Perhaps you heard that Peyton Manning broke the all-time touchdown record for a QB last Sunday night.
As a result of Manning breaking the record, people started kicking around the idea whether or not he’s the greatest quarterback in history.
In my mind, he is. People knock Manning because he’s only won one Super Bowl. I think this is an annoying, silly criticism. The Super Bowl is one game. Look at his overall career. His record as a starter is 184-86, giving him more wins than any other QB in the league. He consistently makes the people around him look great. And he’s made it to the Super Bowl three times.
He’s more than a QB. He’s also a coach. He sees the field in a way that few other people see the field. He’s smart about where to put the ball, and when to put it there. He’s the only quarterback I’ve ever seen that I think could excel at any era of football. He just figures things out.
Joe Montana is widely regarded as the best QB of all time because he went four for four in the Super Bowl. That’s certainly impressive, and Montana was great during a time when defenses were more punishing, and offenses were less explosive.
Tom Brady is in the conversation, too. He has three Super Bowl wins, and has been there five times. His winning percentage is better than Manning. He’s done more with less than Manning. In the one year he had a Hall Of Fame calibre receiver with Randy Moss, Brady went 18-1, losing in the Super Bowl on an insane catch by a guy who never caught another pass in the NFL.
In their primes, I think Brady and Montana were the best quarterbacks.
However, over the length of his career, I still think Manning is better than either of them. He just has that something. He figures out his opponent in a way that no other QB does. If I was starting a team today and had to pick between Manning and Brady, I would pick Manning.
Let’s pick games. I am 21-21-1 for the season. I got last night’s game wrong. I picked against Manning on Twitter. Oops.
All lines come from Las Vegas Hilton, via Vegas Insider.
The Kansas City Chiefs are 7-point favourites at home against the St. Louis Rams.
Rams quarterback Austin Davis is the next Tom Brady, according to Brett Favre. That seems a touch hyperbolic, but who am I to disagree with the NFL’s all-time interception leader? I like the Rams in this one. I think they’re better than people realise. However, I seem to have a bias against the Chiefs. I don’t really believe in them, so I could be getting this one wrong.
The pick: Rams +7
The New York Jets Are 3-point favourites at home against the Buffalo Bills.
The Jets are horrible but they’re playing okayish. They should have beaten the Patriots, and they didn’t get smoked by the Broncos, at least, not as badly as one would have thought. They just added Percy Harvin, which could help. He might not make much of difference in his first game with the team, though.
The Bills are also pretty bad, but they manage to eek out victories here and there. They have lost both of their running backs, which means it’s all about Sammy Watkins and Kyle Orton. I suppose that tandem could beat the Jets, but I like the Jets to win this one. They’re due for a victory.
The pick: Jets -3
The Indianapolis Colts are 3-point favourites on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Colts are hot. They’re 6-1 against the spread this year, I believe. I like them to win this one. The Steelers are a flakey, flighty team that aren’t consistently good from week-to-week. I think Andrew Luck is dialed in and will put up too many points for the Steelers offence.
The pick: Colts -3
The Green Bay Packers are 1.5-point favourites on the road against the New Orleans Saints.
This is a low number. It’s essentially a pick-em. I have been sceptical of the Packers all year long, and for the past four weeks, the Packers have made me look silly for doubting them. So, I am finally ready to flip. I’m going to take the Packers here. The argument for the Saints is that they’re going to be fired up to play. If they lose this game, their season is pretty much done. But, what if the Saints aren’t good? It’s entirely possible, right?
The pick: Packers -1.5
The Dallas Cowboys are 9.5-point favourites at home against the Washington team.
That’s a lot of points for a divisional game. But, the Cowboys are very good right now. And Washington has a backup quarterback at the helm. I really, really want to take Washington here as a contrarian pick. It’s a lot of points. But, unless Demarco Murray, or Tony Romo, or Dez Bryant gets hurt during this game, I just don’t see Dallas not covering the spread. The Cowboys are playing really well.
The pick: Cowboys -9.5
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