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Why Tom Brady Is Better Than Peyton Manning

Updated on January 19, 2014
Brady has outplayed Manning in their 14 meetings
Brady has outplayed Manning in their 14 meetings

Head to Head

In football, wins and losses are attributed to the quarterback position. Whether you think this is fair or not depends on the type of person you are. One of the best ways to compare two players, however, is to see how they fare against one another. Brady and Manning have faced off a total of 14 times in both the regular season, and the postseason. Of these 14 match ups, Brady has won 10 of them, leaving Peyton with a minor 4 victories. Let's not forget this includes the near historic comeback recently this year in which the patriots returned from 24-0 at halftime to bring down the titanic Broncos lead by Manning. Manning's inability to keep the Broncos ahead and Brady's will to bring the Patriots from the jaws of defeat prove his superior ability over his opponent. When the two have played each other, Manning has thrown for 29 TDs and 20 INTs on 61.8% completion percentage for an average of 283.6 yards per game. Brady has thrown for 26 TDs and 12 INTs on an astounding 67.0% completion percentage for a modest 243.1 yards. The biggest number that stands out between the two is interceptions. While not all interceptions can be attributed to the quarterback (sometimes the receiver tips the ball to the defender) having only 9 more TDs than INTs is atrocious. Those costly turnovers could have been difference makers that directly lead to a Patriots win. Brady on the other hand has been quite efficient in his passing. He has a 2 to 1 TD/INT ratio, as well as a near 70% completion percentage. He has put up the numbers to win in a fashion that is not detrimental to the team. Manning does have more passing yards but in today's league yards are a near meaningless stat as defenders can hardly do their job anymore with the rules the way they are.

Stats Don't Lie

There is no question Manning has always owned the regular season. During his career he has completed 5,532 of 6,586 passes on 65% completion percentage for 491 TDs and 219 INTs for a passer rating of 97.2. He has also thrown for 64,964 yards. Brady has not been that far behind by completing 4,178 of 6,586 passes on 63.4% completion percentage for 359 TDs and 134 INTs for a passer rating of 95.7. He has thrown for 49,149 yards. The completion percentage is very close, to the point of an almost draw. As are their ratings both above 95. Manning does possess more TDs with 491 (close to the record of 508 set by Bret Favre). Brady has 132 less with only 359 TDs, though it is worth noting that Peyton has played in many more games than Brady (240 to 191). Manning is a stat machine, but he once again dominates a particularly bad stat... interceptions. His 219 interceptions is a full 85 more than Brady. Turning the ball over is never good but when you average almost a turnover a game like Manning, your status of being elite is put into question. Brady's high number of wins and low interception count are the reason why he is more elite than Manning, being a super efficient player. Their stats have gotten them each many more wins than the average quarterback, but Brady still holds the edge. Manning has won 167 of his 240 regular season games with 73 losses for win percentage of 69%. Brady has been much more productive in the win column with 148 wins of his 191 games with a mere 43 losses. His win percentage of 77% is the highest all time amongst any quarterback. He also has the record for the quickest quarterback to reach 100 wins, needing only 131 games to do so. When wins are such a crucial part of the quarterback position, it matters little how many yards you throw for, if they do not contribute to wins. When the position is defined by wins, Brady dominates.

The Golden Boy

Who is Better Brady or Manning?

Who is the better quarterback Brady or Manning?

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In reality, the regular season has very little value in building a legacy such as these two have done. The only real value the regular season possesses is getting a first-round bye in playoffs or home-field advantage. Sure, you can put up huge numbers consistently, and people will remember you for it. They will say, "He's good but (insert name here) could really throw it". These stat-stuffers aren't considered the best, however. Think Brett Favre. He consistently put up giant numbers and amassed the most yardage (71,838) and touchdowns (508). Yet, he wasn't a winner. He had a single Super Bowl victory to his name and a barely above .500 postseason record. To be considered the greatest you need to win in the postseason, simple as that. That is exactly what Tom Brady has managed to do. In his 14 years playing he has made the playoffs 11 times. One of his seasons he missed with injury, and another he wasn't starting (rookie season). This means that Brady has only missed the playoffs once with Brady at the helm for most of the season. In his 10 playoff runs, he has 18 victories and only 7 losses. His 18 postseason victories is an all-time NFL record and he isn't even finished yet. He also holds the record for most yards in the postseason, with over 6,000, showing that he truly dominates when the game matters. No other quarterback in the history of the NFL has thrown for 6,000 yards in the postseason, and Brady is over that number! These accolades have lead him to a record-tying 5 Super Bowl appearances with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses. His 3 Super Bowl victories came within his first 5 seasons. Some people argue that this is because he had a superior team, featuring a stellar defense. This is true but let's not forget in each of his 3 Super Bowl victories Tom Brady lead the Patriots on game-winning drives that featured some clutch throws. Peyton has not had such luck. In his 16 seasons he has made the playoffs 12 times. In those 12 playoff runs he has amassed a record of 10-11. This is sub .500, hardly what you want from your franchise quarterback. He also has 8 one-and-dones, meaning during 8 of his 12 playoff runs he lost in the very first game. Ouch. He is 1-1 in the Super Bowl, giving Brady 2 more rings than him. If the quarterback position is all about wins, Peyton Manning certainly cannot be better than Tom Brady when he has so many fewer wins when it matters, the postseason.

The Ultimate Winner


In conclusion, stats don't lie, and neither does your postseason record. Peyton Manning has destroyed Brady's regular season stat production. There is no question of this. However, he has fewer playoff wins, fewer rings, and many more interceptions. Peyton Manning has turned the ball over consistently. He has proven incapable of leading his team to victories, even when they are the frontrunners. He has shown his inability to beat Tom Brady, the latter of which leads the all-time series 10-4. While Brady has lead tremendous comebacks, Manning has faltered leads. Manning will most likely finish his career with more yards and touchdowns than any other quarterback in the history of the NFL. But that is all he will have, regular season stats. They are near meaningless so I welcome him to keep piling them on. Brady on the other hand, needs just a single Super Bowl to tie his idol growing up, Joe Montana's record of 4. Peyton Manning will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, but Tom Brady will go down as the single greatest. While he may not put up the biggest numbers, he is super efficient and wins when it counts. This, is why Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning.


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