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Tag:Super Bowl XLIV
Posted on: February 9, 2010 1:06 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2010 11:25 am
 

Colts Loss adds Fuel to Patriots Fans Fire

Super Bowl XLIV is over, and what a great game, at least in the second half, it was.  The game was much closer than the final score of 31-17 would indicate.  Congratulations to the Saints, and more importantly to the city of New Orleans, who nobody can doubt deserved this title as much as any NFL city.  The party is in full swing in New Orleans, with the parade this evening, and should continue on through next week with Mardi Gras.  But there is a party going on in a different part of the country for almost the exact opposite reason.  New Englanders are rejoicing because not only did the Indianapolis Colts lose the Super Bowl, but also Peyton Manning’s late interception, which was returned for a TD by Saints DB Tracy Porter, arguably lost the game for the Colts.  For New England fans this loss adds fuel to the “We Hate Peyton Manning” fan club. 

 

In New England, probably more so than any other part of the country, the “Quarterback of the Century” debate is, and has been, in full swing for the decade.  Some of it is pride in their team and pride in their quarterback, as well there should be as they have on three Super Bowls this decade.  But then there is the line of Tom Brady support, and Peyton Manning hate that is often crossed.  No matter the outcome, New England fans just cannot seem to give Peyton his due as even an equal to Tom Brady.  The fact of the matter is New England fans, Peyton Manning is equal and possibly even surpassed Tom Brady as the quarterback of this decade, and there are stats to prove it.  Taking a look at Manning vs Brady during the regular season, since 2001, when Brady assumed a full time role as a starting quarterback:

 

  •                         Brady                                                               Manning
  •                            97                                   Wins                              105
  •                         30,838                             Yards                          37,841
  •                           4,218                           Attempts                        4,852
  •                           2,672                            Completions                    3,218
  •                         63.35%                     Percentage                        66.32%
  •                           225                             TD Passes                            281
  •                            99                                 INTs                                  123

 

With the leader of each category in bold, Manning leads each category except for interceptions.  Unbelievable stats over a ten-year span for Manning, who also has three more years of stats tacked on for his career, which is not shown here.  Manning has thrown more, which will skew attempts and completions a bit, but despite that he still has the higher completion percentage.  He has 8 more wins, despite the fact that Brady missed pretty much the entire 2008 season, and 56 more TD passes, a number Brady probably wouldn’t have put up even if healthy in 2008.  But then the Manning haters will say look at the playoff numbers, well after taking a look at each player’s career in the playoffs, they are not as different as many New England fans might think.  After Super Bowl XLIV, each player has played in eighteen career playoff games, and their playoff stats are as follows:

 

  •                       Brady                                                                  Manning
  •                            14                                 Wins                                    9
  •                           4,108                              Yards                               5,164
  •                           630                             Attempts                          691
  •                           396                           Completions                         436
  •                         62.86%                         Percentage                      63.10%
  •                            28                             TD Passes                             28
  •                            15                                 INTs                                     19

 

In the playoffs, the stat sheets are similar to the regular season.  Brady has fewer interceptions, but Manning has more yards, attempts, completions, and a higher completion percentage.  Each player has thrown for twenty-eight postseason touchdowns, but the key stat Patriot fans will point out is that Brady has fourteen wins in eighteen tries, and three Super Bowl rings as opposed to nine wins and one Super Bowl ring for Manning.  The Super Bowl rings argument will continually be brought up by Patriot fans as to why Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning.  But are Super Bowl rings really the only thing that determines the value and place in history of an NFL quarterback?  Yes, there has been Super Bowl winning quarterbacks who are not great quarterbacks, and the name that will be brought up in that discussion is Trent Dilfer.  And yes, there are some great quarterbacks who never won a Super Bowl, and anyone who wants to argue that Dan Marino was not a great NFL quarterback better have much more than his lack of Super Bowls wins in their defense.  But if one was to go by Super Bowl rings to determine how great an NFL quarterback is or was, then Terry Bradshaw would have to be considered the greatest quarterback of all time, and I don’t see anyone taking his side on that argument.

 

The fact is there is no system or formula to determine how truly great an NFL quarterback is, or to compare quarterbacks from different centuries besides the stats.  And if there were one developed, there would still probably be those who disagree with some part of the formula.  The fact is New England fans, like it or not, Peyton Manning deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Tom Brady.  There is a line between passion and support for your team, and being in sports denial.  Love them or hate them, and even if they play for the rival teams, there are great athletes outside of New England that are as good or better than even some of the greatest athletes in New England sports lore.  






