DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19:   Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots congratulates  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos after the Broncos defeated the Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A statistical look at the history of Brady vs. Manning

For quite possibly the last time, the two most accomplished quarterbacks of this era — Tom Brady and Peyton Manning — will go toe-to-toe next Sunday with a trip to Super Bowl 50 on the line.

This is their 17th meeting (including the playoffs): Brady’s Patriots have defeated Manning in 11 of their 16 matchups.

This is their fourth meeting in the AFC championship game: Brady’s Patriots won the first (2003) but then lost to Manning’s Colts in 2006 and his Broncos in 2013. Throw in a divisional playoff meeting in 2004 and this is their fifth postseason matchup, with each having won two.

Brady’s statistics have been superior in those four playoff matchups: Although Manning has still averaged more yards per pass attempt.
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But it’s there’s more to that story: Manning had an abysmal performance in a 24-14 loss when they first met in the playoffs in 2003, throwing four interceptions. If you remove that game from the equation for both quarterbacks, Manning has actually been a little better.

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A lot more: Manning has had to do a lot more heavy lifting in those matchups. He’s thrown 44.8 passes per game, compared to Brady’s 34.0. His team has also surrendered 23.5 points per game, while the Patriots have given up 20.3. Brady has also received more support from his running game in those contests.

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FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures after a play in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures after a play in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brady’s teams have outscored Manning’s teams by more than five points per meeting: Only eight of the 16 matchups between the two have been decided by fewer than 10 points. And in those “close’ games, the Pats are 5-3. Manning has only beaten Brady by more than seven points one time in 16 games. That 40-21 Indianapolis victory came on the road on Monday Night Football in 2005.

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DENVER, CO - JANUARY 17:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – JANUARY 17: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The two are (obviously) quite prolific: Some numbers to consider…

  • They’ve won a combined seven NFL MVPs
  • They’ve been first-team All-Pros a combined nine times
  • They’ve been selected to a combined 24 Pro Bowls
  • They rank first (Manning) and fifth (Brady) on the all-time passing yardage list
  • They rank first (Manning) and third (Brady) on the all-time passing touchdowns list
  • Manning’s passer rating (96.5) ranks fifth in history, while Brady’s (96.4) ranks sixth
  • Manning ranks tied for first all time with 186 wins, while Brady ranks third with 172
  • But Brady ranks first all time with 22 playoff wins, while Manning ranks sixth with 12
  • Manning has won 198 career regular-season and playoff games and has a winning percentage of .685, while Brady has won 194 career regular-season and playoff games and has a winning percentage of .767.

The two have been to a combined nine Super Bowls: Next week, that number will grow to 10. The question is whether Brady will be headed to a seventh or Manning a fourth.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.

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