Monday, January 17, 2011

Tom Brady Just Wins!!! Well, Not Really.

If there is one thing that I could eliminate from the NFL media's talking points, it would be using W-L record as a measure of a QB's individual performance. It has come to the point that I heard Aaron Rodgers being disparaged because he had yet to win a playoff game. Rodgers threw for 423 yards and 4 TDs, but his TEAM lost the game. So yes, he was 0-1 in the playoffs, but using that record to criticize Rodgers' performance is remarkably stupid. Peyton Manning made the playoffs carrying a pitiful Colts team, that had been ravaged by injuries, on his back. Not surprisingly, they lost. If you subscribe to the whole playoff record idea, Peyton would have been a better QB if he had missed the playoffs because that loss wouldn't have gone on his record. Since 2005, Tom Brady is 5-5 in the playoffs, Peyton Manning is 6-5, and Mark Sanchez is 4-1. OBVIOUSLY, Mark Sanchez is much better than the other two.

Tom Brady has specifically been the recipient of this misguided media praise. How many times have you heard that "Tom Brady just wins games" over the past decade? Yet, thanks to the Jets, the Patriots have now lost three straight playoff games. Those three games included a Super Bowl loss after going undefeated in the regular season, a first game loss at home as a #1 seed, and another first round home loss. Gosh, I could have sworn Brady just won games. 

What's even more relevant is that the playoff master has been awful over those three games. In those games, Brady has thrown for 5 TDs, 4 INTs, and an atrocious 5.3 yards per attempt. In fact, even with all of Brady's postseason lore, he still carries an 85.7 career QB rating and averages only 6.46 yards per attempt (YPA) in the playoffs. Wasn't Brady supposed to step up his game in the playoffs? Yet, Peyton Manning, the renowned playoff choker, has a postseason QB rating of 88.4 and averages 7.51 YPA. To put that in perspective, Brady's career YPA drops from 7.4 in the regular season to 6.46 in the playoffs while Manning's YPA goes from 7.6 to 7.51. As you can see, Brady has a major drop-off from the regular season to the postseason, but it's Manning who takes the heat for playoff struggles. No one mentions that Peyton holds the NFL record for most playoff losses with a QB rating over 90 (and also over 80). It's much easier to look at the W-L record and ignore the fact that he has played well in the majority of the losses.

Just last weekend, Peyton Manning was strongly criticized for the last pass he threw in the Jets game. Somehow, driving the team down the field and setting up a lead changing field goal with less than a minute left just wasn't good enough for many media members. They decided to claim that Peyton blew the game by not completing his last pass. Bill Simmons called it a sloppy pass to a wide open receiver sparking Nate at to post this article and this picture (Remember the 4th and 13 pass to Branch Sunday night?). Both thoroughly debunked the crazy claims. Manning's performance in the Jets game looks much better after watching Brady be thoroughly frustrated by that same defense. The truth of the matter is, Peyton was extremely good against the Jets. It just goes to show that the national media can't be bothered with facts.

It's no coincidence that the Patriots' playoff ineffectiveness directly coincided with a major shift in philosophy. For whatever reason, the Patriots made the transition from defensive force to high-powered offense. Brady's role also made a dramatic shift. One of the best game managers in NFL history was suddenly responsible for putting the team on his back and carrying them to victory. Since that shift, Brady has experienced firsthand what Peyton Manning has experienced his whole career. You need a solid defense to win Super Bowls, and an incredible offense without a solid defense won't get it done. 

Now that Brady's winning reputation and playoff expertise seem to have taken a solid hit, let's take a look at the media's claim that he is one of the best QBs to ever play the game. It was remarkably refreshing to hear Brian Kenny take a stand while filling in as the host of The Herd on ESPN radio. Kenny made a persuasive argument that Tom Brady was vastly overrated ("Vastly" may be a little extreme), while also attacking the idea that QBs should get credit for wins and losses. Needless to say, I enjoyed every minute of it. 

When evaluating Brady, Kenny used a method that he uses for MLB Hall of Fame voting. According to Kenny, the best way to determine a player's career dominance is using the number of times they finished at the top of the league in the important statistics. This method rewards consistent greatness while recognizing that career stats may be skewed by a couple of amazing years (Tom Brady anyone?). Naturally, I was intrigued so I decided to delve further into the statistics.

