Ok, Peyton Manning has basically led Tom Brady in every single QB statistic the entire season excluding INTS, to which there is a whopping 6 INT differential. And he's led him without the kind of blow-out games where Belichick refuses to take his foot off the gas when games are already over. I'm not saying this is Tom Brady's fault; I'm only asking that people evaluate these quarterbacks honestly.
Let's take a look at their stats:
330 completions 483 attempts 68.3 completion% Peyton Manning
319 completions 495 attempts 64.4 completion% Tom Brady
37.2 yds/game 3,812 yds 7.9 avg Peyton Manning
38.1 yds/game 3,833 yds 7.7 avg Tom Brady
30 TD 10 INT Peyton Manning
29 TD 4 INT Tom Brady
38.5 1st% 53 (20+) 6 (40+) Peyton Manning
41.0 1st% 43 (20+) 6 (40+) Tom Brady
104.0 Passer Rating 82.4 TotalQBR Peyton Manning
104.2 Passer Rating 80.6 TotalQBR Tom Brady
Now if that isn't neck-and-neck, statistically, then I don't know what is--including factoring in the TD/INT ratio.
When you look at how these numbers have progressed over the season, Peyton has been demonstrably more consistent. It's been: Brady's trailing Manning... Brady catches up in blow-out game... Brady's trailing Manning... Brady catches up again in a-nother blow-out game.
Moving along, other than the Ravens, who else have the Patriots played exactly? The only two other "good" teams on their schedule are back-to-back HOME games against teams at the END of the season that were assumed to have long since clinched their divisions at this point (and wouldn't u know it.... yep. PRIMETIME games). Are we really supposed to be dazzled by the Patriots blowing out a depleted Texans team that's more or less already clinched their division and a first round bye? - even more so when this Texan team struggled to beat the Lions and the Jaguars only 2 weeks ago?? I'm not sold. With the Seahawks creeping up on the 9ers, at least next weeks game against the Patriots will be more important to them than it was for the Texans--but even the 9ers are struggling right now, they're playing musical quarterbacks and can't even beat the Rams.
Putting Brady ahead of Manning because of ONE single QB statistic--even when they are hands down neck-and-neck within the scope of every single statistical measurement we use to evaluate quarterbacks--is just as illogical as saying the Falcons are better than the Patriots because they've won more games.
Finally, and most importantly, the Patriots have a head coach that will go down as one of the best in NFL history. Period. They have had a seemingly unstoppable system that's been fine-tuned to fit Tom Brady's style of play for the better part of a decade. Yes, Manning and Brady are neck-and-neck statistically, but Manning just signed with a BRAND NEW team coming off of 4 neck surgeries to repair nerves in his spinal chord while missing the entire 2011 season where in which his team went 2 and 14 without him.
Brady is having an awesome season--an MVP caliber season--and I'm not going to take that away from him. But what Peyton Manning is doing is simply unprecedented.
There is simply no rational explanation for it. With sports media going ga-ga from Brady after Monday night it only affirms what I've feared but have also grown accustomed to at this point: NFL's AP MVP awards, indeed, are a popularity contest. Really though, I guess you could say it's Manning's fault for not marrying a super model and posing in GQ.