24 comments on “The Top 64 Quarterbacks in NFL History (2015 Edition) – Part I

  1. Hi…I Tweet you all the time. I think the fact that guys like Freeman and RGIII had 1 good year is a testament to how easy it is to play now, not how hard it still is. 1 good year is 1 more good year than they would have had in any other era.

    Even certain guys in your top 5 only have recent success because of the times, plus a few more on down the list. Because it wasn’t exactly that long ago, it seems like the game hasn’t changed that much but it really is that much easier for a quarterback.

    • Let’s not forget Freeman and RG3 were 1st-round picks.

      I don’t think that makes it any different than previous years where some unheralded QBs had that one big year that looks like a real outlier to their career. This has been possible in the Blount rule era.

      Steve Beuerlein, 1999
      Erik Kramer, 1995
      Scott Mitchell, 1995
      Steve Bono, 1995
      Jim Harbaugh, 1995
      Chris Miller, 1991
      Steve DeBerg, 1990
      Don Majkowski, 1989
      Jay Schroeder, 1986
      Bill Kenney, 1983
      Lynn Dickey, 1983
      Richard Todd, 1981
      Vince Ferragamo, 1980

      And if we’re talking about guys that rarely play at a high level like Cutler/Stafford/Newton, then we could look at Jeff George, Jim Everett, and Tommy Kramer as past equivalents.

  2. At this point, I don’t understand the argument for Manning over Brady. Brady and Manning are statistical equals, but Brady’s teams have consistently won more games than Manning’s, both in the regular season and postseason. Brady has posted a better passer rating than Manning in both indoor games (domes and retroroof) and outdoor games. Yet Manning has a better career passer rating. Why? Because Manning has played many more indoor games.

    Brady’s outdoor rating is 95.8, Manning’s 95.3. So it’s clear that Manning’s advantage in career rating is entirely due to playing more indoor games. Manning has played 49.6% of his games indoors, Brady just 8%.

    Brady has also played in cold weather far more often than Manning, and this is reflected in each player’s stats. From September through November, Brady has a rating of 97.7, Manning 96.7. But in December and January, Manning improves to 98.7, while Brady drops to 92.5. Now December and January are the months when most cold weather games are played, and Brady’s opponents, playing in the same conditions, have gone from a 77.8 rating in Sep-Nov to a 71.7 rating in December and January. Obviously, Brady’s weak late season numbers are the result of the conditions in which those games have been played, and explain Manning’s better career rating.

    And Manning’s career totals are better because he has played longer. If you look at Manning’s first 13 seasons as a starter, through 2010, and compare his totals to those of Brady through the 2014 season, his 13th as a starter, they’re very close. Manning is a little more accurate, and threw about 1,500 more yards, but has an advantage of just 7 touchdowns. Manning threw 198 interceptions through 2010, Brady just 143 through 2014. Those totals, of course, don’t adjust for indoor games and cold weather.

    So it’s clear that Brady is just as good as Manning. Peyton’s stats look better because he’s played longer, has an enormous dome advantage, and rarely plays cold/bad weather games late in the season. But Brady’s teams win more in the regular season, win more in the postseason, and win significantly more often against teams that finish with a winning record. When you combine it with Brady’s superior postseason performance and achievements, it’s obvious that Brady is better than Manning.

    • Already have a indoor/outdoor table ready for Part II. Your numbers are off, even if you adjust to remove the playoffs, which I included. I doubt four weeks of 2015 have changed anything that much. Manning’s best split is outdoor home games. If he had more outdoor home games, his outdoor numbers would obviously be even better. It’s a home/road thing, not an indoor/outdoor thing.

      They’re not statistical equals. You simply used passer rating. That ignores sacks, which Manning has a big edge in as he’s in the conversation with Dan Marino as the hardest QB to sack. That also ignores fumbles where Manning again has a considerable career advantage as one of the best ever at not fumbling. Passer rating also ignores rushing, which neither guy does much of. Brady usually sneaks. Manning stopped running years ago, but still has more touchdowns and longer runs. Factor all of that in and the gap would just widen more in Manning’s favor. Factor in situational play like third down where Manning has been better over his career, and the gap again widens.

      That’s why for a more advanced metric like QBR that factors in YAC, Manning tops every QB. If they branched that stat back to 2003, I bet he would also have led the league in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He’s already led the NFL in QBR in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The only year Brady was better was obviously 2007.

      Capturing playing style in statistics is hard, but not impossible. Brady playing in a more YAC-friendly offense and feasting on more short (1-3 yard) TD passes boosts his numbers. 2013 was an outlier year for Manning as he had a lot of YAC. That kind of production is the norm for a Brady offense.

      Manning also beats Brady in win probability. He does more in his team’s wins and is at less fault in his team’s losses. Yet you continue to give Brady more credit for playing worse because his team played better.

      But sure, cite passer rating and call it a day.

  3. Thanks for responding, Scott. I’m surprised you didn’t address my points more directly. First of all, I never said that passer rating was the only useful stat. But there’s no arguing with the rating stats I provided. Manning’s stats are significantly better in domes than outdoors. I don’t see how you can deny this. The same is true for Brady, Rodgers, and most great quarterbacks.