Here's a table listing the number of years finishing in the top five in the major statistics

Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
QB Rating
8 Years
3 Years
11 Years
3 Years
Yards Per Attempt
8 Years
2 Years
Interception %
3 Years
3 Years
Completion %
11 Years
4 Years
13 Years
5 Years
Sack %*
11 Years
1 Year
Net Yards Per Attempt
7 Years
3 Years
*Some will argue that sack numbers are a product of the offensive line, but that is not necessarily true. Peyton Manning has consistently finished at the top of the league in sack percentage even though his offensive live has been mediocre at best over the past 4 years. Brady, on the other hand, has one of the best offensive lines in football, but he has only finished in the top five in sack percentage once in his career.

Notice anything specific? Brady only comes close to Peyton in one category, interception percentage. He gets blown out of the water in all of the other statistics. Does Brady have the consistent greatness to qualify him as one of the best QBs ever? It sure doesn't seem that way. The fact of the matter is that Brady has had two amazing seasons that have skewed his overall stats. Were those seasons dominant? Absolutely. However, it should be noted that Brady has been consistently outside the top five at his position in most important stats. Unfortunately, it looks like Brady's placement among the best QBs to ever play the game comes from his team's success more than his own. 

While QB rating is far from a perfect statistic, this chart shows just how much different Brady's 2007 and 2010 were from the rest of his career. 

QB Rating
Peyton Manning
Tom Brady


















Now, this article wouldn't be complete without a direct comparison of Brady vs. Manning.

The first chart was based on top five finishes in the NFL, but this next one is focused solely on Brady vs. Manning based on years finishing higher in the standings for each statistic. In order to make it fair, I began with 2001 (Brady's first year). 

Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Adjusted Yards Per Attempt
7 Years
2 Years
Yard Per Attempt
7 Years
2 Years
6 Years
3 Years
Completion %
7 Years
2 Years
4 Years
5 Years
7 Years
2 Years
Seasons with 4000 Yards Passing
11 Years
3 Years

Once again, Peyton Manning has a significant advantage. This chart doesn't take into account Peyton's 1999 and 2000 seasons, both of which would have placed above most of Brady's seasons. Even taking those out, it's obvious who has been the better QB over their careers. 

To sum this all up, Peyton Manning has been much better overall, been much more consistent, been better overall in the playoffs, and has less of a drop-off from the regular season to the postseason. Brady supporters are left with one argument, W-L record. However, even that argument is (or at least should be) eroding away. 

In the end, it'd be foolish to expect the use of logic and statistics to have much impact on the Jason Whitlocks of the world, but we can hope.


  1. Hate, Hate, Hate, but good article nonetheless.
    Doeman, can you make the links pop up in a new window?

  2. That has been my biggest complaint. I have tried everything I know, but nothing has worked. It's annoying

  3. Great article!

    Just a tip on having links pop in up new windows: If you go edit in html and add target="_blank" to the links, it will make the links open in new windows. Like... a href="" target="_blank" (sorry can't write out the exact code or the comment won't let me post.

  4. Sweet, thanks PMC. That should make it much easier to read

  5. Good article. The media will always base a QB's legacy on winning though, especially in the playoffs. As a lifelong Eagles fan, I feel that there is no greater real world measure of a quarterbacks effect on a team than his ability to keep that team's fans from tasting bitter playoff defeat... even if that ability rides on a bunch of variables out of his control.

