Professional sports are a source of endless debate. But on Monday Night Football, Drew Brees will have a chance to bring one discussion to an end. Who’s the better quarterback – him or former Indianapolis Colts great, Peyton Manning?
Such debates are subjective, of course. Fans of the New Orleans Saints are going to be strong advocates for Brees. Colts fans are going to advocate just as strongly for Manning. Of course, answering the question is impossible.
There are too many variables that affect a quarterback’s performance. Without all things being equal, it’s impossible to derive whether one player is better than the other. But that’s not going to stop many from saying that Brees is better than Manning after Monday night’s Saints-Colts game.
Why? Because Brees is probably going to break another one of Manning’s all-time career passing records.
Should Drew Brees throw at least three touchdown passes Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts, he will surpass Peyton Manning’s career touchdown passing mark of 539.
He threw five last week against a tough San Francisco 49er defense and has thrown three in three of the other games he has played this season. But while Jameis Winston made it look easy to throw for touchdowns against the Colts last week, Brees will not find it that easy.
The Colts defense hasn’t been as good as last year’s unit, but it has been stingy when it comes to giving up touchdowns in the passing game. Through Week 14’s loss to the Buccaneers where they gave up four, the Colts have allowed just 22 touchdowns to the passing game this season.
A combined ten of them came against the Chargers in Week One, the Falcons in Week Three, and the Buccaneers last week.
So, while it would not be shocking if Brees were to surpass Manning tonight, he may not. Should that be the case, he and Tom Brady (who is one short of Manning with 538 career touchdown passes) will get to battle over the mark next week.
But will overtaking Manning on the all-time list make Brees the better quarterback between the two?
Well – Brees ranks higher in completions, attempts, yards, yards/game, and rating than Manning. He has also thrown fewer interceptions and holds the record for the highest career completion percentage. Manning has one more Super Bowl win than Brees, but it’s easy to say that the second one came despite Manning and not because of him.
The answer seems pretty straightforward, but when you consider Manning’s five NFL MVP awards to the zero Brees has won – not so much.
And so, the debate rages on.