    It’s true that Manning has better sack numbers, but I don’t see why you think this is more significant than Brady’s team achievements. And while Manning fumbles less, he also throws many more interceptions than Brady, so when talking turnovers, Brady still has an advantage. I don’t get how you can claim rushing is an advantage for Manning, when he’s posted several seasons of negative rushing yardage in the second half of his career. Let’s agree that rushing ability is not a strength for either player, and that rushing should have no significant role in evaluating their careers. Manning’s better third down numbers, like with everything else, are boosted by his dome advantage.

    If you like QBR better than passer rating, fine. But passer rating correlates well with win-loss records, both for teams and individual players. Passer rating differential has arguably the best correlation to victory of any single stat. I don’t buy the argument that producing YAC reduces a quarterback’s value. I’ll grant you that Manning is better at throwing deep, and therefore has a more well-rounded skill set. But that doesn’t make him a better or more effective quarterback.

    Short TD passes count just as much as 80 yard bombs. I think it’s wrong to deduct points for a QB because he throws 3 yard TD passes. Would you rather kick 20 yard field goals? I’d have to take a closer look at the win probability numbers, but your claim that Manning typically outplays Brady, in both wins and losses, needs to be substantiated. Show me a link proving what you wrote, and I’ll be happy to take a look.

  4. John Elway should be top-5, easy. I know that the biggest argument against him has to do with his stats under Dan Reeves, but he was in a conservative offense the first ten years of his career. In three of those years (1984, 89, 91), they had more rushing attempts than passing attempts.

    Under Dan Reeves, John only had one season with more than 20 TD passes (1985). After Reeves left, he had four seasons of 25 or more (94 and 98 were the exceptions, but he still threw 22 TD passes in 12 games in 98).

    I really don’t see Young, Favre, and Brady ahead of him. All three QB’s were dependent on going to the right team to have success. Young was floundering in TB, and wouldn’t have sniffed the HOF if he stayed there. Favre had six seasons of 20 or more INT’s, and may not have become anything without going to GB and playing for Holmgren.

    As for Brady, he has had way more luck than anyone at the position. If he starts with another team, his career may not have taken off. He was basically a game manager for the years that they won the Super Bowl, and there is the matter of Spygate. If he had a guy like Ernie Adams talking to him up until the snap through an alternate frequency, how good is he really? That is something that isn’t looked at. It’s like people want to sweep that under the rug since NE won their fourth SB ring.

  5. Elway was a great player, and putting him ahead of Young and Favre is sort of defensible, but there’s no way he’s at Brady’s level. PFR publishes career + stats for quarterbacks that are designed to allow us to compare players from different eras. Brady is ahead of Elway in every single category, and by significant margins. Brady is more accurate, throws for more yards per attempt, with a higher rate of TDs, and a lower rate of INTs, and takes fewer sacks. So he’s ahead by all of the cumulative metrics, which include passer rating, adj yards per att, net yards per att, and adj net yards per attempt.

    Beyond that, he’s also ahead of Elway’s career totals. The Broncos QB had 51,475 yards and 300 TDs. Brady now has 57,663 yards and 427 TDs. Awards? Elway won one AP MVP award, and was named 2nd team all-pro 3 times. Brady has won 2 MVPs, 2 first team all-pros, and was 2nd-team all pro on another occasion. Elway was named the best QB of the 1990s, but Brady was named the best QB of the 2000s. Some of Elway’s postseason numbers are impressive, but Brady has better postseason stats, with a better winning percentage. Elway’s 5 SB appearances is great, but Brady has 6. Brady also has a much better win pct in the regular season.

    So is there any category where Elway is better than Brady? The only one I can find is rushing stats. So the argument that Elway is even close to Brady overall is crazy, though I’ve heard it made by Broncos fans before, so I guess you’re not alone. As for your other points, you can make hypotheticals about everyone’s career. Would Peyton have the TD and yardage records if he hadn’t spent much of his career playing for a dome team, with a cast of all star receivers around him almost every season? Hard to say. How much did playing for Shula and Jimmy Johnson help Marino? We can’t know, because there’s no way to repeat the experiment.

    But I just don’t get the argument that Brady owes his success to getting lucky over and over again. Brady is currently tied with Manning for 5th place in career passer rating. He’s also 5th in passing yards, and 3rd in touchdowns. He has the best win pct for any QB with 100 starts, the most playoff wins by a QB, and the most SB appearances. It’s takes an awful lot of “luck” to explain all that. By bringing up Adams, you’ve given yourself away as a crackpot. The claim about the radio frequencies is based on something Doug Flutie supposedly said, though no one has ever gotten Flutie to verify the claim. There’s no proof that Adams has done any of the stuff you claim. The story about Adams being the secret genius is based on one comment by Art Modell years ago, when he said that he saw Adams around, but didn’t know what he did. That’s literally it. That comment by Modell supposedly proves that Belichick is just a front, and Adams is the real genius behind the Patriots’ success. It’s a nonsense conspiracy theory, supported by zero evidence, which is the reason no one talks about it. Provide some evidence for your claims, and I’ll be happy to discuss it.