  6. What one-sided crap. Misguided media praise? BS. You qualify and explain away every Brady advantage, but don't mention Manning has had Harrison or Wayne (and Clark) to throw to his whole career and plays all his home games indoors. Brady didn't have a marquee receiver until 2007 and plays in the elements in the Northeast. You also don't mention the "almighty" stats are very close. The only season Brady hasn't had a much better QB rating since the Pats traded for Moss (and Welker) was 2009 when Brady was coming back from having his knee reconstructed and Manning edged him. Your charts also are skewed by the fact that Manning has played four more seasons than Brady, both in your tallies in the top chart, and by the fact that Manning had 3 years of seasoning under his belt by the time Brady started playing. Everyone knows the Pats ran a conservative offense when Brady was a young QB. Point taken about the importance of defense, but the Colts have had Freeney, Mathis and
    sometimes Sanders. They haven't been the mid-80s Bears, but not the Houston Texans either. Brady threw 50 TDs in 2007 and led the NFL in TD passes this season while throwing 4 picks. Manning threw that many in one game this season. Twice. But you want to throw those seasons out. Ok, the man has won 3 Super Bowls. He's 14-5 in the postseason. Manning has one Super Bowl and has lost more playoff games than he's won. Look at the history of the Super Bowl. It's a QB driven league. You can't say just throw playoff records and Super Bowl rings out. You say Manning has been better in the playoffs overall than Brady? You're high. If you think Manning had a good game against the Jets a couple weeks ago than I must think a lot more of him than you do. They scored 16 points and he missed several key throws. Brady wasn't great yesterday either,
    certainly below his standards, but not any worse than Manning. The failed fake punt was the key play in the game. My point isn't to disparage Manning (although he was awful in several of those 9 playoff losses, a couple games in Foxboro come to mind.) I think he's outstanding. Top 3 or 4 QBs all-time. But Brady's right there with him and his postseason success gives him the edge. If it some people disagree and rank Manning a little higher fine. Knock Brady for
    subpar performances in his last 3 playoff games if you want (out of 19 career
    postseason games) and many are doing that, but to imply he's not an all-time great or say he's a far distance behind Manning just makes you look stupid.

  7. "Ok, the man has won 3 Super Bowls. He's 14-5 in the postseason. Manning has one Super Bowl and has lost more playoff games than he's won."

    Congratulations, other Kevin. You have completely and utterly missed the point of this post.

    But at least you didn't deride the author of the post (not a regular reader of your blog, but great job, by the way) for writing a post filled with "one-sided crap" before writing a comment filled with one-sided crap that was debunked about three page scrolls up.

  8. "Ok, the man has won 3 Super Bowls. He's 14-5 in the postseason. Manning has one Super Bowl and has lost more playoff games than he's won."

    Other Keven, you really have a knack for not reading articles before you make long posts commenting on them. i think i speak for everyone in this forum when i say that you'd make a great commentator on'd fit right in. keep talking about W-L....we'll talk about the stats and the facts.

  9. As David and cool Kevin have said, you might wanna read the article again before you spout off about W-L records. Obviously, that's not gonna have an effect on me.

    Peyton against the Jets - 69.2% Completion percentage, 225 yards, 1 TD, 108.7 QB rating, 8.65 YPA, 9.42 Adjusted YPA. Combine that with the fact that he only got 3 possessions in the 2nd half and that he scored on 4 of the last 5 possessions (The one he didn't score on was when they ran the clock out at half, and you have a very good performance.

    You don't think Belichick would have let Brady air it out if he thought he was ready? You think that Belichick runs anywhere near as conservative of an offense if he had Peyton Manning during those Super Bowl years?

    Also, Brady is only 1 year younger than Peyton. So, it's not like Brady is going to play for so many years longer than Peyton.

    Did anyone say that Brady wasn't awesome this year and in 07? No. Although, it's funny that Brady couldn't even top 4000 yards this year while Peyton has done it 11 years (Should be 12 in a row if not for Dungy sitting him for a game and a half) The point was that he hasn't been that great consistently as evidence by the fact that in most important stats, he's only finished top 5 in 2 or 3 years. Three years is a third of his career, and being great for a third of your career isn't what normally nets you "All-Time Great" status.

    Hey, you forgot to read again
    "No one mentions that Peyton holds the NFL record for most playoff losses with a QB rating over 90 (and also over 80). It's much easier to look at the W-L record and ignore the fact that he has played well in the majority of the losses."

    Lastly, Brady has played much worse in the playoffs since getting those weapons that you love so much.

