Comparing Tom Brady and Peyton Manning
Posted Jul. 12 at 04:18 AM
Like most everyone else, I’ve got Tom Brady ranked higher than Peyton Manning on my board. Both guys are on great teams. Both have shown they can be productive. And both have been unusually durable.
I expect Manning to get a boost from improved play at wide receiver. If Marvin Harrison can return and be a significant player then that receiving corps – with Anthony Gonzalez now being more of a factor – should be very good. Brady will have the advantage of a much easier schedule. Manning plays his home games in a dome, which will be a factor late in the year.
In comparing these two quarterbacks, I did stumble upon a statistic that I think you’ll enjoy. I noticed that Manning threw 3 interceptions inside the red zone last year, which I thought was an unusually high number for him, and I wound up picking through the red-zone numbers for each of the past seven years. (And other than the 2001 opener – when Drew Bledsoe was New England’s quarterback – they’ve each played in all 112 of those games).
BRADY IN THE RED ZONE, 2001-2007
285 of 489, 1907 yards, 58.3%
135 TDs, 5 interceptions
MANNING IN THE RED ZONE, 2001-2007
295 of 515, 2090 yards, 57.3%
134 TDs, 13 interceptions
I think it’s interesting. Brady, in the all-important, ultra-crucial red zone, has a ratio of 135-5 of TDs versus interceptions – just 5 interceptions in seven years. Manning is at 134-13; almost identical in TD passes, but with 8 more interceptions.
Prior to 2007, I definitely considered Manning to be the better quarterback of this pair (and I’m not talking fantasy here, but rather just an NFL quarterback in general). But Brady closed that gap, in my eyes, with his huge season last year. And I think you have to give some weight to his better record in the postseason, with four Super Bowl appearances, including three wins.
With this red-zone data now being tossed in, and Brady clearly proving himself to be the more careful, effective passer in that area, I’m thinking he definitely gets a slight edge (at least for now) in the all-time quarterback debate between these two. The next few years, of course, will play a huge role in determining the ultimate winner. Right now, it’s Brady, at least in my opinion.
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