    Finally, I’m tired of hearing the game manager comment about Brady. In his first season, he was 6th in passer rating. In 2002, he threw the ball over 600 times and led the league in TDs. In 2003, he was top 10 in rating and anypa. In 2004, his stats were even better, and he was again top 10 in rating and anypa. And since 2005, he’s put up some the best stats by a QB in NFL history. He wasn’t as good his first 2-3 seasons as he is now, but he was never a game manager.

    I understand that you don’t like Brady, but the arguments you’re making against him do not add up to anything coherent.

    • 1. I am not a crackpot just because I mention Spygate and Ernie Adams. That Doug Flutie incident wasn’t the only thing that they allegedly did. Before the cover-up, Chris Mortensen put forth some articles about their shenanigans, including this one that talked about taping defensive signals and using extra frequencies:

      http://espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3014677

      That was one of the articles Mortensen did on the story until the league told ESPN to go silent after Goodell destroyed the tapes for his good buddy Kraft (why do you think he was hired as Commish in the first place? Kraft knew this day was coming, and he wanted a crony in there to do his dirty work).

      Also, you had Josh McDaniels doing this when he was in Denver in 2010. He had a guy named Sneaky Steve Scarnecchia (since banned for life by the NFL, a fate that should have also happened to Belichick and Adams if Goodell wasn’t a waterboy) that he brought from the Pats to do his filming for him, and then he denies to the other coaches on his staff that it wasn’t like what they did in New England. Horsepucky!!

      Go to Amazon. Look up Spygate: The Untold Story.

      2. All these accomplishments of Brady’s that you throw at me are all a by-product of the team success, and really don’t mean that much. Brady has led the Pats to six SB’s because of his coach. Elway led the Broncos to three SB’s in the 80’s in spite of his coach. Good day.

      • I’m not interested in wasting time on conspiracies, but I’ll take the time to respond to the specific points you’ve made.

        I have looked at the Spygate book. It’s a load of conspiracy nonsense, backed up by zero solid evidence, written so that people like you could tell themselves there was substance behind the idea that Brady’s accomplishments don’t count. You still haven’t provided any substance to support your very specific claims about Adams and the radio frequencies. We both know that this is because there is no evidence to present, it’s just a wild-eyed theory. The article you linked to said that the Pats were investigated for their use of radio frequencies. It does not say they were found guilty of wrongdoing, or that Adams was speaking to Brady through his helmet. So it has nothing to do with what I’m talking about.

        Mortensen also reported that 11 of 12 balls were deflated against the Colts, a claim that was later proven false. Just because Mortensen reported something doesn’t make it true. This is why you need more evidence to convince me of the extraordinary claims you are making. Are you seriously arguing that Goodell is Kraft’s crony? Then what was all the deflategate nonsense about? If Kraft has Goodell in his pocket, then why would the commish railroad Kraft’s team, and one of the sport’s most marketable stars, with nonsense allegations that have never been proven? Even you have to be able to see that Brady getting his suspension lifted was an embarrassment for Goodell, just as Bountygate was.

        As for your last point, I cannot comprehend your argument. Brady had nothing to do with NE reaching 6 Super Bowls? And you must really hate Dan Reeves. If he’s a moron and Elway won in spite of him, how did Reeves manage to get Atlanta to the SB in 98? Maybe he’s like Brady and he just keeps getting lucky, right? Can you truly not see how stupid that argument sounds? And when Manning reached three Super Bowls, those were team achievements, too, right? Or is it only a team achievement when Brady does it?

        And I hate to burst your bubble, but Elway’s teams cheated, too. The Broncos were later fined for violating the salary cap rules, and Schlereth has admitted that the linemen illegally put vaseline on their arms in the playoffs against Kansas City. The difference between me and you is that I don’t respond to those incidents by declaring that Elway’s super bowl wins are meaningless.

        I don’t know what it is about Manning’s fans and Brady haters that makes them so irrational and inconsistent. They simply refuse to apply the same standards to all players, which is sad.

      • 1. I don’t think you read that book. Bryan used statistical data and the point spread to show that what the Pats have been doing the last 15 years is two standard deviations from the mean. It’s not just conspiracy and “wild eyed theories” as you say. You talk about Brady haters, but you Brady Bouquet Throwers seem to be way worse to me.

        2. I haven’t looked too much into Deflategate. I am talking about Spygate. And, here is a very good article that gives you an idea of what they were doing over the years:

        http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13533995/split-nfl-new-england-patriots-apart

        3. The Broncos didn’t cheat the salary cap in the 90’s. They violated the collective bargaining agreement. It centered on timing of cash inflows and outflows, at a time when there was a substantial amount of outflow activity in the manner of capital expenditures on the new stadium (Invesco Field at Mile High). It actually had nothing at all to do with the salary cap. It had to do with the way cash was disbursed from the organization to the players, and the deferrals the players took were too team-friendly, per the letter of the CBA law. The Broncos organization had a good relationship with its players, and they agreed to take the deferrals, but those provisions of the CBA were intended to protect players from bad owners. They didn’t gain a competitive edge on the field.

        4. Yes, Reeves led Atlanta to the Super Bowl in 98, but he needed a Gary Anderson miss to get there. And, outside of his time with Elway, he only led his teams (Giants and Falcons) to three playoff appearances.

