Resolved: Tom Brady is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning
I know you just debated this, but that debate was pitiful. I hope we can have a intelligent debate.
Round one will be just be accepting this debate. I would only ask that there are no new attacks made in the final round (new rebuttals to arguments made in the previous round are ok).
I accept this challenge, on the grounds that this is an honest debate that will not attempt any kind of semantics argument. The heart and intent of the debate should be clear.
Contention 1: Tom Brady is a better winner than Peyton Manning
Undoubtedly, football is a team game; however, the quarterback (especially in the 21'st century) has the greatest on the game compared to any other player on the field. We can see this for a couple reasons. Firstly, the quarterback touches the ball more than any other player on the field (except the center). Unlike the center, however, the quarterback has to decide what to do with the ball. This combination of decision making and amount of times touching the ball puts a tremendous weight on the QB's shoulder.
To back this observation up with evidence, only twice (2000 Titans and 2008 Titans) since the 2000-2001 season has a team with the best regular season record not had a season QB rating in the top 10. There have 17 teams that have had the best (or tied for) the best regular season record in that period. So we can see that it is hard to win without a good QB and because of this, winning should be considered in the criteria for judging who the better QB is.
This was gathered via http://www.pro-football-reference.com... I went into each individual season starting with the 2000 season and found the most wins by team and then the highest team QB rating.
This leads me to my first subpoint:
C1 Subpoint A: Tom Brady is the better winner in the regular season
This is pretty straight forward, Tom Brady's winning % in the regular season is .775 compared to Peyton Manning's which is .696.
Tom Brady was also the fastest QB to 100 wins. He did it in 131 starts compared to Peyton Manning's 154 starts 
C2 Subpoint B: Tom Brady is the better winner in the post season
Tom Brady's playoff record is 18-8 compared to Peyton Manning's 11-12.  Tom Brady also has more Super Bowl rings (3 compared to 1) and both of Tom Brady's Super Bowl losses were incredibly close (both under at 4 points or lower) while Manning's were not close (lost by 14 to the Saints and 35 to the Seahawks). 
So we can see that Tom Brady is the all around better winner than Manning.
Contention 2: Tom Brady is a more efficient passer
It's true that Peyton Manning will have the bulk stats when both Brady and him are retired, but that doesn't mean he was the better passer. Tom Brady has a TD % of 5.5% compared to Peyton Manning's 5.8% (a difference of .3%) . Tom Brady has an INT % of 2.0% compared to Manning's 2.6% (a difference of .6%) . Brady also has a slightly higher yds/completion ratio (11.8 compared to 11.7) .
I would like to thank my opponent for their opening round of arguments. To make this a little easier to read, I will respond to my opponent’s C2 first, then his C1. Most of my arguments will be rooted in my counters of his contentions, however I will have a separate section for my own arguments and just refer back.
== C2: Passing Efficiency ==
My opponent lists a small handful of stats, only one of them actually benefits Brady and one of the stats is in favor of Manning. And one, the average per completion is distorted thanks to rounding. My opponent lists it as 11.7 to 11.8. If we take the rounding to the hundredths rather than tenths, we find that Brady is only 11.76  to Manning’s 11.74 . That comes out to a difference of less than 1 inch per completion. However, measuring by completion is less accurate than measuring by pass attempt, after all, every pass attempt counts, not just the completions (this is why ESPN measure per attempt rather than per completion). Here, Manning wins out 7.69 over Brady’s 7.46, almost a quarter yard per attempt.
Let us also not forget that Manning has a far better career Passer rating than Brady (97.2  over 95.7 ) as well as beats him out in a ton of other stats too numerous to list. But most telling is ESPN’s relatively new QBR (Total QB Rating). As the Bleacher Report put it, “Where the Passer Rating formula only takes into account plays without considering the quarterback's teammates' efforts or the circumstances of a game, TQR allows for quarterbacks to be rated on every aspect of a passing play to establish their complete contributions to a game.”  In this category (so far, only going back the last 8 years) has Manning head and shoulders above Brady, 80.7  to 71.6 . Manning is averaging just over 80, while Brady has only broken the 80 barrier once in the last 8 years.
