Notwithstanding he just lost a Superbowl, Peyton Manning is the best Quote unquote Quarterback in the NFL right now. In terms of doing everything a great QB is expected to do: lead, read, feed, plead and not bleed (meaning lead the team in the locker room and on the field, make great football decisions i.e. calling plays where to throw the ball, educates his teammates and makes them better, has a constructive relationship with his head coach, and he stays healthy and on the field.
But more than that, the guy makes plays. He creates opportunities both after the snap, but also before the snap. All the top NFL QBs can make plays after the snap either with their feet (think Vick or Steve Young ) or with their improvisation skills (Tony Romo and Favre .). But to make plays before the snap through audible and play calling at the line, that is really never talked about because most QB’s don’t get to do it. Head coaches won’t surrender that much control. Manning is quite literally in a league of his own as far as pre-snap playmaking is concerned
The only negative is he only has 1 Super bowl ring. One used to be enough, but somehow Tom Brady has 3 and that has made everyone lose their minds. People, and by people I mean people who cover football for a living, played football for a living and should know better, say Brady is in the conversation of greatest QB of all time.
Tom Brady is a System Quarterback.
Peyton Manning is the system.
Tom Brady could be replaced by any serviceable QB and the Patriots would have won those 3 superbowls anyway. Hell if they had a better QB they may have won 5 straight.
I know this is all just conjecture. I have no proof that the New England football team could be just as efficient and explosive on offense with any given QB.
So how do you prove this? In a perfect world I’d do it scientifically with the Quarterback as the independent variable and the Pat’s offensive statistics as the dependant variables. I’d take Brady out and stick in the "control variable"; a randomly selected NFL QB with no real experience for one season and then compare all the stats across the board... Then I could scientifically prove that all things being equal, Brady is nothing special, and more a product of luck and circumstance than talent or ability . Then I’d have it published in The American Journal of Science, Nature and Sports illustrated. But other than a Madden simulated season, there’s just no way, and Madden is biased because it makes Brady the best Player in the game every year. But trust me; if you watch the guy play it’s so obvious, he’s just a cog in a big machine. I really wish we could test this somehow……..
Quid Erat Demonstrandum (that’s Latin for “that which was to be demonstrated”)
(one more note on Brady. Ironically the only reason Brady is anyone is because he was the control in the Drew Bledsoe version of this experiment, taking over as a "who the hell are you" 6th round pick with no experience when Drew got hurt in 2001)
By the way, Drew Brees is pretty dam good himself. Unfortunately he will never be as good as Tom Brady because he’s short. You know most people don’t realize that it was Marty Shottenhiemer’s bias against short QB’s that made the 6’ 5” Phillip Rivers Happen. Marty hates short Quarterbacks. Having to play Doug Flutie pushed him over the edge. Remember this is the guy who kept Steve Deberg playing until he was 45 because he was tall. For those of you scoring at home that’s
SanDiego: Tall QB,
New Orleans: Superbowl Victory #1.