By Matt Culken | Section: Feb 5th, 2010 February 5th 2010 Print Edition, Issues, Sports



From Tom Brady to Ben Roethlisberger, to both Peyton and Eli Manning, a high-profile quarterback has been the cornerstone of success for all Super Bowl-winning teams in the last decade. This tradition will continue as two top-five quarterbacks face off this Sunday in the Colts’ Peyton Manning and the Saints’ Drew Brees. Both signal-callers have exhibited tremendous skill and effort this season. The following is a head-to-head comparison between the two:

This one’s tough – both of these guys are absolutely awesome. But who’s better? By a hair, it’s Brees. While having nearly identical passing percentages, Brees wins out with a higher touchdown and yardage average over the past four seasons Brees has been in New Orleans. To counter, Manning has thrown two to three fewer picks a season than Brees. That’s simply not enough to counter the massive yard and touchdown totals the Saints’ quarterback has amassed.

“It” Factor
In late October — a week after an epic come-from-behind victory over the Miami Dolphins — Brees walked around the locker room handing out t-shirts. The shirts were blank except for a large block-lettered word. The word was simple – “Special.” There has been an aura surrounding this team and this quarterback. Manning and Brees are both absolutely fantastic athletes and will surely give everything they have come Sunday. In the end, however, it just kind of feels like one player has a little extra something to help him come out on top. That player is Drew Brees.
It’s strikingly clear that Peyton Manning is the true man in charge in Indianapolis. Running a predominately no-huddle offense for nearly all offensive downs, Manning knows every intricacy of his organization and uses all of it to turn the Colts into the well-oiled machine they are today. Drew Brees is absolutely a leader and a damn good one at that, yet without Coach Sean Payton, he would ultimately be lost. In short, Drew Brees leads his team, while Peyton Manning is his team.

In his Hall-of-Fame-caliber career, Manning has made 10 playoff appearances, playing in 17 games with a 9-7 record. In comparison, this year marks Brees’ third play-off run. Brees currently holds a 3-2 record going into Sunday’s game. Much more importantly, Manning has already played in — and won — a Super Bowl. Any competitor can testify that playing on the grandest stage is unlike any other experience. Many great players have shrunk under the pressure while others have surpassed all expectation. The verdict is in on Manning. Time will tell for Brees.

For more information on the Saints CLICK HERE | For team preparations on the Colts CLICK HERE

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