Is Brees/Brady the new Elway/Marino Debate?

By Blaidd Drwg

Raise your hand if you would ever thought that the first quarterback to break Dan Marino’s single season yards record would be Drew Brees and not Tom Brady (Brady is about 200 yards from passing Marino also). Brady gets all the press because of the “pass always” offense the Pats run, but it is the high-octane offense in New Orleans that should probably be getting more attention. Heck, you hear about Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski all the time – name any receiver on the Saints (I had to look them up).

The Saints are now 12-3, have scored 505 points (9 less than the Packers and 40 more than the Patriots) and unlike the Pats, have the best pass offense in the league and the 9th best run offense (the Pats are 19th). That is not really the point of this post.

The point of this post is that, to me at least, it seems like Brees/Brady could be the new Marino/Elway argument on who was better. From a statistical standpoint, they two are pretty close:

GP YDS TD INT Rating
Brees 153 40,353 276 145 93.6
Brady 160 39,641 297 114 96.3

The real edge that Brady has over Brees is Super Bowl wins – Brady has 4 and Brees 1. In the Marino/Elway battle, Elway had 2 and Marino failed to win the Super Bowl in his only appearance.

I know that the traditional who’s better argument in this century has been Manning/Brady, but I really do think that it should really be Brees/Brady.

8 comments to Is Brees/Brady the new Elway/Marino Debate?

  • annie s

    I would say that Manning/Brady was the new Elway/Marino.

  • A.J. Coltrane

    This century:

    Brees – 40,353 yds, 276 TD, 145 Int, 5,444 att, 7.4 Y/A
    Brady – 39,361 yds, 297 TD, 114 Int, 5,286 att, 7.5 Y/A
    Manning – 46,954 yds, 347 TD, 155 Int, 6,102 att, 7.7 Y/A

    I included Y/A because I’m mostly interested in Y/A anymore when I look at QBs,even moreso than QB rating.

    In any event, I’d put it something like this:

    Manning = Marino
    Brady = Elway
    Brees = Jim Kelly

  • annie s

    A.J. I like it!

    I say that Aaron Rodgers = Ken O’Brien. (The good looking one) “Are you a dancer?”

  • Blaidd Drwg

    Here is the problem with the argument that Manning/Brady is the Marino/Elway comparison:

    – Manning has 4 years on Brady, so they entered their primes at different points.
    – Manning/Brady is more of a rivalry between the teams than Marino/Elway ever was (Marino/Elway only met 3 times in their careers), which adds a level of who’s better that Marino/Elway never had.
    – Manning has much more playoff success than Marino (Super Bowls not withstanding).

    I guess where I was going with the comp was that Brees, like Marino, has great regular season number, is possibly better than the other guy depending on how you look at it, is essentially the same age as the other guy and has really been underwhelming in the playoffs, whereas Brady, like Elway has been successful in the playoffs with virtually identical numbers.

  • A.J. Coltrane

    Jim Kelly lost four Superbowls in a row, by a total of 66 points. (Though the first loss was by only one point.) I think that qualifies as underwhelming. (sorta, anyway)

    Course, he’s got nothing on McNabb when it comes to underwhelming in the playoffs.

  • tracie

    Please note that Elway won 2 Super Bowls not 3 (32 & 33) and went to 5. The first Superbowl he won was because of his running back Terrel Davis who played through a blinding migraine and still managed to run for 157 yards, catch 2 passes for 8 yards, and score a Super Bowl record three rushing touchdowns.. Elway only completed 11 out of 22 attempts and failed to throw a TD that game. Had Davis not been able to play the likelihood of them winning that first game is slim to none.

  • Blaidd Drwg

    Thanks. I corrected the error. SB 32 was really the first time that Elway had any real offensive talent around him, but regardless of the numbers, Elway played like it was going to be his last game, dropping his shoulder into defensive players when he was running, etc. Either way, the 5 SB appearances is pretty amazing considering how underwhelming the Broncos offense was in the first 3 (can anyone say “Sammy Winder”?)

  • A.J. Coltrane

    I liked Sammy Winder. Sort of a lesser James Wilder.

    Sammy Winder: 5,427 rushing yards (95th all time). 1,302 receiving yards. Pro-Football reference lists some of his comps as Kimble Anders, Tom Rathman, Ron Springs, Stump Mitchell, and Leroy Hoard. I think all those guys are probably heavier than him, except Stump.

    James Wilder: 6,008 rushing yards, 3,500 receiving yards. Wilder had a higher, if brief, peak, including one season of 1,544 rushing yards and 685 receiving yards. I always thought he would have had a great career on a better team.

    fwiw, Wilder’s top three comps are Paul Hornung, Jamal Lewis (2000 yard season), and Greg Pruitt (who I also really liked).

    In retrospect maybe Pruitt was the better comparison for Winder…

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