  10. Career QB rating: Brady - 95.2, Manning - 94.9
    Career yards/attempt: Brady - 7.4, Manning 7.6
    Career TD%: Brady - 5.5%, Manning 5.5%
    Career INT%: Brady - 2.2%, Manning - 2.7%
    Career Completion%: Brady - 63.6%, Manning - 64.9%
    Career yards/completion: Brady - 11.6, Manning - 11.7

    The career #s are nearly identical. Brady has had better defenses, which helps him. But Manning has also played in a dome while Brady plays outdoors. Look at Brady's 1st playoff game vs OAK in the snow - is it fair to hold a QB to the same standard in that game as a guy playing in a dome? I don't think so. Playoff #s cannot be evaluated on their own. Because the sample size is so small, situational context needs to be provided.

  11. All of that is dealt with in the article. 2007 and 2010 were great years for Brady. So great that they have skewed his career stats to a point that it seems like he has been consistently great. If he was consistently great, he'd have more than 2-3 years where he was in the top 5 in the major stats. Yet, he doesn't. So has Brady been great for 2-3 seasons? Absolutely. However, that's only 33% of his career.

    Your dome vs outdoors argument has a lot of work to do before it holds water. Obviously, you can only use Brady's stats on the road outdoors since home field advantage helps stats too. You would somehow have to quantify how a QB is affected when he is used to playing in a dome and goes on the road outdoors as opposed to someone who plays all of his games outdoors. You get the comfort factor. If Manning had a home field that was outdoors, it stands to reason that he'd be much more used to playing outdoors right? So his stats would be better.

    It's the whole Coors Field debate in baseball. You just can't say that because someone performs better at home in a certain environment and worse on the road that it wouldn't balance out if he played all his games in a different environment and was used to it. You have to look deeper into the stats to find the answers.

    Lastly, I could easily argue that Brady had the advantage of sitting and learning for his rookie year instead of being thrown to the wolves like Peyton was. If you take out his rookie year, all of his stats skyrocket

  12. I agree that Manning is better and am not arguing the contrary. I'm just saying that I think that your evaluation system exaggerates the difference between the 2.

    And 07 and 10 make up only 24.2675159% of Brady's career pass attempts.

    Manning has lead the NFL in yards twice. Same as Brady. Him and Brady have each lead the NFL in completion% once. Each has lead the NFL in TD passes twice. Each has lead the NFL in yards/attempt once. Each has lead the NFL in yards per game once. Manning has lead the NFL in yards/completion once while Brady has never. And Manning has lead the NFL in rating twice, while Brady has only done it twice.

    Personally, I don't believe Brady became an elite passer until 2004. My biggest reason for putting Manning over Brady is the fact that he has been elite since 99. But since 2004, Brady has been every bit as good as given credit for IMO.

  13. ^ I meant that Manning has lead the NFL in rating three times.

  14. The evaluation system isn't to determine whether Brady is a great QB. He is.

    It's to determine whether he is an "All-Time" great. The latter requires consistent dominance throughout their career.

    Leading the NFL in a certain stat can be fickle. Top 5 is a better measure because it's still at the top of the league and allows for the Drew Brees type years from other QBs.

    What's funny is that in one of the stats, Peyton finished 6th 3 times.

  15. What are Manning's career stats if you take out the best 25% of his career? That's not a fair thing to do. All your article proved is that the best seasons of any player improves his overall stats. Not real rocket sciences there.

  16. Huh?
    You take out Manning's best two years and he still has a dominant career. As you can see by all of his years leading in different stats.

    You take out Brady's best two years and he's not that great. Which was the point of the QB Rating chart.

  17. Taking away Brady's best 2 seasons is removing 24% of his career. To take away the same percentage of Manning's, you would have to remove his top 3. I think his top 3 years were 03, 04, and 06. Doing this removes 22% of Manning career, so it's pretty close.

    So let's do a quick comparison of Brady's career w/out 07 and 10 and Manning's w/out 03, 04, and 06.

    Completion%: Brady - 62.5%, Manning - 64.4%
    Yards/attempt: Brady - 7.1, Manning - 7.4
    Yards/completion: Brady - 11.5, Manning - 11.5
    TD%: Brady - 4.8%, Manning - 5.3%
    INT%: Brady - 2.5%, Manning - 2.9%

    I wish I could do QB rating, but I don't know how it is calculated. Sorry.

