After winning his second Super Bowl and having a great NFL career, what is Peyton Manning‘s legacy? With certainty, he is a first ballot Hall of Famer, but is he the greatest of all time? Some would say he is, but others would say he is not. With so many great quarterbacks in NFL history, saying Manning is the greatest is debatable because it depends on how it is determined; by era, Super Bowl wins, MVPs, Pro Bowls, all-time passing yards, or all-time touchdowns. At the least Manning is a Top three QB of all-time.
Manning has numerous career highlights and rewards in his illustrious career including appearing in four Super Bowls. Even though he is two for two in Super Bowl appearances, he is a 5x NFL MVP, 14x Pro Bowler, 7x First Team All-Pro, 2x NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and NFL Comeback Player of the Year. In addition, Manning holds numerous records including Indianapolis Colts all-time leader in career wins, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, pass completions, and passing yards as well as NFL all-time leader in career touchdown passes and passing yards. With everything Manning has accomplished he will never be forgotten. As a matter of fact, it will be extremely difficult for another QB to break his all-time records. Andrew Luck, in his fourth year, has a long way to go before breaking Manning’s records for the Colts. As far as the NFL records, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are the closest if they can stay healthy and play for three more years.
If you look at the era Manning played in, he and Brady are in a close tie because Manning has the all-time records, but Brady has the Super Bowls. I give the advantage to Manning because he did not have any controversy throughout his NFL career. Now, if Brady breaks Manning’s records and wins another Super Bowl without any controversy, he will surpass Manning in the rankings. When it comes to MVPs, Manning has the most all-time and three more than Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Manning is also tied for the most Pro Bowls with 14, three more than Brady and 6 more than Montana. When you look at the stats, Manning is the superior QB, but it’s not only his stats. He has been professional and a leader his whole NFL career without controversy.
Manning should definitely retire this off-season. He deserves the right to walk off into the sunset. He does not need to prove himself anymore being the most consistent, decorated QB of his time. His legacy will live on forever and he will be one of the quarterbacks frequently talked about as the greatest.
Ben Sudderth III
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