== C1: Winning ==
My opponent starts this section off by admitting that Football is a team sport, but then attributes none of the wins to the team. All the wins go to the QB. This is far from accurate. As already shown with the QBR, when the strength of the team is factored out, Manning is crazy better than Brady. We can look at that right there and stop, but I really like numbers so we will dive into it all .
One key component that is easy to measure is the power of the run game. Things like pocket protection are a little harder to measure and find free stats for. But it is a well-established key of Football that the running game opens up the passing game . Basically, if teams know that you are going to be passing, they throw more defenders back, making it harder, even for good QBs. When the defense has to play close and worry about the running game, this opens up the passing, allowing even average QBs to look really good (see RG3 in 2012 and then in 2013). The success of the run is undeniably vital to the success of the QB. But, it is the run that establishes the pass, not the other way around. Looking at our two QBs in question, we can see a stark difference between what run games they had to work with. Averaging all the years for Brady and Manning, we find that Brady’s team averages 1,889 yards per season on 475.5 attempts per season, to Manning’s teams’ 1,667 yards and 427.4 carries per season . From this, we can clearly see that Brady has a stronger team to fall back on and help him win. This is a far bigger reason that Brady has a better winning rate (not to mention, look at the teams in his division, lol, the Bills, really? They could barely break .500 against High School teams).
== My arguments ==
While most of my arguments are already visible in the refutations, I would like to add one additional one. Performance under pressure, namely when they are down by only a single possession (1-8 points). Now, the career stats for this is not readily available, but you can get them for each season for both players on ESPN  and manually do the work to calculate it all out, which I have enjoyed doing.
Let’s start with Brady. Over his career, he is only 596 of 1,012 for 7089 yards (A mere 58.89% and 7.00 yards per attempt). He has 46 TDs (4.55%) to 25 INTs (2.47%) for a total Passer rating of 85.2. Going to Manning, over his career, he is 975 of 1,502 for 11,513 yards (64.91% and 7.67 yards per attempt). He has 80 TDs (5.33%) with 43 INTs (2.86%) for a total Passer rating of 93.9. While there are instances for both players of choking, over the long run, Peyton Manning is by far the better choice when the game is close and just all around the better player.
I will begin by attacking my opponents case and then move on to defend my one.
C1 - Clutch
The statistic my opponent uses is a flawed statistic. It doesn't measure how a QB does in his final drive when he's down by one score, it measures how a QB does when he's down by one score. So it could be with 13:48 remaining in the 1st quarter, or it could be with 1:35 remaining in the 4th quarter. Obviously, it doesn't take much to be clutch when it's in the first quarter, but it does require you to be clutch in the 4th.
Due to this, a better number to look at is 4th quarter comebacks. Peyton manning has 51 and Tom Brady has 42. Peyton Manning has been a starter for 15 years and averages 3.4 comebacks per year starting. Tom Brady has been a starter for 12 years and averages 3.5 comebacks per year.
It is really hard to currently tell what Brady's and Manning's final numbers will be in this category, but to see the averages be so close (again with Brady ahead) it makes the clutch argument (at least in the regular season) a wash.
Now I will rebuild my own case.
C2 - Efficiency
My opponent points out that Brady and Manning only differ by .02 yards per completion. I was unaware of this as my statistics did not round to the hundredths place. My opponent then moves to a different stat (yards per attempt) and he shows that Brady and Manning differ by .23 in favor of Manning. While this is a slight difference, there are a lot of factors that go into play besides just skill level.
The first fact we must consider is that Manning played his home games (for13 of his 15 years as a starter) indoors while Brady has always played his home games outdoors. Obviously, it is easier to throw indoors and this could allow for the difference.
Another fact we must consider is that Manning had superior weapons at WR than Brady. Manning played with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne for almost his entire time in Indianapolis. He then proceeded to have really good weapons in Denver. Conversely, Brady had very little weapons at WR until 2007 when he gained both Welker and Moss. He then missed the 2008 season and lost Moss after just 2 full years with him. Both Brady and Manning had comparable talent post 2007, but Manning definitely had an advantage before 2007.
Manning's superior weapons and his home stadium in Indianapolis can easily explain a .23 difference in yds/att and 1.5 difference in Passer Rating. (The 1.5 difference is less than 1%, .95% to be exact, difference when you consider passer rating is out of 158.3 possible points).
