Peyton Manning: The most important QB of all time? (11/7/11)

A lot has been made of Peyton Manning sitting out the 2011 NFL Season by the mainstream media. At this point, no one really knows what the future holds for one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. One thing is for sure though. The Indianpolis Colts are abismal without Manning. During their most recent game, TV cameras continually showed Colts fans with Andrew Luck jerseys. They are currently 0-9 and are participating in the “Suck for Luck” campaign.

Everyone can agree that Peyton Manning is the MVP for the Colts, and has been for the past 13 seasons, but how does he compare to the greats of all time? We wanted to know the answer. This is not an analysis of how Manning compares statistically with other quarterbacks, or how many rings he has. This is simply a comparison of how important Manning is to his team. Were quarterbacks like John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Brett Favre as important? Could their teams have won without them?

Below are five charts that show how many wins each quarterback had for each season they played in the NFL for their iconic team (the charts do not represent Montana’s time spent in Kansas City or Favre’s in New York and Minnesota). The chart begins with the two seasons before the quarterback became the starter for each team. It then ends with the season after he retired or went to another team.

Take a look at the charts and come up with your own comparisons. Here are the ones GotCup thought were interesting.

  • Manning has only two seasons where he won less than 10 games: his rookie year in 1998 and one a few seasons later in 2001. Elway had 7 seasons with less than 10 wins, Marino had 10 seasons, Montana had 2, and Favre had 7.
  • Only Dan Marino’s Dolphins increased their win total the season after he retired.
  • Only Manning and Favre had injury-free seasons their entire careers — until recently of course.
  • Montana is the only quarterback to bring his team a Super Bowl after having just a 10-win season.

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