Posted on: February 6, 2010 12:40 pm
 

Super Bowl XLIV Could Be One for the Ages

For fantasy football diehards, this has to be one of the more enticing Super Bowls in terms of the match up at QB.  Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have been arguably the two best fantasy football QBs since 2006, Brees first season with New Orleans.  Manning and Brees have combined for 35, 237 passing yards in that four-year span (18,298 for Brees vs 16,939 for Manning) and have thrown for 244 TD passes (122 for each player).  Their offenses have been at the top of the league, with each QB doing it their own unique way, producing similar statistical results. 

After a 10-6 season in 2006, Brees and the Saints went 7-9 in 2007, and 8-8 in 2008, before dominating their competition on way to a 13-3 record in 2009.  Scoring points has never been much of a problem for these Saints in recent years, but the obstacle was scoring more than their defense was giving up.  The defense has improved in recent seasons, and put together a better effort in 2009, ranking 20th in the NFL with 21.3 PPG allowed.  But with a league-leading offense scoring 31.9 PPG, a 10.6 PPG difference, the Saints are still able to win despite giving up just over 3 TDs per a game.  As Brees and the players around him continue to mature, they have put together a more well rounded offense, ranking fourth in passing and sixth in rushing in the NFL on offense in 2009.  It is that type of offensive balance that will be a necessity if the Saints want to beat the Colts on Sunday.

For Peyton Manning and the Colts, winning has become the norm.  With at least 12 wins in every season since 2003, the Colts became the winningest team of any decade in the NFL in 2009 with 115 regular season wins from 2000-2009, for a .720 winning percentage.  Manning has arguably become the greatest current QB in the NFL, and is becoming one of the greatest of all time.  Unlike the balance that the Saints have shown on offense, the Colts ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing this season, and second in the passing game.  Since the departure of Edgerrin James, the Colts have been unable to find a running back that can carry the full workload.  Despite some nice performances from Joseph Addai, he has not lived up to the hype as James' successor in Indy.  A lack of a running game has not been totally harmful to Indianapolis; they won Super Bowl XLI and have been a mainstay in the playoffs since 2002.   But some of those playoff exits have been because of the one-dimensional offense of the Colts.  But if there is one QB in the NFL today who can still beat a defense who is keying in on specifically stopping him and the passing attack, it is Peyton Manning.

Despite the potential for record setting numbers by the offenses in Super Bowl XLIV, it may be the all important other factors that make or break the game.  How about Indy's defense?  The Colts ranked eight in the NFL in the 2009 regular season with 19.2 PPG allowed, and have been even better allowing just 10.0 PPG in two postseason games.  Numbers that may go unrecognized, if the Colts defense can continue that type of production on Sunday, Drew Brees may not have the chance to match Peyton Manning point for point.  And for the Saints the key factor may be the former Heisman Trophy Winner, RB Reggie Bush.  If Bush can run like he did against Arizona, not rushing for 16.8 yards per a carry, but with the power and determination that he showed, Bush could be the highlight reel player on Sunday.  Bush has always had the athletic ability, and has shown it on a grand stage, in the 2006 Rose Bowl, so the potential is there for Super Bowl XLIV. 

So with two great statistical QBs in the game, Super Bowl XLIV has the possibility of being a record setting Super Bowl, in a decade filled with memorable games.  Some of the records to look out for are:
Team Records
Most Yards Gained, Game - 602 yards, Washington (Super Bowl XXII vs Denver)
Most Yards Gained, Both Teams, Game - 929 yards, Super Bowl XXII (Washington vs Denver)
Most Points, Game - 55 points, San Francisco (Super Bowl XXIV vs Denver)
Most Points, Both Teams, Game - 75 (Super Bowl XXIX San Francisco vs San Diego)

Individual Records
Most Yards Gained, Game (Passing) - 414 yards, Kurt Warner (Super Bowl XXXIV vs Tennessee)
Most Touchdown Passes, Game - 6, Steve Young (Super Bowl XXIX vs San Diego)

And there are more, but those are some that people will be looking for on Sunday.  The individual team records may be more difficult to come by.  There is one Super Bowl record sure to be broken on Sunday however, the Miami area will host its record tenth Super Bowl, surpassing New Orleans, which has hosted nine Super Bowls.  Whether or not it becomes a record setting game, Super Bowl XLIV should be fun to watch nonetheless, featuring two of the premier players in the NFL.

 
 
 
 
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