The Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning debate will always come up, especially since both Hall of Fame quarterbacks entered the league just two seasons apart and competed in numerous big-stakes moments during their primes.
The two generational talents had some epic battles and also measured their skills against many common opponents. One of those opponents is former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott of “Can’t Wait” fame. The phrase is an ode to a comment that Scott made following a playoff win that his Jets secured against the Patriots in 2010-11, temporarily breaking a long run of AFC East dominance by Brady.
10 years ago today, Bart Scott gave a postgame interview for the ages.
"CAN'T WAIT!" pic.twitter.com/3EE8awZrNN
— ESPN (@espn) January 16, 2021
Scott, who’s never been one to keep his thoughts to himself, recently offered his opinion on who he preferred to face as a defensive player. Scott chose Brady as an easier opponent than the video game gunslinger Manning.
“I’d rather go against Tom Brady every day of the week than go against Peyton Manning,” Scott insisted. “I believe that’s how everybody feels. Peyton Manning gives you a different set of anxiety. With Tom Brady, it was more about Bill Belichick, the entire team, the execution, the game plan. With Peyton Manning, literally, ‘yellow’ meant something in the first quarter, it means something different in the second quarter. … You feel like you got to go take an SAT test.”
Scott is saying a mouthful in this quote, but to say he’d rather face a guy he’s 2-9 against versus one that he’s had more success against in Manning (4-6) is interesting. Manning has the record-breaking stats, but Brady was considered the bigger nemesis when it came to championship games, as evinced by his seven Super Bowl wins.
.@BartScott57 talks about the difference between playing Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning:
"I'd rather play against Tom Brady every day of the week than go against Peyton Manning!" pic.twitter.com/aq2ZVE3JuZ
— ESPN Radio (@ESPNRadio) June 16, 2022
Scott’s Reasoning Is Related To Manning Calling The Game From The Line Of Scrimmage
While Brady is probably the best system QB in history, what Peyton Manning did in calling the offense himself from the line of scrimmage was definitely a trend he perfected that baffled opposing defenses.
But let’s not act as if he was the first QB to do it. Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills ran the “K Gun” offense, and the Houston Oilers with Warren Moon ran an up tempo “Run and Shoot,” where Moon had autonomy at the line of scrimmage. So Scott’s reasoning seems to be more of a product of his personal disdain for Brady dominating the Jets all those years in the AFC East.
Scott’s teams did have playoff success against both teams in 2010. They also enjoyed their fair share of playoff beatdowns at the hands of both QBs.
Manning Versus Brady Head-To-Head
In their illustrious careers, Brady and Manning faced off a total of 17 times, with Brady winning 11 of those legendary meetings. Manning did get the better of Brady in the playoffs, going 3-2 including 3-1 in AFC Championship games. In most of their AFC Championship matchups the defenses dominated play, sort of eliminating the great play spectacles that we’d become accustomed to over the years.
I just need to make sure he’s really done. Can’t risk this guy coming back… https://t.co/8afUVxicjO
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) August 6, 2021
So, in reality one could say if not for Peyton Manning, Tom Brady would’ve played in three more Super Sunday games. In their careers, Brady boasts a 34-12 playoff record, including seven Super Bowl wins. While Manning went 14-13 in the postseason over his career, with two Super Bowl wins.
Brady is still looking to add to his legacy as he enters year 23 in the NFL.