My opponent states that QBR is a better measurement of a QB than Passer Rating and I totally agree; however, it is not appropriate to compare Manning's and Brady's QBR because the years only go back to 2006. Usually, it would be safe to assume that those years before the QBR was taken would show similar patterns, but it is not this case in this instance.
Brady had less talent in the 5 years before QBR was taken than Manning. In the five years that the QB's were both starting before QBR Manning had a better rushing attack 4 out of the 5 years. As I pointed out earlier Manning also had greater weapons at WR than Brady had. Due to the fact that Manning had greater weapons his QBR would have dropped; conversely, Brady's lack of weapons would have boosted his QBR.
Furthermore, Manning was not as great in his three years before Brady became a starter. He threw 1 TD for every .69 INT's in that period; comparatively, over Manning's career he has thrown 1 TD for every .39 INT's.
So if you add in the fact that in those 5 years Manning had greater weapons (which would have lowered his QBR) and the fact that Manning wasn't as good is his first 3 years then it is entirely likely that the two QB's QBR would be incredibly similar.
(Go to each year and look up rushing attack. The Colts have a higher ranked rushing attack than the Patriots in 4 of the 5 years.)
C1 - Winning
My opponent had two attacks on this contention.
The first attack was that Tom Brady has had a stronger run game than Peyton Manning. He points out that Brady's team has averaged 1889 yards per season and Manning's team has averaged 1667. These statistics are incorrect. Brady should average 1856.6 yards per year. The 1889 number is gathered when you include the Patriots 2008 season where Brady was injured for the entire season. Obviously, this shouldn't be included because it wasn't Brady's team.
When you subtract 1856 from 1667 and divide by 16 (for the total number of regular season games) you get 11.85 yards. This number represents the average number of rushing yards Brady's team gets more than Manning's a game. This number is pretty small and doesn't show that Brady had a significantly better running game.
This number is even smaller (less than 10) when you take out the 2009 season. This season was an outlier because it featured the Patriots ranked 12 and the Colts ranked 32. This was the largest separation between the two and if taken out makes the difference in rushing yards per game even smaller.
The second attack was that Brady's division was weaker than Manning's. Over the past five years, the AFC East has ranked the 3rd toughest with 166 wins. The 1st and 2nd best team have 167 wins. Furthermore, Manning's division has sent 17 teams to the playoffs and Brady's has sent 14. So the divisions have been pretty close in competition level.
I effectively disproved my opponents attacks on this contention and I would like to again point out that Brady has the highest winning % of any QB and he was the fastest QB to 100 wins.
Vote in affirmation. I now yield the floor to the negation.
I would like to thank my opponent for their round and will go right into the arguments.
C1 – Clutch
My opponent suggests that wins at the end are a better measure, however, they fail to measure the stats of the player. They measure whether or not the team won, not how the player did. Digging through his source, I can find how the TD was scored, but it does not show the actual stats on those final drives. However, we can look at each drive and see how it ended. For Brady’s 41 “clutch” wins (one of them they listed was a 52 – 28 victory over the Bills ) only 16 came from passing TDs, with 7 from rushing TDs, 15 from FGs and 3 from defense (one pick 6, one fumble recovery, and one safety). Meanwhile Manning had 21 passing (with 12 rushing, 16 FGs, and 2 defensive). If we look at the passing (they are QBs after all), Manning was at 1.40 to Brady’s 1.33.
ESPN (please refer to my references from last round ) tracks the actual QB stats in 4th quarter when the game is within 1 possession. Over their careers, Manning has 61 TDs (4.07 per season or 5.47 per 100 pass attempts) with a Passer Rating of 90.35. Brady only has 36 TDs (3.00 per season or4.93 per 100 pass attempts) with a Passer Rating of 83.57. Now, before anyone suggests that this is because Manning got himself into more tough situations, if we look at just the 13 season (where they each sat out one year), we see that Manning was 463 for 696 (to Brady’s 432 for 730) for 5,488 yards (to Brady’s 5,257). Manning also threw 38 TDs and 14 Picks (to Brady’s 36 TD’s and 25 Picks). Over this time frame, we see that Manning had a Passer Rating of over 100. These last stats are to show that Manning is not just in the situation more as his number of pass attempts is actually lower (despite him averaging more passing attempts per season).