    As you have pointed out, the numbers of Brady clearly take a bigger drop when you take away their peak years. However, you exaggerate the difference. You claim that Brady w/out his peak is "not that great" and Manning w/out his is "dominant." The stats are listed above - the difference between them does not support the gap that you claim exists between them.

  18. 2/9 is not 24%, but that's irrelevant.

    Again, look at the first chart. Take two away from Manning and he still has 6 or more years in the top 5 for almost every stat.
    Take Brady's two out and see what happens.

    Then look at the second chart with QB rating. It's obvious.

    Same thing with the last chart.

  19. The 24% came from pass attempts, not total seasons.

    I understand what you are saying about top 5 finishes, but you are ignoring my point of career #s. The philosophy you are using is genrally better when comparing players of different eras to account for the difference over time.

    Brady and Manning have played in the same era, so you can compare their #s directly to each other.

  20. Every season is different. You can visually look at the seasons and see the vast difference between Brady's two great seasons and all the other seasons. Consistency is a huge part of being an all-time great. Brady just hasn't consistently been great. For example, taking out both players' top two years, Peyton has 5 seasons with more TDs than Brady's highest TD season. The same thing with QB rating.

    Plus, Brady being an all-time great isn't based on Peyton Manning. It's based on all QBs. That's why I'm using that method.

  21. Whatever. I disagree w/ your evaluation method. Especially considering the main point of your article is not well thought out. Brady's 07 season is an outlier in a lot of areas. Just as Peyton Manning's 04 season is. Those are 2 of the greatest seasons ever - of course they will be outliers. Jesus Christ couldn't maintain that pace year after year.

    However, Brady's 2010 season isn't far off from his other seasons since 04. It differs in one area - INTs. His YPA, yards/completion, yards/attempt, completion% are a;; similar. The extremely low # of INTs is what produces the unnormally high QB rating. Other than that, it isn't really an outlier. But you can't notice that if you only look at QB rating like you did in this article.

    I guess we have to agree to disagree here. I'm done.

  22. Just go to these two sites and compare the two players' careers. Go through and sort by each stat where it shows you best to worst. You'll see the major differences.

  23. Sorry folks but this comparison is futile. Too many variables that you can't quantify. Different Offenses, Defenses, Coaches, Receivers, Climate etc. etc.

  24. I don't buy into the idea that the stats aren't perfect measures of every single variable therefore we should dismiss them and go back to square one aka media narratives and untestable statements.

    By that logic there could never be any comparisons.

  25. I have been using those pro-football reference links you just provided. That's where I've been getting my #s.

    Once again, your comparison isn't all that accurate. You claim that Brady'c career #s are only equal to Manning's because of 2 peak seasons. Yet, when you remove 3 peak seasons of Manning (extra season to account for the extra 4 seasons as a starter he has), his #s go from equal to Brady to slightly better. (Before I told you I couldn't figure out the QB rating. I did. Manning's is 2 points higher than Brady when you remove their peak seasons.)

    I agree w/ you that Brady's career #s are more helped by his peak, but that's an incomplete argument. The #s of each QB w/out their peak do not show that Manning is "dominant" as you claim while Brady is "not that great." The difference in their stats w/out their peak seasons is not as great as you claim. And that's proven statistically.

  26. Why take 3? Manning is a year and a half older. Brady isn't getting those 4 seasons back.

    Don't even remove the top years. Just go look at consistency.

    All you have to do is click on the stats columns to sort and you'll see. YPA for example. Half of his years are below 6.9 YPA. Half of his seasons are below 3800 yards. Half of his seasons are below an 88 QB rating.

    Basically, Brady benefits from two outlier years and Manning is hurt by two outlier years. His rookie season drags down his career stats by a large margin.

    All it takes is a cursory reading of the stats to see what I'm talking about

  27. I don't buy into the idea that the stats aren't perfect measures of every single variable therefore we should dismiss them and go back to square one aka media narratives and untestable statements.

    By that logic there could never be any comparisons.

    So stats are perfect ? So what's the "Best Quarterback" formula ? Or does everyone have their own based on which stats backs up their own argument. Me thinks the latter.

  28. I'm not saying they are perfect by any means. You interpreted my statement incorrectly.

    Stats paint a picture. You use them to give a better understanding of what is going on. Of course there are arguments to be made on either side using the same statistics, but that is lightyears ahead of dismissing them and going back to media narratives and Jason Whitlock-esque untestable statements.