  6. On some level, you have to be willing to accept that you live in the real world, and that if you take positions that are actively refuted by the facts, reasonable people are not going to take you seriously. I have read the spygate book, which is how I know what’s in it. If you’re really interested in examining the veracity of O’Leary’s claims, you should read the review on the amazon page posted by a user named BBTL. It does an excellent job of showing why much of the content of the book is a fabrication. The book has been discredited since it was published, and the math in it is flawed. O’Leary actually claims that the Patriots win pct is 3 standard deviations from the mean, which is false. And the Walsh/Siefert 49ers maintained a similar win pct to that of the Patriots, and for an even longer period of time. Are you suggesting San Francisco was also cheating? And if not, why not?

    My point about the Broncos and the deferred payments is the double standards that people like you apply. If the Patriots were accused of what the Broncos were fined for, people like you would go crazy talking about how New England cheats both on the field and off it. But you won’t apply the same standard when it’s the Broncos who are guilty. And actually, the Broncos WERE accused of illegally videotaping the Chargers practices when Shanahan was the coach. But it’s only the Patriots whose SB wins should have an asterisk, right? You also failed to answer my point about Schlereth and the vaseline on the linemen’s arms, which absolutely gave Denver a competitive advantage.

    Again, I guess you really don’t like Dan Reeves. But the fact that he turned a mediocre Atlanta team into a 14-2 NFC champ doesn’t suggest to me that he was a moron. I examined your claim that Elway won in spite of his coach when he played for Reeves. I’ll give you 1987, when Elway was 4th in anypa and Denver didn’t have a good running game, although they did have a defense that finished 7th in fewest points allowed. But what about the other years? In 1986, Elway was 10th in anypa, and the Broncos pass offense was 13th in nypa as a team. In 1989, Elway was 15th in anypa. In other words, he was an average QB. The Broncos reached the SB that year because of their defense, which allowed the fewest points in the league. And 87 was the year that Denver got to the SB thanks to Byner’s fumble, one of the luckiest moments in playoff history. So I don’t agree with your claim that Elway won despite having Reeves as his coach. Even in 97-98, Elway played great, but got help from a great defense and running game. Ironically, Brady critics like you claim that Brady is the one who can’t win without a defense and running game.

    So again, your claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. Arguing with Brady haters is like “debating” the people who deny evolution, or claim that Obama is a socialist Muslim born in Kenya. It doesn’t matter how much evidence you show them that suggests they’re wrong, they simply will not listen to you. Kacsmar recently admitted that even if Brady were to break Peyton’s career TD record, he would still rate Manning higher. This is proof for me that Scott is not interested in what the facts and stats say. He just wants to rate Manning higher than he deserves, and that’s stupid, and a bad reason to pursue a career in analytics. Your claims that Elway should rate ahead of Brady, or that Brady is the luckiest QB in history, don’t stand up to scrutiny. It’s high time you acknowledged the facts.

    • 1. I read BBTL’s review on Amazon, and while he makes a few solid points, he seems to just take the NFL’s word for it, like when league spokesman Greg Aiello said on 9-21-07 that the league had no evidence as far as the alternate frequencies are concerned. Seems a bit naive to me.

      Also, I found the message board (from a Jet fan board) write-up of someone that said that they listened to Dan LeBatard’s interview with Bob Costas where he mentions to him what John Saunders told him about his interview with Doug Flutie (on a Canadian TV Station, I think). He also said that Costas was sickened:

      http://forums.theganggreen.com/threads/alleged-evidence-from-doug-flutie-about-pats-cheating.26151/

      BBTL seems to indicate that O’Leary invented the 15-second cutoff thing, but I knew of that before his book was even written.

      Also, my friend told me about something that Mike Pereira said once on TV. Mike allegedly said that the Pats were filming in people’s locker rooms, on the sidelines (with people wearing press passes), and a camera placed in another location (I think that he said a flagpole, but I’m not sure).

      2. I know about what Denver did with the Vaseline, and the alleged filming of a Charger practice. That wasn’t right. However, they didn’t gain a competitive advantage with their pay deferments. I try to explain that to Pat fans and bouquet throwers, and people like you just ignore what I say.

      3. Yes, Reeves did turn Atlanta around, but he didn’t lead them back to the playoffs again for four years. He only has three playoff appearances without Elway. Also, while the 89 defense was good (the 91 and 92 defenses were even better, but there were hardly any weapons or a line around Elway those years), the 86 and 87 defenses were undersized, smoke and mirror units that needed to force turnovers to be successful. They weren’t that good stopping the run (gave up over 400 yards rushing to the Giants and Skins in SB’s 21 and 22), and in 86, the Broncos were exposed after Collier stopped stunting his defensive linemen.

      4. As for Brady, his defenses forced 8 turnovers in his first three SB wins, and 13 turnovers in their three AFC Title game wins (in the 01 game, Brady was knocked out, and in the 03 game, Brady was awful). Tom really didn’t carry the team to those SB wins.

