Arguably two of the greatest quarterback of all-time, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning are meeting up this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. EST for the 17th time in their NFL careers.
It could be the last time they meet up so now the question remains: who has the upper hand?
In head-to-head matchups, there is no debate — Brady. Brady is 11-5 against Manning in his career and since Manning has joined the Broncos, Brady holds a 3-1 advantage in the series.
Oddly enough, neither of them have won a playoff game on the other’s home turf — which could give Manning an edge on Sunday — if history truly is repetitive. Neither of them have beaten each other on the road since 2007.
Postseason success is a big part of how players leave their fingerprints on the game and again, it is a place where Brady has the upper hand. For someone as successful as he has been, there might not be a worst postseason quarterback than Manning, from a pure record standpoint. Of course, wins and losses cannot tell the whole story. But they certainly help.
Manning is 12-13 in 25 career postseason games. And he has just one Super Bowl ring.
Brady, on the other hand, has more playoff wins than any player in NFL history. He is 21-8 in 29 career postseason appearances and on top of that, he has made it to six Super Bowls and won four of them.
Throughout his career, it is fair to say that generally, Brady has had more talent surrounding him than Manning. But not exactly three Super Bowl rings worth of talent more.
Statistically, Manning holds an advantage. But he also has three more years in the league than Brady. Even so, it would take a lot for Brady to break Manning’s all-time passing touchdown record (539).
Despite having the worst year of his career this year, Manning still holds a higher career completion percentage (65.3 percent) and passer rating (96.5). To be fair, Manning’s career passer rating is just 0.1 higher than Brady’s but then again, Manning has had his years of regression. If Brady hits such a stretch, his passer rating and completion percentage will also fall.
Brady has thrown 101 less interceptions than Manning, but he has fumbled 27 more times than the veteran Bronco.
The last time the two met up it was ugly: Brady and the Patriots walked away with a 43-21 win in November 2014.
According to USA Today, in the average Brady-Manning game, Brady’s team has come out on top, 29.9-24.5 — a 5.4 point margin of victory.
Broncos defensive back paid homage to Brady, his former teammate, saying, “Nobody is above Tom. Nobody.”
On WEEI this morning, Brady spoke highly of Manning.
“I think we’ve just known each other for a long time and being in the same profession for all these years and being at different events, we’ve developed a good friendship,” he said. “I’m not sure how things take place over the course of the week.
“It’s pretty remarkable for him what he accomplished this season and to lead the team to a great win — the Steelers were playing as well as any team in the league so that was a huge win for them (Sunday). It will be fun to play another Peyton Manning-led team.”
If Brady can help lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl win this season, the Brady-Manning debate will come to an end. The same goes for any other NFL quarterback because Brady will be in a club of his own — with five Super Bowl rings.
If not, then Brady should still have a few more seasons to get ring No. 5 and take his place as No. 1 on the all-time quarterback chart.
Not bad for the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft.