Putting this Peyton Manning legacy to bed

Feb 11, 2014 3:02 AM

We are a week removed from the Super Bowl and people are still debating Peyton Manning and his legacy.

Quarterbacks in particular are subject to these arguments over status rankings. A primary reason is that it is extremely hard to quantify.

Instead of working on a better process of substantiating the data, the public has boiled it down to how many rings a quarterback has.

Rational people understand Trent Dilfer is not better than Dan Marino just because he outnumbers him in Super Bowls. So the ring counting method might not be the best way to give a final thumbs up or down on a quarterback’s career.

Still, Manning’s all-time ranking hinges on his seeming lack of success in the playoffs. Many pundits have proclaimed him the “greatest regular season quarterback of all time.” Some fans equate that to a backhanded compliment along the lines of “she doesn’t sweat much for a fat girl.”

Is he really that bad in the playoffs, or does his play just not stack up to how he excels in the regular season?

This week I have worked on a way to evaluate quarterbacks and their playoff performances. I hate to call it pure science lest Bill Nye will want to debate me on the merits of my methodology.

Nonetheless, it is something. And judging from the results, it’s a lot better than nothing.

Since we are talking strictly about the playoffs, you can’t get away from the fact that whether a quarterback leads his team to a victory or not is highly important. So I give half the evaluation to winning or losing.

The performance is also important, however. A quarterback can have an outstanding game and his defense can blow it for him. Just as likely he can play lousy and his defense can hang on for a 10-7 victory. Still, the performance itself counts for half the grade.

I took some of Peyton’s peers who he is most compared to in today’s game: Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger and his brother Eli. The rest are Hall of Famers from different eras, all of which are in the conservation for the Greatest Quarterback Of All Time.

So here is how I broke it down:

Percentages:

1. Quarterback efficiency: 25%

2. Yards per Attempt: 21.5%

3. Rushing efficiency: 3.5%

4. Number of Wins: 15%

5. Winning Percentage: 15%

6. Fewest Losses: 10%

7. Road Wins: 3.75%

8. Road Winning Percentage: 3.75%

9. Fewest Road Losses: 2.5%

Categories:

1. Good overall method of quarterback evaluations.

2. The most significant individual QB statistic.

3. My own metric for evaluating a QB’s effectiveness running the football. Involves total yards, yards per carry and touchdowns.

Note: Important, but the older guys are at a disadvantage. This helps equalize gross number of wins.

It takes a little extra to win a road playoff game, so extra credit is given.

Comparing Peyton Manning to the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he is right about in the middle of the pack.

If we threw in other quarterbacks like Dan Fouts, Ken Stabler, Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason, Joe Flacco and Bob Griese, Peyton would look a lot better.

Some QBs above Peyton are still playing. They could hurt their own legacy or help it. Only time will tell.

Betting a football game will give you a result after about three hours. Not so when arguing about players. They can go on forever. This debate is just one more that will have to continue.

Chris Andrews has over 30 years of experience as a bookmaker in Nevada. Check out his new website at www.againstthenumber.com and www.sharpssports.comYou can follow him on Twitter@AndrewsSports. Contact Chris at [email protected].

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