Ranking Peyton Manning All Time
I’ve always been a huge Peyton Manning fan. He’s my favorite all time QB. In his prime at his best he’s the best “pure QB” I’ve ever seen play. And when I say that I don’t factor in intangibles, and being clutch I just factor in ability to play the position. All that being said when you talk about all time QB rankings that just doesn’t cut it. Being clutch, coming up big in pivotal moments, winning championship, winning playoff games, and more importantly NOT making mistakes at the end of close games is all apart of what makes a great QB. I think this past weekend put an end to the Brady vs. Peyton debate for good. Brady just broke the record for most playoff wins by a starting QB and Manning’s playoff record just went to 9-11. Now just looking at last night the majority of the blame can’t go on Peyton. Peyton actually played well. That game shouldn’t have even been in OT. That being said what happened happened and all I know is had that been Brady I’m not saying the Broncos would have won but I am saying Brady wouldn’t have scrambled out of the pocket and threw the ball off balance on the run knowing that’s not a strength in his game. Look at the 2 super bowls the Pats lost with Brady. They lost those games but they didn’t lose because of a Brady mistake at the end. As a matter of fact I believe Brady’s last appearance on the field in both games against the Giants he left the Pats with a lead. But just because Peyton made that play doesn’t mean he’s not an all time great. Favre probably would have made that exact same decision in that situation and he’s an all time great.
But let’s get back to Peyton’s legacy. I think right now if I were to think about the top 5 all time QBs I’d have to leave Peyton out. As great as he is, as talented as he is if we’re talking about TOP 5 I want guys who win period. If the Bronocs lose in that OT game that’s fine but it’s how they loss. The Ravens game winning scoring drive came because they were set up off a critical bad Peyton Manning interception. Just a couple years ago in the superbowl on a potential game winning drive Peyton threw a pick 6 that clinched the game for the Saints. And back during the Patriots dynasty years we’ve seen him throw the ball to Ty Law and Lawyer Millow on more than 1 occasion. If Peyton didn’t have that 1 super bowl he might be the Tony Romo of the playoffs. But he does. And I think that is important to remember also. Can’t call a guy who has won a super bowl and gotten to the super bowl twice just a “regular season” QB. He’s simply just not an great postseason QB. Still even with the 11 losses he has 9 wins as well and that’s a lot of playoff wins. Only 8 Quarterbacks in the history of the NFL have won more than 9 playoff games so it’s no small order.
But ultimately knowing what we know about Peyton where does that leave him all time in terms of Quarterbacks. Don’t bring me numbers when trying to justify Manning as the greatest or even top 3 or 5. Romo always has better numbers than Eli but who would consider him the better QB? I think the same rules must apply when debating the all time greats. They all had great numbers in their own right but who ultimately won or put their team in the best position to win the majority of the time. In my opinion I’d have to put Otto Graham, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Tom Brady, and John Elway all over Peyton. I mean Otto played 10 seasons and got to 10 championship games and won 7 titles. Also had an 86 passer rating playing in the 40s and 50s which was just sick. And his record as a starting QB was 114-20-4. Johnny Unitas won 3 titles and was considered to perhaps be the most clutch QB ever before Montana. Then you have Montana who won 4 superbowls in 4 tries, Tom Brady has won 3 and been to 5 and now has the most playoff wins ever, and Elway has 2 superbowls, and is known for the greatest game winning drive ever and has the 3rd most playoff wins ever. So I’m sorry I just can’t put Peyton over any of those guys so if you asked me where Peyton ranks all time I gotta say 6th.