With the almost-certain retirement of Peyton Manning, #18 will go down as one of the best quarterbacks-of-all-time. As soon as retirement solidifies itself, the discussion of Peyton's legacy will almost certainly follow. While you can make a case for Peyton being the greatest-quarterback-of-all-time, mainly because of his regular season numbers, he is always going to be compared to Tom Brady.
However, Brady has played less years than The Sheriff, and does not look to be slowing down any time soon, even as he enters the twilight of his career. Among others, Manning holds the record for most passing yards and touchdowns in a career (as well as in one season). But can Brady catch him, and put a nail in the proverbial coffin of the "Manning is better than Brady" debate?
Keep in mind, Brady has only played 14 healthy seasons, compared to Manning's 17. Lets take a look at how Brady fairs compared to Peyton Manning's gaudy regular season numbers.
Masslive.com did a great piece on this conversation, you can check it out here. They went into detail upon almost every stat, and provided the numbers that we are about to use.
All-time passing yards
According to Masslive, Brady's average for regular-season yards is 4,144.85, and TB12 is 13,912 yards behind Manning. To break this record, Brady would have to play 3 or 4 more seasons at his current clip. To be honest, I think that this is one of the more attainable accolades for Touchdown Tommy. 4,000 yards is becoming the norm in the NFL, and with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman sticking around for at least the foreseeable future, barring some crazy injury, I think Tom Brady can hunt this one down.
Conclusion: Brady finishes with more yards than Manning.
All-time passing touchdowns
With a difference of 111 touchdowns, this one may be a little bit more difficult for Tom Brady. According to Masslive, over the past eight seasons, Tom Brady has averaged 35.1 touchdowns per season. With that statistic in mind, Brady would need a little bit more than 3 seasons to eclipse Peyton Manning. At some point, this fairytale is going to end and Tom Brady will retire. But, being the super-Patriots honk that I am, I think Brady sticks around and gets it. With Touchdown-Machine, Rob Gronkowski, young and healthy, this record is attainable.
Conclusion: Brady finishes with more passing touchdowns than Manning.
Wins (Playoffs and regular season)
Barring some unforeseen injury or a complete Patriots meltdown, Brady should surpass Peyton Manning in wins before the end of next season. Brady's MO since he entered the league in 2000 is about one thing: winning. With 21 playoff wins and 6 Super Bowl appearances (both playoff records), Brady's forte is in January and February. Since we are mentioning playoffs, Brady holds the record for most playoff touchdown passes (53), playoff completions (682), and playoff passing yards (7.345). But who's counting?
Conclusion: Uhhh yeah.
Until Brady slay's the Manning regular-season record dragon, there will always be naysayers or Peyton Manning homers that use these stats to give life to their idiotic ideology that Peyton Manning is somehow better than Tommy Terrific.
However, at the end of the day, the only thing that I (and Tom Brady) care about is Super Bowls. With one more victory, no other quarterback will have as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady. Do you think Brady cares if he has 70,000 yards compared to 60,000 yards if he has an unprecedented 5th Super Bowl ring? I don't think so.