  29. The "picture" is a good analogy. And of course looking at a picture is very subjective. My point is that this argument has been going on for years with the same stats rehashed over and over.

    Why can't we just say that both QB's are great and leave it at that.

  30. Because that's the beauty of sports. These kind of discussions.

  31. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have nearly identical career #s. We've already established that. You claim that the only reason Brady's stats are comparable is because of two peak seasons. Where as Manning has been consistantly dominate.

    I remoeved the two seasons you claim to be bringing up Brady's career stats - 07 and 10. Those 2 seasons combine for 24% of his career pass attempts. Your argument is that Manning w/out his peak is still "dominant" and Brady w/out his is "not that great." So the logical thing to do is to compare them w/out their peaks. Manning's 3 best career years are 03, 04, and 06 IMO. Those 3 seasons make up 22% of his pass attempts. That's comparable to the 24% that 07 and 10 make up for Brady.

    It's important to use this as a way to determine how many season to take away from Manning to maintain the legitimacy of the comparison. We need to take away the same percentage of each player's "peak pass attempts" so one doesn't benefit from having less of his peak removed.

    When yuo compare the #s, Manning holds a small statistical lead over Brady in most categories. However, the distance between them does not support your claim that one is "dominant" and the other is "not that great." The statistical difference is not great.

    Your article is written on the idea that Brady's peak alters his career #s too much. But when you remove Manning's peak as well, the #s are still comparable to each other.

  32. That's where we differ. If Brady was 4 years younger, maybe that idea would be more persuasive to me.

    You can leave every year in and it still proves obvious which player was consistently great just by looking at it. IE the examples I gave in my last comment to you.

  33. So basically what you're saying is that we should take away Brady's 2 best seasons, Manning's worst season, and then compare their stats. That makes absolutely no sense at all.

  34. "Don't even remove the top years. Just go look at consistency.

    All you have to do is click on the stats columns to sort and you'll see. YPA for example. Half of his years are below 6.9 YPA. Half of his seasons are below 3800 yards. Half of his seasons are below an 88 QB rating."


    Brady's two outliers are his 07 and 09 season.

    Manning's are his rookie year and 04

  35. Good article.

    Why not have the best of both worlds: a QB who "just wins" and who "puts up great numbers"?

    Completion%: Brady - 62.5%, Manning - 64.4%, QB X - 63.1%
    Yards/attempt: Brady - 7.1, Manning - 7.4, QB X - 8.0
    Yards/completion: Brady - 11.5, Manning - 11.5, QB X - 12.7
    TD%: Brady - 4.8%, Manning - 5.3%, QB X - 5.1%
    INT%: Brady - 2.5%, Manning - 2.9%, QB X - 3.1%

    QB Rating: Brady - 85.7, Manning - 88.4, QB X - 88.7
    YPA: Brady - 6.46, Manning - 7.51, QB X - 7.95
    TD%: Brady - 4.40%, Manning - 4.04%, QB X - 5.48%
    Record: Brady - 14-5, Manning - 9-10, QB X - 9-2*
    (*QB X is still active in the 2010/2011 playoffs.)

    Care to guess the identity of QB X?

  36. QB X - worst performance in Super Bowl history for a winning QB. 22.6 rating
    QB X - Broken 4000 yards once in 7 seasons and hasn't come close the rest of the time.
    QB X - Ultimate game manager outside of one season
    QB X - 43 more sacks taken than Manning in half as many years.
    QB X - Net Yards Per Attempt (Which takes sacks into account) much lower than Manning

    All of those percentage stats are great except they overwhelmingly benefit game managers. Compare QB X to Brady from 01-04 all you want, but don't waste your time trying to compare him to Manning or Brady from 05-10

  37. John Daugherty:

    "QB X - worst performance in Super Bowl history for a winning QB. 22.6 rating"
    Absolutely true -- but even with that game, his playoff QB rating is STILL higher than both Brady and Manning. (He also had a rushing TD that game, and threw a huge block on Randle-El's TD bomb, so it wasn't a complete disaster.)

