When you think of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, you think of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning also gets in the discussion as one of the greatest QBs of all-time, a list that includes Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, John Elway and Tom Brady. But to me, the Super Bowl cemented the fact that Peyton Manning is not the greatest QB of all-time.
Manning has had a history of not winning the big one. He has a career record of 9-9 in the post-season doesn’t compare to the 3 championships of Johnny Unitas, the 4 Super Bowls victories of Joe Montana, the 2 Super Bowl victories in 5 appearances for John Elway, or the 14-4 postseason record (including 3 Super Bowl victories) for Tom Brady. At least Manning has one ring, the same cannot be said of Dan Marino, who some say was one of the best pure passers in NFL history. On the other hand, even Jim Plunkett, Jeff Hostetler, Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer have one Super Bowl ring and no-one is mentioning their names as the greatest QBs of all-time.
Peyton Manning does have four MVPs and his share of NFL records, but in the NFL it is about winning the big one, something that Manning is lacking. Even the season that he did win the Super Bowl, he had a 70.5 passer rating during the playoffs, a full 25 points below his regular season career passer rating.
I do respect Manning as a person and he is a great influence on younger fans, but to be the best you need to play the best when it matters the most.
Manning still has some seasons left, and he will need to win at least one more ring to even be mentioned in my top 3 quarterbacks of all-time. Only ten quarterbacks in NFL Super Bowl history have won more than one ring, but even that list doesn’t automatically make you a great QB (ie: Jim Plunkett has two rings). Two or more rings with all his records and MVPs gets him in my top 3 quarterback conversation, until then he is top 10, but not the greatest (maybe the greatest regular season quarterback of all-time, but then again who remembers what seed the Super Bowl Champions were?).
Who is the greatest QB to you?
[Photo Credit: Brady – MSNBC.com | Montana – westcoastutc.wordpress.com]