Peyton Manning and Tom Brady had one of the most iconic rivalries in National Football League history.
For years, people debated whether Manning or Brady were the best QBs in the game, with both making quite strong cases for themselves.
Peyton always posted the most spectacular numbers, boasted the arm strength and accuracy, and looked like an overall better player from a football perspective.
But Brady was the one that finished the season on a higher note, constantly going the distance in the playoffs while Manning underperformed.
They went head-to-head 17 times throughout their careers, with Brady holding an 11-6 record overall and Manning having the last laugh in their playoff meetings (3-2).
Notably, Peyton recently admitted that he could’ve chosen to leave the AFC when he first left the Indianapolis Colts, and it was his rivalry with Brady that made him stay in the conference:
“I easily could’ve gone to a couple of NFC teams. I played against Tom a bunch and I knew eventually you’re gonna have to play them. Let me at least try to earn it,” Manning said on the Let’s Go! podcast.
Peyton Manning tells Tom Brady he purposely stayed in the AFC after leaving the Colts because of their rivalry:
"I easily could've gone to a couple of NFC teams. I played against Tom a bunch and I knew eventually you're gonna have to play them. Let me at least try to earn it." https://t.co/cEYGfjPk4g
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 6, 2023
Despite being on the opposite end of these debates on a yearly basis, they always had nothing but words of praise and respect for each other.
More than that, their rivalry always stood on the field, as they held a close relationship off the gridiron.
Brady will rank higher in the all-time list after leading two franchises to the ultimate glory and winning seven rings in ten tries, compared to Manning’s two Super Bowls in four attempts.
Manning, on the other hand, will always be the measuring stick and standard for classic ‘pure QBs’ for his flawless technique and skill.
But at the end of the day, there’s no point in choosing one or the other; let’s just be thankful we got to watch them dominate for two decades.NEXT: Peter Schrager Reveals Stunning Facts About Chiefs Roster