    "QB X - Broken 4000 yards once in 7 seasons and hasn't come close the rest of the time."
    At 8.0 yards per attempt (better than both Manning and Brady), all that Ben is lacking is the attempts. Give him the same number of passes as the other two, and he'd be over 4,000 yards easily.
    Manning has never broken 4K yards without at least 497 attempts.
    Brady needs at least 530 attempts to break 4K (he also put up only 3,529 yards on 516 attempts in 2006).
    Ben's 4,328 yard season came in the only year he had more than 469 attempts (506 attempts in 2009).
    Part of this is the Steelers scheme (build an early lead on Ben's arm, then run the ball and play defense in the second half), and part of it is the fact that Ben gets hit a lot (both on the field and by cars on the street), so he's missed 11 starts the past 6 years. Manning has missed 0 starts in his entire career, while Brady's only missed games came in his lost 2008 season, which we're all writing off. In other words, we're comparing 14 games for Ben with 16 games for Peyton and Tom.
    This vast discrepancy in attempts per season is why we need to look at averages (YPA, TD%, INT%) instead of just total yards, total TDs, etc.

    "QB X - Ultimate game manager outside of one season"
    Ultimate misperception outside of one season.
    Look at the game logs from as early as Ben's rookie year (Colts fans, sorry to do this, but think back to Steelers-Colts in the 2005 playoffs) -- the Steelers build a lead early with the passing game, then run the ball and play defense in the second half.
    Also, if Ben was just a game manager, would he be able to make the numerous 4th quarter game-winning drives that earn him that "clutch" reputation we keep hearing about? The other team knows he's going to pass -- he can't just hand the ball off or dink and dunk -- and he still excels at it.

    "QB X - 43 more sacks taken than Manning in half as many years."
    Part of that is on Ben, part of that is on his offensive line as well (since 2005, they've been pretty poor). Also, Manning throws the ball away and Ben doesn't.
    I agree taking sacks doesn't help the team, but that's the cost of keeping plays alive, which he has done so well. If the cost of these sacks was outweighing the benefit of his extending plays, the Steelers wouldn't have the winning percentage they've had over his career.

    "QB X - Net Yards Per Attempt (Which takes sacks into account) much lower than Manning"
    Fine, he's at 6.7 (tied with Brady) while Manning is at 7.2. We already established that he takes more sacks and I explained why above. Fortunately for him, the good far outweighs the bad in terms of him holding onto the ball.

    I have to wonder if those who still call Ben a "game manager" actually watch him play -- no offense intended, John.

  38. I'm not bashing Roethlisberger. He just doesn't fit in the mold.

    He entered the perfect situation for success. A team that plays incredible defense and has a dominant running game. Thus, he isn't required to carry the offense (as evidenced by his low # of attempts).

    The point is that his situation makes passing and having a high YPA MUCH easier than Peyton or other QBs in pass heavy offenses (IE Vince Young this year had an 8.0 YPA). Manning faced 5 DBs or more on close to 88% of snaps this year. There's no respect for the running game at all.

    Also, by default, as attempts go up, YPA comes back to the mean.

    The Colts game in '05 was completely misdirection. The Colts were geared up to stop the vaunted Steelers rushing attack and the Steelers decided to let Ben take advantage (He threw for 193 yards).

    Look at it this way. In the playoffs, Peyton has thrown for 300 yards in 8 of 19 games.

    Roethlisberger has thrown for 300 yards once in 11 games.

    I think there's a better comparison with Brady, but there is no comparison with Manning due to what Manning is tasked with in the Colts offense.

    With that defense and that running game, Ben has been able to win without actually contributing that much.

    He has 4 wins where he didn't reach 200 yards and he's completed 20+ passes in only 2 out of his 11 games. Since 2003, Manning has completed 20+ passes in 14/16 games.

    It's apples to oranges in my opinion, and that's not a slight to Big Ben.

  39. Ill say this.....If I need a 4th quarter td drive to win a big game, right now I am taking qb X (Big Ben) If I am starting a franchis right now I will take qb Y (Rodgers) If I want to throw it to the team with the opposite color jersey I will take qb Z, but I think he finally retired......

  40. I think if you give each QB the same team, it'd be so close it wouldn't matter.