  7. I see you’ve bought into O’Leary’s conspiracy theories. You can’t trust anything the NFL says, right? Which is strange, because O’Leary and his lackeys seemed perfectly willing to buy the claims of the league office against Brady in Deflategate, but of course people like O’Leary will claim that that’s different, because…reasons. So when Goodell and his people make bogus charges against Brady about deflating footballs, that’s legit, but when Aiello reports that the Patriots were cleared of wrongdoing in a separate case, Aiello can’t be trusted because he’s a source connected to the NFL? That makes no sense, and is just more conspiracy nonsense.

    Your claims about Pereira, Flutie, and the 15 second cutoff are just more multi-party hearsay. You’ve given me nothing that I can use to actually verify any of these claims. My friend, who I won’t name, once told me that he saw a pig fly outside his window, but he thinks it might have been a donkey. Are you now convinced that pigs can fly? Because you shouldn’t be.

    This is why hearsay evidence can’t be used in court, and shouldn’t be taken seriously outside of a courtroom. What is your source for your claim that you “knew” about the 15 second cutoff before you read the book, because I’m sure O’Leary would love to know what it is. Is it something different than what Flutie supposedly said?

    I have never ignored your claim about the deferred payments by Denver. Maybe they didn’t gain an advantage, and maybe they did. But there’s a reason why they were fined so heavily by the league. And if they did film the Chargers, then they’re just as guilty as New England of cheating. I just wish people like you would admit this, instead of trying to pretend the Patriots are the only team that’s ever been accused of wrongdoing.

    Right, I never said Reeves was a genius. I said that he’s a good coach, and I rejected your claim that Elway was the driving force behind the success of those teams. The 89 and 86 Denver defenses were both top 10 in the league. This absolutely helped Elway reach the SB. I’ve already shown that Elway’s stats in 86 and 89 were nothing special, so claiming that he was the real reason they won is wrong. He also was thoroughly outplayed in each of his 3 SB appearances by the opposing QB. Why should any of that convince me he’s better than Tom Brady?

    Which brings me to your last point. Brady had good defenses in his first 3 SB wins, I’ve never denied this. But Brady himself also played well, particularly in the 03 and 04 postseasons. I wouldn’t say he carried them in every game, but his performance was crucial to NE’s success in the SB against Carolina, and the AFC champ win in Pittsburgh in 04. Look at the guy’s stats in those games and tell me he didn’t play well. And I don’t agree that Brady was “awful” in the 2003 AFC champ. You might be confusing his performance with that of Peyton Manning. Manning completed less than half his passes, at 5 yards per attempt, and had 1 TD and 4 picks. Brady was more accurate, with more yards per attempt, 1 TD and just one pick. It was far from Brady’s best performance, but he was a lot better than Manning, which is a major reason why New England won.

    • The opposing QB played well against Elway’s defenses, not Elway. I don’t think that Brady would have done better if he was in Elway’s shoes against the Giants, Washington, and SF. Also, in the 03 AFC Title Game, Brady played lousy. He should have had five interceptions. Scott had a link to a video on this site showing that.

      As for the Deflategate thing, I didn’t believe everything the league told me. And, it’s not the same. They seemed to be covering things up in Spygate, but not so much with Deflategate.

      And, I never said that Denver didn’t do anything wrong. However, Pat fans are quick to point fingers at other teams without the facts. Also, I know this stuff is hearsay. However, we know what McDaniels did when he went to Denver. He brought Sneaky Steve Scarnecchia with him, and he got banned for life. McDaniels allegedly (O’Leary said that he got this from Jay Glazer of FOX Sports) told the Denver coaching staff that it wasn’t like what they were doing in Foxboro, where they coached it, they practiced it, and they worked on it (the cheating).

      If the Pats did the things that they were rumored to be doing, then nobody compares to them in the annals of cheating (Before you get carried away, notice I said IF. I didn’t say they did or not. However, their seems to be some smoke, and where there’s smoke, there can be fire).

      • I can see that Im wasting my time. If you want to parrot O’Leary’s claims, there’s no need to share them with me. I’ve already read the book. The Patriots have been accused of a lot, but very little of it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m sure they were guilty of wrongdoing in the Spygate case, but they paid their fine and lost their draft picks. I don’t even see why it’s relevant anymore. Unless you’re arguing, as O’Leary is, that the Patriots are continuing to cheat now. In which case the burden of proof is on you to prove why this is so, a burden that O’Leary utterly fails to meet. That’s why O’Leary is not a credible source.

        Elway played poorly against San Fran and Washington. That’s why his teams got blown out. Your conjecture that Brady “would have” played as badly as Elway is worthless, because it’s a fake what-if that can never be tested. It also ignores the fact that Brady has much better Super Bowl stats than Elway. Elway had a 59.3 rating in his 5 SB appearances. Brady has a 95.3 rating in 6 Super Bowls. That’s one of the major reasons why Brady has a winning record in SBs, and Elway does not. Saying that the opposing QB played Denver’s defense doesn’t get around the fact that Elway played badly against San Fran and Washington. How did Brady do in the last SB, against the number one defense in the NFL, which was being hyped before the game as one of the greatest in NFL history?

