At first glance, we all looked at the New England Patriots‘ loss in the AFC Championship game to the Denver Broncos as a what-could-have-been moment in the career of Tom Brady. Had the quarterback led the Patriots to victory at Mile High he would have been to a record sixth Super Bowl and winning it would have garnered Brady the “best of all-time” mantra.
But it did not work out that way. I thought Brady played among the worst in his eight AFC title games, which if you take a look at those statistics, are contrary to his career numbers. Now Brady’s arch-nemesis, Peyton Manning, sits on the verge of his second Lombardi Trophy and it reopens that ever-prevalent debate about who the better quarterback between the two. The quarrel over Brady vs. Manning can be tedious and drawn out, but instead of bickering over who the best is, let’s just appreciate how much the two have battled back and forth through the years.
Here is a hypothetical equation for you — if Manning did not exist, how many titles would Brady have? You could make the argument that Brady would have one or two more rings to his already established Canton resume, which would give Brady four or an unprecedented five championships.
On the flip side, the exact same could be said for Manning. The first overall draft pick has been chasing the one-time fourth-stringer ever since the two began clashing in 2001, but Manning also could have two or three Super Bowl titles by now.
The way these two are compared and contrasted against one anther, essentially since their NFL careers began, will only be enhanced will each winning titles. In today’s world of sports, the only comparison can be Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in tennis, who respect and balance each other just like Brady and Manning, and will forever be linked together just like the quarterbacks.
Right now, Patriots fans are just focused on how many rings Brady can pile up. Some day, they will be able to look back and see how great Brady was, and if his adversary has multiple Super Bowl titles to his name, realize it made Brady look better since they usually had to go through the other to reach the top. The more titles the both of them win, with each man still playing at a championship level, the better off the opposite quarterback looks. I guess that means I will be rooting for the Broncos over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.