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SITom Brady and Peyton Manning closer than ever as the two meet again

Peyton Manning faces Tom Brady on Sunday night, and that means A.) there will be a torrent of hype, and B.) it won’t matter. Hype can’t ruin this. Manning-Brady is irresistible. It may be the best pro sports rivalry of this era, even though Manning switched teams two years ago. … Manning-Brady has been watched, dissected, analyzed and debated more than any other rivalry of its time. Since 2001, one simple question could have sparked a heated discussion on any day, any time of the year, anywhere in America: “Who would you rather have: Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?” Most people will choose one or the other. But it’s fun because the real answers are “either” or “I don’t know.” Brady has won three Super Bowls and been to five; Manning has won one and been to two. You can argue — and many have — that this makes Brady more of a winner. But Manning has thrown for 63,059 yards and 470 touchdowns, compared to 47,358 and 348 for Brady. You can argue — and many have — that this makes Manning a better quarterback, and Brady has simply played for better teams.

Sigh.  Every year we go through this.  The Patriots face whatever team Peyton Manning is playing for and we get subjected to this “Who would you rather have?” question and “Which is the better quarterback?” debate like it’s really open to discussion.  And once again, it’s up to the calm, rational, dispassionate voices at Barstool Boston to remind everyone that this Manning vs Brady argument isn’t any more a “rivalry” than an ant has a “rivalry” against the heel of a boot:

THE MANNING VS BRADY TALE OF THE TAPE:

Career Won-Lost Record (includes postseason):

Manning: 172-82, .677. +90 wins

Brady: 160-49, .766.  An NFL record +111 wins

Postseason Record:

Manning: 9-11, .450

-8 One & dones

-All time record for most playoff losses

Brady: 17-7, .708

-2 One & dones

-All time record for most playoff wins

Head to Head:

Manning: 27 TDs, 19 INTs, 86.7 Passer Rating

Brady: 23 TDs, 12 INTs, 95.3 Passer Rating

Brady holds a 9-4 W-L edge, 2-1 in the playoffs

AFC Championship Game Appearances:

Manning: 3 in 14 seasons as a starter

Brady: 7 in 11 seasons as a stater

Super Bowl Appearances:

Manning: 2

Brady: 5  And of course…

Championships:

Manning: 1

Brady: 3

Those are facts.  Not opinion.  The Peyton lovers who’ll say anything to defend the big thumb-headed goober… and they are legion… can spin them any way they want, but the data speaks for itself.  The “argument” isn’t “Who would you rather have?” It’s “Would you rather have the guy who puts up huge regular season numbers in domes and home games in the stratosphere but then spits the bit in the playoffs, or one of the biggest winners in NFL history?”  And spare me this ragtime about how the pendulum has swung towards Manning lately.  Last year was another One & done for him. And he lost a game in which he threw a Pick-6, coughed up a fumble, and threw a game-losing INT in overtime.  And the worst indictment of all: At the 2:00 warning, leading the game with two timeouts and facing a 3rd & 7, Denver opted to run the ball. They failed to convert, punted and Baltimore tied it up. In other words, John Fox didn’t have faith in the Greatest QB That Ever Lived to pick up 8 yards to win the game.  And with good reason, based on his track record and what he did in the OT.

And just speaking from the heart, just to prove it’s not all about numbers, who would you rather have?  The kid who came from nowhere?  Who couldn’t start in college and was the 199th pick in the draft and whose first accomplishment as a pro was to win the Patriots Offseason Workout Parking Space as a rookie who through hard work and perseverance turned himself into a legend?  Or the celebrity’s kid, who never had to fight for a starting spot from Pop Warner to the pros?  The No. 1 pick.  Who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and never saw an endorsement deal he’d turn down?  The America I grew up in admired the Tom Bradys of the world.  Hell, it was built by the Tom Bradys.  And we rooted for him over the guy who had life handed to him on a platinum tray.  Who would I rather have?  It hasn’t been a legit question for 13 years and still isn’t today.  @JerryThornton1