GOAT? | 5 Of Peyton Manning’s Least Impressive Career Stats
This morning I turned on SportsCenter when I woke up - as I am wont to do on my work days - and I saw that sadly, Peyton Manning had passed away.
OH WAIT, NEVERMIND. He's just retiring. It was an honest mistake on my part though, since his ugly mug was plastered on every corner of the TV and I'm pretty sure they had President Obama on the line for comment. (Don't quote me on that.)
The overwhelming level of coverage when a legendary athlete retires isn't new, nor is unwarranted in many situations. Sports news only covers sports. The only time we get breaking news is when someone retires, commits a crime or dies. So it's understandable that those situations are treated similarly within the sports news cycle.
Yet sports media in general, particularly our only 24-hour sports news entity, has gotten into the bad habit of CNN-ing. That is to say that they call something breaking news when it most certainly is not. Every American that has watched an NFL game since 1998 was aware that Peyton Manning was planning on retiring. He may have played a little longer than people anticipated, but even Manning wouldn't be egotistical enough to screw up the chance to end his illustrious career with a Super Bowl win.
Here are a few quick examples of hypothetical Peyton Manning-related situations that would qualify as breaking news:
- If Manning were to hold a press conference announcing his intentions to become offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
- If Manning were to hold a press conference to debut his new lifetime endorsement deal with human growth hormone.
- If Manning were to hold a press conference to admit that he is divorcing his wife to marry Papa John.
Manning announcing a press conference during which he will officially do what we all knew he was going to do the second he won the Super Bowl does not qualify as anything other than just regular sports news. If ESPN wants to slap that BREAKING NEWS graphic up there during the presser on Monday, then by all means they should go for it. But two full days of this is ridiculous by anyone's standards.
No one here is arguing that Manning is an all-time great that deserves - within the context of football - to be praised for his contributions to the game over the last twenty years. But let's be honest, Peyton Manning has not experienced any shortage of accolades throughout his career.
So in the spirit of taking everything down a goddamn notch, here are five of Peyton Manning's least impressive career stats. After all, this brand-pushing, hormone guzzling athletic freak is a human being. Just like none of us!
5) Tied for 11th in Career Playoff 4th Quarter Comebacks
It may sound a little obscure until you look at the numbers and the other guys who have been forced into 4th quarter comeback situations throughout their career. Opposition to the use of the stat will say that this just means that Manning was put in less situations where a 4th quarter comeback wasn't necessary. And to those people I say: that's bullshit and you know it. Stop trying.
Three of the consensus top five quarterbacks of all time made a comeback in the fourth quarter at least four times in their playoff careers. That's not a coincidence. The "clutch" test is what has propelled Tom Brady past Manning in many people's rankings over the past decade. Check it out:
- Tom Brady - Six 4th Quarter Comebacks (4QC for short) in 31 playoff games.
- Win percentage: .710
- Joe Montana - Five 4QC in 23 playoff games.
- Win percentage: .696
- John Elway - Four 4QC in 22 playoff games.
- Win percentage: .667
- Terry Bradshaw - Four 4QC in 19 playoff games.
- Win percentage: .737
- Ben Roethlisberger - Three 4QC in 17 playoff games.
- Win percentage: .647
- Peyton Manning - Two 4QC in 27 playoff games.
- Win percentage: .519
4) Tied for 8th in Career Pass Interception Percentage
Here are the career pass interception percentages for other prolific NFL quarterbacks of past and present:
- 1st (1.6%) - Aaron Rodgers
- 2nd (1.9%) - Tom Brady
- 14th (2.5%) - Joe Flacco/Drew Brees/Philip Rivers
- 20th (2.6%) - Joe Montana/Steve Young
- 28th (2.7%) - Peyton Manning/Matt Stafford/Michael Vick
Listen, this certainly doesn't mean that Manning was a bum. But as far as consistent accuracy and reliability of decision making in the passing game is concerned, it really illustrates just how far above the pack Aaron Rodgers and Brady are. Manning was a prolific passer, but for as much as people hail his mental fortitude and in-game strategy, he didn't always make the best decisions.
Seriously, is Rodgers even human though? Holy crap.
3) Most Career Passing Yards All-Time
Peyton Manning passed for 71,940 yards. Brett Favre passed for 71,838. Those two passed for over 10,000 more yards than any other player that has ever played. Dan Marino is 3rd in this stat with 61,361 yards. That's ridiculous. No one needs to pass for that many yards. This stat is so skewed toward two outliers that it's rendered almost meaningless.
Obviously the longer you play, the more yards you are going to rack up. But my god, can you tell that neither Manning nor Favre were huge fans of handing the ball off?
2) Tied for 13th in Career Playoff Game-Winning Drives
- 1st: Tom Brady - 9 GWD
- 2nd: John Elway - 6 GWD
- 3rd: Eli Manning/Joe Montana - 5 GWD
- 5th: Russell Wilson/Ben Roethlisberger/Dan Marino/Terry Bradshaw - 4 GWD
- 9th: Kurt Warner/Ken Stabler/Dan Fouts/ Drew Brees - 3 GWD
- 13th: Peyton Manning/Mark Sanchez/Colin Kaepernick/Jeff Garcia and many, many others...
Once again bro, why were you so un-clutch?! Looking at this stat combined with the 4th quarter comebacks really puts things into perspective. Peyton Manning was the ultimate postseason front- runner.
You know you are doing something wrong when Mark Sanchez has the same number of game-winning drives in the playoffs as you do. By the way, Sanchez has played in six total playoff games.
1) Three (3) Career Passing Touchdowns In Super Bowls
Yep. That's not a joke. Peyton Manning played in four Super Bowls, and threw three passing touchdowns total. THREE. Pro-Football Reference couldn't even bother to list the schlubs with only three touchdowns in Super Bowl appearances.
- 1st: Tom Brady - 13 passing TDs in 6 Super Bowls
- 2nd: Joe Montana - 11 passing TDs in 4 Super Bowls
- 3rd: Terry Bradshaw - 9 passing TDs in 3 Super Bowls
- 4th: Roger Staubach - 8 passing TDs in 4 Super Bowls
- 5th: Kurt Warner (2 SBs) & Steve Young (3 SBs) - 6 passing TDs in Super Bowls
- 7th: Troy Aikman (3 SBs) & Brett Favre (2 SBs) - 5 passing touchdowns in Super Bowls
- 9th: Russell Wilson (2 SBs), Jim Plunkett (2 SBs) & Doug Williams (1 SB) - 4 passing TDs in Super Bowls
So the man who many will hail as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all-time has three total touchdowns in four Super Bowl appearances. That's underwhelming.
And no, he didn't rush for any either. I double-checked.
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