Everyone can agree that Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning is the NFL Most Valuable Player if the season ended today. It also is clear that Manning is on pace to break every major single-season passing record. It certainly makes him the best quarterback in the game, right? Then why is New England Patriots signal caller Tom Brady considered to be better?
Comparing Brady’s numbers to Manning is absolutely foolish. There is no comparison. Manning has 22 touchdowns to just two interceptions! He is the only quarterback in the league to pass for over 2,000 yards through the first six weeks of the season. His 74.2 completion percentage and 128.8 passer rating are off the charts. Brady, on the other hand, is on pace to post the worst statistical season of his career.
So why is he the better signal caller?
Look at the roster surrounding both players. Manning has the best group of receivers he has ever played with in his career. Demaryius Thomas (528 receiving yards), Eric Decker (477 receiving yards), Julius Thomas (381 receiving yards) and Wes Welker (378 receiving yards) are making Manning look real good. I am not trying to take anything away from one of the best quarterbacks to ever step on a football field but it is true. Without these four incredibly talented players, the Broncos are not 6-0 and Manning is not putting up ridiculous numbers.
Meanwhile, look at what Brady has to work with. Julian Edelman (411 receiving yards), Kenbrell Thompkins (318 passing yards), Aaron Dobson (230 receiving yards) and Danny Amendola (159 receiving yards) have an average age of 25 years old. These guys are dropping passes, cutting off routes and simply not playing up to the Patriots standard. Obviously, the win over the New Orleans Saints has changed most of that, but we are talking about what has happened throughout the entire season up to this point.
Speaking of the improbable win against the Saints, just another reason why Brady is amazing. I am not saying Manning could not accomplish the same feat. However, would he have been able to do it in a calm manner with the same personnel as Brady? The three-time Super Bowl champion was cool as ice while he dissected the Saints’ defense on the final drive that won the game.
What Manning also has that Brady does not is an offensive line that can protect. Brady has been dropped 16 times while Manning has only been taken to the ground five times. Say what you want but that makes a huge difference.
There is no question Manning is the better statistical quarterback this season. In fact, the numbers he has put up are unprecedented. Football fanatics everywhere take notice because we may never see anything like his performance ever again.
With that being said, the play of a great quarterback must go further than the numbers. New England has lost only one game this season and that was against a very talented defense. I just cannot see any other quarterback in the league able to do what Brady has done so far this year with the players that he is surrounded with on offense.
Simply put, Manning’s receivers make him better and Brady makes his receivers better.