All homerism aside, who is the better quarterback, Brady or Manning?
Rick: If this answer is solely based on 2013, I am going with Peyton Manning and its not even close. I know Manning has had the better weapons this season and Brady has done a great job with the lack of weapons he has had. But, how many of us actually thought Peyton Manning would be on pace to break Tom Brady's single season touchdown record after all of the surgeries he had? Probably not many. Brady is the better postseason quarterback despite the recent Super Bowl losses. I have always called Manning one of the best regular season quarterbacks of all-time. Is this his year to get that 2nd Super Bowl? Both quarterbacks aren't mobile at all, but both can light up the stat sheet and make plays. Give me Brady for his career, but give me Peyton solely for this season (At least, until the weather gets colder).
Raj: I still think Brady is the better QB. He has the stats to prove it and head-to-head vs. Peyton, he still has the edge. They are both hall-of-famers for sure, but I just think Brady has been more clutch. The one thing I will give Peyton credit for though is his ability to read and manipulate a defense within a blink of an eye. Brady can do that but it often takes him time whereas Peyton seems to do that right from the start of the game. But hey, I still give Brady the edge.
Jason: "Better" is a pretty broad term, because each of those guys do special things in very different ways. Gun to my head, I would give a slight edge to Brady because he's actually accomplished something without a glut of talent around him. Brady was a playoff QB on a team that "featured" Reche Caldwell. He helped his team to a winning record in the early part of this year with a pair of unheralded rookie WRs. Manning has spent his entire career with Hall of Fame receivers like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Just imagine Brady with those kinds of weapons at his disposal. Now imagine Manning with David Givens as his top option. That's what tips the scales for me.
Derek: I think Peyton is the better athlete of the two and was blessed with skill-set that allowed him to become a top-five all-time quarterback. Brady, on the other hand, has had to scratch and claw his way to get where he is. I think that causes a lot of people to hop on the Manning bandwagon and discount a lot of what Brady has done, thinking that he can't possibly be on par with some one as naturally gifted as Peyton. Ultimately, though, playing quarterback is about a whole lot more than natural ability. Beyond even the work ethic and mental toughness involved, there is a set of intangibles. We cant really define them, otherwise they wouldn't be "intangibles", so it makes the argument seem dumb. However, when two people are so evenly matched, like Brady and Manning, some times it comes down to the "eye test" or a "gut feeling" and my gut tells me that Brady seems to have something "more" than Manning. That's why he has achieved a higher level of success, despite Manning playing for some great coaches and teammates that basically every bit as good as Brady's. You can't go wrong either way, but if my life depended on the outcome of a game, Brady's my quarterback. Neither is flawless, and depending on the night, the matchup could go either way, but there's no denying that Brady has a better track record in big games, which is ultimately what matters.