The League

Joe Baker
Colts Blogger

Joe Baker

Joe Baker writes for the Indianapolis Colts blog 18-to-88.

Manning Still the Man

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Before the season I explained how the statistically-inclined view I take of football analysis leads me to choose Peyton Manning hands down as the QB I'd want for my team. Since then Peyton has played some of the best football of his life. Starting a season healthy, unlike last year, Peyton has raced out to a 5-0 team start and is on pace, through five games, to break Marino's single season yardage record, while putting up efficiency numbers that would place the season in the top five all time in DYAR, DVOA, and Passer Rating, as well as the top 10 in yards per attempt, Passing TDs and ANY/A. Peyton's season to date can stand up to all time greats, let alone his mere mortal contemporaries.

Easiest to separate out, at the moment, is Tom Brady, despite his complete dismantling of a Titans secondary that had struggled while healthy and was without the services of both starting cornerbacks and their nickelback. Brady has totals that currently compare to Brees and Manning, but he has played one more game than either Peyton or Brees and is on pace for a top five finish in NFL history in a less illustrious category, pass attempts. Brady is doing far less with the ball each time he throws. In 60 more pass attempts and an additional game, so far this year, Brady has as many TDs and just 79 more yards than Peyton Manning. With 82 more attempts and an extra game on Drew Brees, Brady has one less TD and only 321 more yards.

Splitting Manning's performance from Brees' takes more than a quick glance at efficiency or per-attempt stats. What has separated their two seasons is consistency. Peyton Manning has only one game with a QB rating under 100 this year and no games under 90. Brees has two games under 80. Manning has no games with less than 300 passing yards, Brees has two games with less than 200. If I'm picking a QB for one game, I'll take the elite performer who is most likely to give me an elite performance, over a hit or miss guy who might put up a game that would all but assure victory, or could play a decidedly mediocre game.

By Joe Baker  |  October 19, 2009; 8:55 AM ET  | Category:  Indianapolis Colts , New Orleans Saints , Peyton Manning , Tom Brady Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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