        Saying that Brady “should have” had 5 picks in the 03 AFC CG is nonsense, designed to get around the fact that Manning DID have 4 picks. Had Manning thrown fewer INTs, the Colts may have won that game, but he didn’t. Manning has hurt his team with bad playoff performances far more often than Brady has.

        How did I point fingers without the facts? I agreed with your take on the deferred payments, except that it may have given Denver crucial payroll flexibility, I’m not sure. I’m not going to take your word on how I should judge that episode. I’ll look into it and decide for myself. You can continue to use O’Leary as a source for your claims if you want, but you can’t expect me to take him seriously. And what about the Steelers of the 70s, who have been rumored to have been using PEDs ever since. Did they do it? I have no idea, but I find it hard to believe that the Patriots are the only great team that did something outside the rules. But if I point out that maybe some other team did something wrong, you’ll accuse me of pointing fingers again. Apparently, only people who don’t like the Patriots have license to do that.

      • I am not just parroting O’Leary’s claims. All I shared in my last post was a quote that he shared from Jay Glazer in the podcast he had with Brad Riter of the Trending Buffalo site. I also talked about what McDaniels and Scarnecchia did as well in Denver (which are facts, not things parroted from O’Leary).

        Also, you give Elway too much blame for his SB losses and Brady too much credit for his SB wins. It’s true that John played bad against SF, but against the Giants, he had them in good position in the first half to score more than 10 points (the kicker missed two FG’s and he got screwed out of a completion on the play before the safety). John also led Denver to a 10-0 lead against Washington before the defense started giving up big plays. When you are giving up splash plays over and over, that’s on the D, not Elway. They couldn’t force a turnover, and they were exposed.

        In Brady’s three wins early in his career, the defense helped out with a lot of key turnovers, and his kicker hit the game winning kick in the first two. Brady led both drives, but he basically hit passes to RB’s against the Rams, and the other kicker set him up at the 40 against the Panthers.

        Also, what about the losses to the Giants? They had explosive offenses (especially in the first Giant SB), and didn’t even score 20 points in either game. Why doesn’t Brady get some blame for either of those?

        And, you like to bring up last year’s SB, but that was against a banged-up Seattle D (Peyton played the much better version the year before, but Pat fans and bouquet throwers like to gloss over that). He also needed Malcolm Butler to stick his hand out and get away with a trip of a wide open Ricardo Lockette on Seattle’s next to last drive, and then Butler made a great pick on that stupid pass play to seal the win.

        This leads me to my next point about Brady: He (and to a lesser extent Montana, although I think that Joe is still a top-5 or 6 QB, while I would have Brady anywhere from 12th all time to 1000th if he benefitted from an alternate frequency) are products of the media, and their propensity to over-hype the QB if their teams win several SB’s.

        Football is a team game, but the media somehow can’t see it that way, and they like to talk about how clutch this QB or that QB is, and it’s those stupid narratives that lead idiots to give guys like Brady more credit for his team’s success than he deserves.

        On You-Tube, there are some fans who did a video series comparing Manning and Brady, and I agree that Peyton is much better. Here it is. You should check it out:

  8. jbsptfn is an example of a person who is confronted with facts that he doesn’t want to deal with, and so he ignores the ones he doesn’t like. His latest post is just more BS, packaged as informed opinion. Let’s take a close look at what he just wrote. If Elway is even close to Brady in SB performance, why is there such a huge gap in their stats? How do you explain the difference between a 95.3 passer rating, and a 59.3 rating? It’s not even close. Elway played like crap against the 49ers and Redskins, to the point where it didn’t even matter what his defense did. He put up a 36.8 rating against Washington, and a pathetic 19.4 rating against the 49ers. How do you explain numbers that bad, if it’s all on the defense? Brady’s worst SB performance was way better than those games.

    Right, Brady put together game winning drives in his first 2 SB wins. The first one was a GW FG after Brady got the ball with less than 2 min on the clock, and no timeouts, deep in his own territory. Check Brady’s stats in the 4th quarter of the SB win over Carolina. It was an epic clutch performance. I do blame Brady for the SB losses to the Giants, though his rate stats were still pretty good in both of those games. It’s only people like you who can’t admit their guy played badly, when Elway or Manning loses a playoff game.

    You conspicuously avoided mentioning the lucky catch by Kearse, which is the only reason Seattle got close to the goal in the Super Bowl. You sure Seattle was banged up? Chancellor looked pretty healthy to me when he put that big hit on Edelman. NE won that game because the great Tom Brady produced 2 big scoring drives in the 4th, against the NFL’s number one defense. When was the last time Peyton Manning did something like that in a Super Bowl? The correct answer is never.

    The reason players like Montana and Brady are rated higher than Manning is not media hype. It’s because the goal of the season is to win the Super Bowl. Manning, who you say is better than Montana and Brady, has done this exactly once, mostly because he defense played great in the playoffs, and his running game averaged more than 150 yards per playoff game. And it helped that he got to face Grossman, one of the worst QBs in SB history. Brady and Montana have each succeeded four times, and have rate stats in the reg season that compare very well with Manning. Brady is getting closer to some of Manning’s career totals, too. The notion that Manning has active QBs like Brady, Rodgers, and Brees dominated statistically is a fabrication, pushed by propagandists like you and Kacsmar. Manning has great career totals, because he’s played a long time. But for most of their careers, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers have been just as good as Manning statistically.

