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Is Peyton Manning or John Elway the more entertaining Broncos QB to watch?

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  • Is Peyton Manning or John Elway the more entertaining Broncos QB to watch?

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  • #2
    Is Peyton Manning or John Elway the more entertaining Broncos QB to watch?
    By Patrick Saunders
    The Denver Post
    Posted: 12/23/2013 12:21:02 PM MST37 comments
    Updated: 12/23/2013 12:49:17 PM MST

    After watching Peyton Manning's magic act Sunday afternoon, I took my two golden retrievers, Shelby and Ginger, to a neighborhood park to, well, retrieve.

    We arrived to find an informal touch football game in progress. Two young ladies — I'm guessing they were in their late teens or early 20s — were playing. One of them was wearing a No. 18 Manning jersey, the other a No. 7 John Elway jersey, although I doubt she was old enough to remember much about Elway's playing days.

    As they took turns playing quarterback, Ms. Elway Jersey and Ms. Manning Jersey both started shouting out signals.

    "Omaha! Omaha!" ... "Hurry, hurry, hurry!"
    Post Poll - Manning or Elway?
    Who is the more entertaining (not better) quarterback to watch play?
    John Elway
    Peyton Manning

    They were waving their arms and laughing, clearly having a great time mimicking Manning, who had just thrown his 51st touchdown of the season to set an NFL record.

    Manning, deservedly, is the man of the moment. His precision passing, intense leadership and narrow-eyed intensity on the field, combined with his aw-shucks demeanor off the field have made him Denver's darling.

    But my trip to the park got me thinking. Who is the more entertaining quarterback, Manning or Elway? I'm not asking who is the greater quarterback, or even who is the greater football player. Those are different arguments for another time.

    My question is this: For pure, edge-of-your-seat, get-me-a-defibulator, I-can't-believe-what-I-just-saw football, who's more entertaining?

    Both QBs are masters of dramatic, late, game-winning drives, yet their styles are a study in contrasts.

    Manning is a pocket passer with a computer whirring inside his helmet. He knows all and sees all. He's a surgeon wielding a scalpel that's carved up defenses for 487 career regular-season TD passes and 64,698 yards.

    Not that Manning isn't beautiful to watch. And not that he isn't inventive. His ability to put the ball in the perfect spot — think of his pass to Eric Decker on Sunday for his 50th TD pass this season — makes him not just a technician, but an artist.

    Elway was a gambler and an improviser.

    "John Elway," the late Pat Summerall once said, "is the master of the inconceivable pass thrown to the unreachable spot."

    How many times did we scream at Elway when attempted to throw that pass into that spot? How many times did we hide our eyes when he threw across his body, 40 yards, to the other side of the field? How many times did we exhale, laugh, shake our heads, forgive and say, "unbelievable."

    Elway's passing numbers, great as they are, shrink next to Manning's. Elway threw for only 51,475 career yards and only 300 TDs. But he ran for 3,407 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per run. Manning, by comparison, has almost been a relative statue (697 yards rushing, 1.7 average).

    Elway's rare combination of incredible arm strength, running ability and intuitiveness — spiced with a dash of recklessness — meant you simply couldn't take your eyes off him.

    So who gets my vote for the more entertaining quarterback? As you might have guessed, my vote goes to Elway. As much as I respect and admire Manning, and as often as I sit on my couch in awe of Manning, Elway's miracles are simply too close to my heart.

    The Drive in Cleveland in the 1986 AFC championship game; the unbelievable, 98-yard, no-timeout, 107-second, two-fourth-down march against the Houston Oilers in January 1992; the Super Bowl XXXII helicopter; and all of the other high-wire moments made Elway the most entertaining quarterback in NFL history.

    Patrick Saunders: [email protected] or

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    • #3
      I was able to truly witness maybe 3 years of Elways career before he retired... Two for sure... Just going off of the highlight reel, and everything else... Manning is the better prototypical QB, but Elway was by far and away a better "make something out of nothing, hold on to my beer and watch what I'm about to do, because you're going to remember it for the rest of your life" QB...
      :usa: *** God Bless Our Military Men And Women*** :usa:

      Adopted Bronco 2015 CJ Anderson


      • #4
        I have to agree that Elway was definitely the most entertaining. Elway had a passion and excitement while on the field and he played with tremendous passion. Now I enjoy watching Manning and his aerial assault. Manning is probably the most accurate passer to come along in years. Manning and Elway's playing styles are as different as night and day.