's game. Its hard to tell, but I think their playing time is roughly about the same. Also, it isn't as if the Holmgren west coast offense is bad for a recievers numbers no matter who the other receivers are. Traditionally WRs put up gaudy numbers in that offense while the same can't be said about the Patriots spread the ball around offense. Overall, I think it is a tough comparison because of all the different factors to consider. However, I just think Branch's season, thus far, is a good one but not necessarily great. At the same time I think people have overlooked the fact that Gabriel has been doing a fairly good job for the Pats as well.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 5:22pm

524 - yes, I understood that from context. Double negatives will get you every time.

by Kal (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 5:57pm

#525: Branch did just fine in Brady's offense last year, and Brady threw for the most yards in the NFL last year. Saying that the Pats aren't good for receivers is just incorrect. Heck, the Hawks are worse in that respect, since they tend to run a lot of running plays and set up PA when they're doing well.

And I take it you don't disagree with me at all that having Hass/Wallace throw to a WR is a bit less good than having Brady throw to you? Or should we start making irrational Brady/Wallace arguments now?

by bsr (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 6:43pm

Sure Brady threw for the most yards last year, but they were spread among many receivers. Branch didn't have great numbers by any stretch last year and was ranked 21 in the NFL by receiving yards. Now, I am not saying that to down play his importance. Just the opposite. I think his importance and ability was greater then his numbers would indicate, it is just that the Patriots offense doesn't do anything for his numbers.

Having Wallace throw to you is indeed worse, but Hass, not so much. Just look at Darrel Jackson. He has been doing just fine with Hass throwing to him over the years and has put up far better numbers then Branch. If your going to describe Branch's performance in that offense as great, then what adjective do you use to describe Jackson's? He is the guy that I would describe has having the great season.

by Pete (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 7:50pm

I think I would take Manning by a hair. However, this is especially true given his consistent teamwork with his Offensive Coordinator, Line Coach, Offensive Line, and Wide Receivers. Consistency on offense (when good) can lead to significant dividends.

I think Brady would love to have that level of consistency. However, he may be the best at working in his system. (and McNabb may be the best mobile QB, while Vick is the best RB who also throws the ball).

by Truman (not verified) :: Tue, 11/07/2006 - 9:33pm

Why don't you guys take a look at what Branch has done in the postseason and show me exactly which Colts receiver has performed at a level remotely close.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 11/08/2006 - 7:04am

Truman, Reggie Wayne vs Denver (Roc Alexander). While you can dismiss that as an outlyer, do you then get to dismiss some of Marvin's 3-catch/30-yard playoff games?

Those two Denver games aside the Indy WRs generally have not shown up, nor did James for the most part (9 rushes/14 yds vs NYJ in the 41-0 loss).

and 506/493, have you ever heard of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates? ....


by RecoveringPackerFan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/08/2006 - 7:16am

My impression, which must be tempered by the lack of data in different systems and the complete and utter subjectivity of it all, is that Brady is more of a horizontal passer and Manning more vertical. Brady is great at finding his fourth read in a hole underneath and good enough with deep tosses to keep defenses honest. Manning, in addition to being a better OC than many teams have, is great at identifying where the holes will be downfield and good enough at checking down to avoid foolish throws. In Indy's system, I think that Brady becomes more turnover prone; in NE's, Manning goes certifiably insane.

by bsr (not verified) :: Wed, 11/08/2006 - 11:34am

530&531 - Well isn't that what all Pats players hang there hats on, post season performance? Including Brady. It is unfair to compare Manning's postseason performance to Brady's then the same should be true of the WRs since they are also beholden to the other 10 people on the field.

by stan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/08/2006 - 5:30pm

Research idea for some stat geek -

Brady fans (see e.g. Tony Kornheiser) claim Tom is the greatest QB of all time. Now I will be the first to tell you that stats are very often BS (see e.g. Kurt Warner's "MVP" years with the Rams). However, it seems to me that just about all the QBs considered in a discussion of all-time best have had really good stats. Unitas, Montana, Staubach, et al, not only enjoyed the popular perception of greatness, but also some outstanding numbers. They were more accurate than their peers. They threw for more TDs, etc.

Has any of those QBs who might be considered in a discussion of all-time great had stats (relative to the peers of their day) as poor as Brady's? I mean Montana had rings (the essence of Brady's claim to greatness), but he also had the best stats, too.

[Note -- I know how bad Bradshaw's numbers are. He can't be in the discussion.]

by stan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/08/2006 - 5:44pm

follow up -- just an example, I think that Montana had the best all-time passer rating. Brady has ranked 10th, 9th, and 6th the last 3 years and ranks 11th in the league so far in 2006.

Regardless of what one thinks of passer rating, shouldn't we expect the greatest QB of all time to be putting up something remotely close to Montana's ranking among peers. Certainly the passer ratings of the past 3 and 1/2 years aren't even in the same zip code (much less ball park) of what we would expect of the greatest all-time QB.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 12:39pm

Montana did have the passer rating record when he retired. He's currently fourth, behind Young, Warner, and Manning. Brady is 7th.

But you answered your own question, didn't you? Bradshaw was considered (and is still, by some) one of the greatest of all time, despite relatively mediocre stats, simply because he has three rings. In the MNF promo of Brady before the Pats/Vikings game, he was one of the handful of "past great" quarterbacks that Kornheiser compared him to. It just goes to show that the QB on any SB winning team is going to get recognition.