    To say that Brady is no better than 12th all time, like your claim that Elway is better than Brady, shows that you’re either lying, or have no idea what you are talking about. Brady is one of the best QBs, statistically, in NFL history. In addition to that, he’s the winningest QB with at least 100 starts (only Graham is higher for win pct, and Graham only played 6 seasons in the NFL), and is either the best or 2nd best postseason QB of all time. What an overrated bum!!

    The reason Brady is regarded as clutch is because he has the most successful GWDs in postseason history, with 9. 4 of those came in Super Bowls. He’s not perfect, but he’s thoroughly outperformed Manning in the clutch. Manning has just one successful playoff GWD in 9 chances, which is pathetic. So comparing Brady to Manning, Brady has been just as good as Manning, statistically, since the start of the 2005 season. And the period before 2005 was when Brady won 3 SBs in 4 seasons. Brady wins more games than Manning, in both the reg season and the playoffs, and has better postseason stats, especially if you throw out the Wild Card round. Manning has padded his stats playing way more dome games, and mostly avoiding cold weather. Manning has also been surrounded by a cast of all star receivers his whole career, like Faulk, Harrison, Wayne, D Thomas, Sanders, Decker, Clark, etc. Brady has generally had better defenses, but wins way more often with a top 10 defense. Brady’s playoff record with a top 10 D is 18-6, with 5 SB appearances and 4 SB wins. Manning with a top 10 D is 2-6 in the playoffs, with 1 SB appearance, a loss. Brady’s teams outscore Manning’s teams in both the reg season and the playoffs, and far too often, Manning’s teams have failed to put up many points in the playoffs. Examples-the loss to Tennessee in 99, 16 points. The loss to Miami in 2000, 17 points. Loss to the Jets in 2002, 0 points (a shutout!). Loss to NE in 2003, 14 points, and in 2004, 3 points. 2005 Steelers, 18 points, and only 3 before the 4th quarter, when 2 huge lucky breaks allowed the Colts back into the game. 2008 loss to Chargers, 17 points. 2009 SB loss to Saints, 17 points. 2010 loss to Jets, 16 points. 2012 loss to Ravens, the Broncos scored 35, but 14 of those points came from kickoff returns. SB loss to Seattle, with the highest scoring team in NFL history, 8 points. 2014 loss to Colts, 13 points. So virtually every loss of Manning’s career has been a game where his team did not reach 20 points scored.

    If you’re going to say Brady is to blame for the losses to the Giants, because the Pats didn’t get to 20 points, then you have to admit that Manning and the offense have typically been the problem when his teams lost. You can’t have it both ways. Manning has had weak or mediocre performances in the playoffs far more often than Brady.

    It’s time to face the fact that Brady has had a better career than Manning. Your arguments are unconvincing, because you haven’t answered most of the points I’ve made, most of which were backed up with irrefutable stats. You’ve also relied way too heavily on a fraud like O’Leary and the Spygate book. Manning’s a great QB, but he’s no Tom Brady. A much more interesting debate than Manning-Brady is Brady-Montana. If you want to continue this discussion, I’d like to address the question of WHY Brady has been more successful than Manning, but the Brady-Manning debate ended for me, and most of the football fans I’ve talked to around the country, years ago.

    • 1. Elway’s defenses gave up big plays and drives in those Super Bowls. To blame Elway is irresponsible. Also, John has thrown less impactful INT’s in his SB career than Brady has. What about the INT that Brady threw in SB 38 in the red zone? Or, what about the ones he threw in the last SB to Jeremy Lane in the red zone, and to Richard Sherman in their own territory?

      2. Brady’s performance against Carolina in SB 38 was good, but it wasn’t epic.

      3. Kearse did have a lucky catch in last year’s SB, but what about the one that was dropped in the third quarter in NE territory (Doug Baldwin, I think) when Seattle was up by 10? He holds on to that, and they may put the game on lockdown.

      4. The goal is to win the SB. However, it’s a team game. And, I never had any fabricated propaganda about Manning. I don’t think that anyone playing today is the best ever because it is so much easier to play than it was just 25 years ago. Passing is much easier, and QB’s don’t take as much of a beating as they did then.

      5. Stats don’t matter as much as you think they do. Also, Brady has accumulated his stats in a much more QB-friendly environment than past greats.

      6. Brady hasn’t been that clutch. It took him 10 years to win a SB after those three in four years. He lost more home playoff games in those 10 years than Elway ever lost (he only lost 2).

      7. I never said that Manning wasn’t to blame for some of his playoff losses. However, there are a few where you can’t just blame him, or where he doesn’t deserve much blame at all (like the Baltimore game three years ago. The officials handed the game to Baltimore). I also never said that Brady deserves blame for all of his postseason losses (he just doesn’t deserve as much credit for the wins as you think).

      8. You are right. Manning is no Tom Brady. Like the people say in that video series (they actually watched their playoff games over again. Did you? Or do you listen to ESPN to get your Brady analysis?), Manning is much better, and it isn’t even close.