C2 – Efficiency
My opponent attempts to argue that Manning’s stats are inflated because he played indoors. However, this is easily seen as false, given that the last two years have been inarguably Manning’s best and they are outdoor stadiums (he played 15 of his 16 outdoor this last record breaking season). Of course, everyone gets used to their own field style, regardless if it is indoors or outdoors. If you look at Brady during his 2007 season (inarguably his best season), he had a Passer Rating of 118.5 for outdoors and 95.2 for indoors. Now, I only went back to Brady’s best year in 2007, but since then, he has had a Passer Rating of 102.2. His passer rating for indoor stadiums in that time frame is 101.9, roughly the same. Looking to Manning in the same time frame, we see that he has done better in Outdoor as well (103.1 to 97.0). Both of them are marginally better outdoors than indoors, so to claim that it makes some major difference, at least for these two athletes, is inaccurate.
My opponent also tries to claim that Manning had better weapons. This is not accurate. While the stats do not go all the way back, but players like David Patten, David Givens, and especially Kevin Faulk provided a lot of options and skill for Brady. Manning only had a few skilled options that he had to focus on, thus inflating their stats. This gives the disillusion that they are better players. Let us compare David Patten  to Reggie Wayne . Over his years with New England, he averaged 15.23 yards per reception and only had 1 lost fumble (out of 165 catches), while Wayne averaged 13.49 with 9 lost fumbles (over 1,006 catches). While we don’t get to see how often one is targeted until recently, we see that when Patten was with Brees, he caught about 61.4% of his targets (the last year he was healthy). Brady is just as good as Brees (at least close to it, but that is for a different debate) and we see similar receptions and yards. Wayne is a little better with Manning (at 64.7% completion), but we find that as soon as Manning is gone, Wayne doesn’t do so hot. His full season with Luck we find him at 54.6%. Pierre Garcon was better with RG3 at 61.4% last year.
Of course, we can also just go back to the QBR. The QBR is calculated to factor out the effects of the OL and receivers to be a true measure of the QBs pure talent. Now, this leads us into my opponent’s claims on QBR. He says that it is not accurate because it only goes back to 2006. However, my opponent later makes a claim regarding winning percentages  while only looking back to 2009. In reality, going back to 2006 covers 2/3 of Brady’s career, a significant enough time to have an accurate measure. While my opponent claims that Brady had weaker WRs so his QBR will be higher, he offers no conclusive reasoning for why this is so, or by how much. Brady’s best QBR season was 2007 (when he had his most powerful weapons). Manning is similar, though his last two years were not his “best” for QBR, they were both above average for him and clearly show that having better weapons does not equal having a lower QBR. From this, one cannot conclude that Brady would have a higher QBR in the previous years. As is, the QBR is still the best measure for who is the best QB.
C1? (maybe C3) – Winning
Run game, my opponent tries to down play the importance. Those 189 yards are the difference between being the 49ers and the Raiders or between the Chargers and the Texans . That is a significant difference in run game and it translates to on the field. This is something that cannot simply be dismissed. My opponent tries to suggest that we should simply ignore 2009. That is called cherry picking data and is a statistical sin.
As for the comment about the weakness of the division, that was somewhat tongue in cheek, as I am a Bills fan. However, it is partially true. If we look at the rest of the division (and compare the bottom 3 for each division), we find that the AFC East is the 3rd weakest division over the time frame (though we should argue that it is the 2nd weakest, as the #2 weakest was the NFC West, which is currently the strongest, or one of them). Of course, this is only the last 5 years, while the Patriots have owned the division for the last decade.
The biggest indicator of both the overall strength of the team or weakness of the division is how they’ve done without their QBs. The 2008 Patriots, without Brady, were a pitiful 11 – 5 , while the 2011 Colts, without Manning, were 2 – 14 . This clearly shows that the Patriots are a solid built team around Brady.
== Conclusion ==
While Brady has the wins with his team to show success, this has clearly been shown to be a case of being on a stronger team (as evidenced that they do far better without him than the Colt did without Manning, that the team independent numbers show that Manning is a better player, that they have had a consistently more powerful run game, etc).
johnnyamundson forfeited this round.
Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited. It was a great debate and I did thoroughly enjoy it. Not too many debates I get to do get to have so many stats, as most seem to enjoy theoretical and hypothetical topics... or morals.
Anyway, I will let the debate end as is, rather than summing it up.
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