Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady - It's a team game

Jared Wickerham

Taking a look at some of Peyton Manning's and Tom Brady's playoff numbers side to side, a few things stand out. Brady isn't as bulletproof as Patriots fans believe and Peyton Manning isn't the illustrious choker his record has made him out to be. Don't believe me? Here are some numbers from both of their careers.

Career Postseason Passer Rating

- One has passer rating of 87.2

- The other has a passer rating of 88.6

Both numbers are far below their career regular season average, yet both are nearly identical. Would you believe me if I told you that Tom Brady and his career postseason record of 18-7 are the lower of the two marks? They are. Brady has the career postseason passer rating of 87.2 and Manning has the career postseason passer rating of 88.6.

Let's dig a little deeper...

Brady v. Manning, poor games

Category (Career Postseason Record)

Brady

Manning

Games Under 200 Yards Passing

4-1

1-2

Games with no Passing Touchdowns

4-0

1-3

Games 2 or more Interceptions

3-3

2-4

Games Under 60% Completions

6-3

2-6

Games Under 80 Passer Rating

7-4

3-4

Games Offense 20 or less points

4-5

2-9

Cumulative Record*

28-16

11-28

*Compiled for the sake of comparison. I realize Brady has not played in 44 postseason games.

Brady has a winning record in four of the six categories. All of these weigh the individual contributions of the quarterback to their team. In every category, Tom Brady holds an edge over Peyton Manning. Didn't matter if Brady threw for under 200 yards in the playoffs, he's 4-1 while Peyton Manning is 1-2. Doesn't matter if Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass, he is 4-0 while Manning is 1-3. Doesn't matter if Brady threw 2 or more interceptions. His postseason winning percentage is .500 while Peyton Manning's is .333. Doesn't matter if Brady failed to complete at least 60% of his passes--he is 6-3 while Manning is 2-6. Passer Rating under 80? Brady is 7-4 while Manning is 3-4. When the Patriots failed to score more than 20 points, Brady is 4-5 while Manning is 2-9.

All together in the bad production category, Brady has a cumulative record of 28-16 while Manning has a cumulative record of 11-28.

When Brady played poorly his teams won more often than not, when Manning played poorly his teams lost more often than not.

Brady vs. Manning, average games

Category (Career Postseason Record)

Brady

Manning

Games 200-299 yards passing

10-4

4-6

Games with 1 TD pass

4-4

3-6

Games 1 Interception

4-3

5-2

Games 60-69% Completions

10-4

4-5

Games 81-89.9 Passer Rating

2-2

4-5

Games Offense 21-29 points

7-1

4-1

Cumulative Record

37-18

24-25

Brady still holds a significant edge in the win department over the course of these categories. It is also interesting to note the similarities. They have nearly the same amount of games with 1 touchdown passing, and the exact amount of games with 1 interception.

Brady vs. Manning, Good game

Category (Career Postseason Record

Brady

Manning

Games 300+ yards passing

4-2

5-3

Games with 2+ TD pass

10-3

6-2

Games 0 Interceptions

11-1

3-5

Games 70%+ Completions

2-0

4-0

Games 90+ Passer Rating

9-1

5-4

Games Offense +30 points

7-1

5-1

Cumulative Record

43-8

28-15

Finally some common ground. Brady still holds a significant edge in the win column, but Manning is now far above the .500 mark. Again they both have about the same amount of games with a 90+ passer rating. What is most telling is that Brady holds a 3-2 edge (12-8) in games without an interception. I've pointed out before that he has been more efficient taking care of the ball and that shows up in this category. He also holds an edge in games with 2 or more TD passes (13-8). This is not where Brady makes that 17-10 advantage in the win column, that comes primarily from games the Patriots won where his contributions were sub par.

Verdict

It's easy to look at individual accomplishments when debating legacies. The comparison between these two quarterbacks has taught me more than anything that in the ultimate team game of football, the win column is decided by a group of 53 men, not just 1.

GO BRONCOS!

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