  9. You haven’t backed up your claim that Manning is “much better” than Brady with any substance, and you haven’t refuted the points I made. The guys in the video are just more Manning fanboys, making the same arguments for Manning that I’ve heard from Peyton’s advocates before. Listen to the first part of the video again. The guy going through Manning’s playoff career admits Peyton played like garbage in several of his playoff losses. How is that supposed to convince me that Peyton is better than Brady?

    1. Brady has much better SB stats than Elway, that’s just a fact. It’s not even close. Brady threw 2 picks against Seattle, which is bad. But they came early in the game, and Brady later made up for it with clutch play in the 4th. Which part of that do you disagree with?

    2. I said Brady’s performance in the 4th quarter against Carolina was epic, which is true. Go back and look at the stats, or better yet, watch the game again. There’s no way NE wins that game if Brady doesn’t play out of his mind in the 4th quarter. I agree, Brady was nothing special in the first half.

    3. A lot of things could have happened differently, in every game. This is why I don’t like using what-if scenarios to rate players. You have to judge players on what actually happened, not what might have happened. This is also why I reject the “Brady is lucky” argument. I don’t believe it’s possible for anyone to win 21 playoff games, 6 AFC championships, and 4 Super Bowls by just relying on luck, or waiting for his teammates to bail him out.

    4. I agree the game has changed a lot since 25 years ago, and it’s easier for QBs. But this has also helped Manning just as much as it has Brady. I don’t understand how this point helps your argument that Manning is “much better” than Brady. If you want to say that someone like Graham or Unitas or Montana rates ahead of both Manning and Brady, I think that’s defensible. But it seems clear to me that Brady has had a better career than Manning. I don’t understand why you disagree with me on that.

    5. If we can’t use stats to compare players, what do we go on? Subjective opinion? The QB friendly era has helped Manning’s stats just as much as Brady’s. My point still stands. For most of his career, 2005-present, Brady has been just as good as Manning. And in the period when Manning had better stats before 2005, Brady won 3 Super Bowls.

    6. I agree Elway often came up clutch. I think the drive against Cleveland from 86 might be the single greatest clutch drive I’ve ever seen. But citing the 10 year drought for Brady doesn’t prove that he’s not clutch. It’s just a way of getting around his successes in the years he won the SB. I could claim that Elway isn’t clutch, because for the first 14 years of his career, he didn’t win the Super Bowl. But I wouldn’t do that, because I don’t think that’s fair to Elway. So Elway had only 2 playoff losses at home. How many does Brady have? 3. Man, what an unclutch choke artist! This stat tells us nothing useful about Brady or Elway’s clutchiness.

    7. I never said that Brady deserves all the credit for winning, or Manning is always to blame. I simply provided facts that showed what Manning’s real problem is: His teams don’t score enough points in the playoffs. Brady doesn’t have that problem, although he has had some bad games. But Brady’s teams outscore Manning’s teams by more than 4 ppg in the playoffs. This is one of the major reasons why Brady has won more in the playoffs, and why the “Brady’s an overrated QB who gets lucky” narrative is a fabrication. I agree with the majority of people that Manning has played better in the playoffs than his 11-13 record would indicate. Where I disagree is when people go further, and claim that Manning has been better than Brady in the playoffs, because he hasn’t.

    8. I have watched every playoff game in both Brady and Manning’s careers. I see nothing that indicates that Manning has been better in the playoffs, and I genuinely don’t understand your repeated claim that Manning has been “much better” than Brady. He hasn’t. I think it’s possible to construct an argument that Manning has been slightly better than Brady, by putting a lot of emphasis on Manning’s yardage and TD records, and his many awards, and minimizing the importance of the playoffs. But I don’t see an argument that suggests there’s a big difference between the two. As a Brady advocate, I’ve never claimed that Brady is way ahead of Manning. It’s close. But I do think Brady has been more valuable to his teams overall, especially when you include the postseason and Super Bowl.

    Although we disagree, I enjoy these debates, which is why I devote so much time to them. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to answer my posts, and that you’ve kept it polite.

  10. With Cam’s MVP season and Super Bowl appearance in 2015, I think it’s time to elevate him above Daunte Culpepper, especially considering we just saw Cam finish Year 5 and Culpepper’s great 2004 was his fifth season, so lets compare the stats.

    Culpepper through 5 years (2000-2004) 64.4% comp pct, 254.8 yards passing, 129 TD passes 74 int, 7.6 sack %. , 31.8 yards rush 28 TDs rushing, 9 fourth quarter comebacks and 14 game winning drives, made the playoffs 2 of 5 years, 93.2 QB rating

    Cam through 5 years (2011-2015) 59.5% comp pct, 234.1 yards passing, 117 TD passes 64 int, 7.1 sack % , 41.1 yards rushing 43 rushing touchdowns, 12 fourth quarter comebacks and 12 game winning drives, made playoffs 3 of 5 years, 88.2 QB rating

    • Sorry Damon, but Kacsmar hates Newton almost as much as he hates Brady. He will never admit Cam is any good.

  11. Another guy going into his fifth year coming off four strong ones already is Russell Wilson. If he plays this year like he did in the second half of last year as I suspect he will, that’s another QB who should be in the top 64 by the end of 2016.

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