I think it's fair to say that Brady was pretty drastically overrated for his first few years in the league. In the last few years, his performance has caught up a lot of the way with his reputation. At this point, I think a reasonable, stat-conscious, impartial observer could make a good argument that from 2004 to the present, Brady has been the second-best QB in the league.

by OMO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 3:04pm

" Now I will be the first to tell you that stats are very often BS (see e.g. Kurt Warner’s “MVP� years with the Rams)."

What was wrong with Warner's MVP years with the Rams?

The guy was the most money QB I've seen in a long time...just because he hasn't been the same sense shouldn't detract from those years where he playing out of his mind.

by OMO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 3:06pm

make that "since" instead of "sense"...my apologies.

by stan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 3:26pm


I'm not impressed when a QB who has all day to throw to wide open receivers puts up big numbers. There are a bunch of NFL QBs who could do it. Warner, like Big Ben, looked great when his teammates saw to it that he was rarely bothered by a pass rush.

When the pass pro is breaking down regularly and the QB has tiny openings to fit the ball into, then we begin to separate good from great.

by OMO (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 3:51pm

Stan...I think you are being a bit harsh...I remember a Rams quick strike offense where the QB had to make a number of quick reads, find the open WR and deliver the ball on the money to take advantage of some serious Bruce, Holt and Hakim YAC.

Maybe more than Warner could have pulled that off...but "a bunch" of QBs? I disagree...as many people of said during that time..."in that system, anyone could put up Kurt Warner numbers"

Which is silly, given that if it were that easy...every team in the league would be running that offense the next year.

Why didn't they...talent...of which, Kurt Warner's decision making ability and accuracy has to be tops on that "have to have" talent list to pull it off.

Maybe he sold his soul to the devil...maybe his hand has never been the same...maybe when got his bell rung, it hasn't stopped ringing...but to say the "system" or the "situation" put up those numbers, not Warner is IMO being too dismissive...which I know is the popular Kurt Warner, revisionist history opinion to have.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 11/09/2006 - 11:48pm

start the irrational Kurt Warner vs. Trent Green discussion!

by SystemQB (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:53pm

Not unfair to Warner at all. THis is the problem with "system QB" arguments. What do they mean? I don't think you can say that, only because a guy's coach is much better at X's and O's, then he puts up all sorts of TDs. Nobody is going to have a good season in the NFL if they are throwing to nobodys. To me system QB means a guy who "only does well" because of a) the system and far more importantly b) players around you in that systel. THe reason why nobody else ran the Rams system is -- they didn't have the players, yes. But it is not getting another Warner that is the problem. Bruce and Holt are/were both multi-probowlers and in their primes. Bruce was terrorising secondaries for years before he ever played with Warner Holt has contunued to do so afterwards. Add Marhsall the-best-backfield-receiving-
threat-of-all-time-no-debate-allowed Faulk and you have three guys who probably would get double-teamed if they were on 80 percent of teams. Well you can't double cover three guys at once so one of them is probably going to be open. So the Rams QB is going to have a easy time. Warner had a big arm to take advantage of all the openings yes but lots of other people do. Bulger Green etc. I agree quite a few could have put up big stats on that team.

If this does not convince you think of the late 80s Redskins, and 49ers. I am not saying young and Montana were not good QBs, but even when Steve Bono played their passing offense was good. You will notice that Schroeder and Rypein did not do so well beofer and after they played with Monk-Sanders-Clark trio. A great recieving core can make an average QB look good.

As for what this says about the TB PM debate. I am amazed that people think Brady is a system QB. If you think anybody can devise a system that allows somebody to put up Brady's numbers with the targets he has... I am shocked. Yes he is not number one statisticaly, but frankly his recievers have been Ok to good certainly not great(his recievers as a whole have gone to one pro bowl) and nobody who is interested in reality can pretend otherwise or that this does not make a difference. Dillon was in his prime for exactly one year while playing on the same team as Brady. So whatever else one says Brady is not "a system QB".

by SystemQB (not verified) :: Mon, 11/27/2006 - 4:54am

Here are the postseason stats of the two complete with QB ratings. They give some weight to the "Brady is a Crunchtime player argument". His numbers are actually (very, very) marginally better in the postseason, using QB rating as the measuring stick. Neither challenges Montana's numbers just for history's sake.

Comp: 225 Att: 367 Pct: 61.3 Yd: 2493 TD: 15 Int 5 Rtg: 89.42

Comp: 193 Att: 322 Pct: 59.9 Yd: 2461 TD: 15 Int: 8 Rtg: 89.05

Comp: 463 Att: 732 Pct: 63.2 Yd: 5772 TD: 44 Int: 21 Rtg: 95.7

by doktarr (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 4:37pm

RE: 307,

Having just watched Manning and the Colts take apart the Saints D in the season opener yesterday, I can finally respond.

You are wrong. Watching a team you root for perform on that level is a reward in and of itself, even after you've seen them win the whole thing. Even if I could look into the future and know that the Colts would not win the Super Bowl this year, it would not take away from the enjoyment of watching that game.

Again, success is merely a reflection of greatness, not greatness itself.