i have been making this argument for years, especially this year. but still i get the manning supporters saying "he has more tds and yards than brady...", but not as many rings. this article just reinforces my points of the past that its what you do in the playoffs and in big games during the regular season that defines your legacy.
take manning in 07 for an example. the top seeds in this years playoffs that they could play in the regular season were new england and san diego. manning had 3 td's and 7 int's in those two games. these were games that realistically could have changed the seeding of the playoffs. and they did. fast forward to sunday and manning did it again. two interceptions and a very makeable pass that clark dropped to keep the game alive. i wont be that bad and blame manning all the way for that drop since clark should have caught that. funny how that pass, minus distance down the field, was almost identical to brady's 53 yard completion to stallworth hitting him in full stride. clark had noone behind him and if that ball is placed a little better, indy is in new england this sunday.
same with the new england game in november. manning had another chance to drive and win the game on the last possession and he coughed it up with a fumble and they lost.
manning no doubt has great individual stats but when you have top draft picks your whole career, isnt that expected? manning also has the luxury of playing at least 6 games a year(8 this year) in domes. its easy to launch a 70 yard pass when you dont have to worry about bad footing, weather, sun in the eyes, wind, snow, rain, etc.
what i dont get is why manning cant do it with everything stacked in his favor. think about it.
he plays all home games in perfect weather, he is very accurate, he has a great coach and has had two hall of fame running backs in faulk and james, and possibly addai in the future, and top ten draft picks surrounding him for basically his whole career. this sounds like the cowboys and 49ers of the past two decades. yet when the pressure mounts, even in a regular season game, he just cant step it up. its one of those things about team sports. individual talent in the combine and scouting reports will get you to the pros but once you get there its all about what you do under pressure and for some reason he just cant make it happen when the game is on the line.
now take brady. he is 12-2 in the playoffs without moss and 13-2 with his "star players" this year. he is undefeated at home in the playoffs, just set the completion percentage record for the playoffs and we all know what he did this year. but look at the past players that have surrounded him for 4 afc championships and 3 superbowls. they are basically nobodys. no star or household name. now look at his stats compared to mannings with three less years of experience and by far less talent. brady has never had a star running back. dillon was good but the pats acquired him too late in his career in my opinion. maroney may prove to be great but for now he is average yet bradys stats are still fairly close to mannings. how has he done this? simple, the pats preach the little things. its the lack of turnovers, the yards after catch, the execution on blocking assignments, the knowledge over age in the linebacker crew and quite frankly perfect fundamental football. one more thing brady has over manning is the god given ability to not feel pressure. its almost robotic the way he stays cool when defenses bring the heat.
like i said before its what you do when it matters that defines a legacy, not what you do when you play the 4-12 teams in the regular season. everyone knows the colts and pats are supposed to beat miami and oakland but its when they play each other that either elevates or deflates their status and after this article and post i believe most people understand brady is now clearly the better quarterback.