No matter where in the sports world you went, you would hear the same things. “Tom Brady is done.” “He’s too old to play anymore.” “Manning is so much better than Brady.” “The Patriots are doomed.”
Tom Brady heard the media saying these things. What did he do about it?
He went on perhaps the greatest stretch of games in his career. In October, Brady went all out, throwing for nearly 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns with NO interceptions. Ever since their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the New England Patriots are undefeated. 5-0. It quickly stopped all talk about this team being done and about Brady being too old and past his prime.
But Brady wasn’t done just yet. Last Sunday, it was Brady vs. Manning yet again. Peyton Manning had been showing everyone that he is like fine wine: better with age. The Denver Broncos had been the Super Bowl favorites all season. Many said Manning was on his way to winning MVP yet again.
In the battle of the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, we saw who the better one was. It was the QB that everyone said was done. “Tom Terrific” came through yet again. Brady completed 33 of his 53 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots thumped the Broncos 43-21. Although he threw for 438 yards, Manning came away with only two touchdowns and had two costly interceptions.
For the most part of their careers, people have argued about which quarterback is better. Manning had the stats. The MVP awards. The NFL records. Brady had the hardware. The Super Bowl rings.
But who would you choose after Sunday’s game?
Let’s take this into consideration: over the course of their careers, Tom Brady has not had the sort of organizational control that Peyton Manning has. Bill Belichick has total control of the Patriots. Manning had much control of the Colts, now he does with the Broncos. Manning has been able to tell management what he wants and he gets it. Top-notch receivers, a solid offensive line. You name it, Manning got it. Brady was not so fortunate. He had to make do with what he had.
Perhaps his greatest weapon he has ever had was Wes Welker, and we all know how that ended. Coming into the season, Brady looked like he was once again going to have to carry this offense. Trading their best offensive lineman in Logan Mankins didn’t help much, either. Brady does not have the sort of power and influence that Manning has. He can’t simply walk into the general manager’s office and say “I want Calvin Johnson. Make the trade.” Peyton Manning could probably get away with saying something like this. Not Brady.
Don’t take any of this the wrong way. This is NOT to knock on the great quarterback that is Peyton Manning. He’ll without a doubt go down as one of the top five greatest quarterbacks of all time. If he wins another ring, he’ll be in the conversation for greatest of all time.
However, if I was given a choice between the two, I now know who I would take. Give me Brady. The guy who got three Super Bowl wins in four years. The guy who makes everyone around him better. The guy who proved last Sunday that he is far from done.
Give me Tom Terrific.