When it comes to quarterbacks in the NFL, there are four players that are considered to be the top dogs. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. Different people have different rankings and opinions, but they are the players that are widely considered to be the elite passers in today’s game. But which one is the most consistent?
Obviously we can’t compare their entire careers because Aaron Rodgers has a much smaller sample size. So, instead, let’s take a look at their numbers over the past 5 seasons. We’ll be examining & ranking the passers by looking at 6 different statistical categories: Touchdowns, interceptions, yards, completion percentage, 4th quarter comebacks/game winning drives, and playoff wins.
First place in each category is worth 4 points, second place is worth 3 points, third place is worth 2 points, and fourth place is worth 1 point. Meaning a player can earn as many as 24 total points or as little as 6 overall.
We’ll start out by looking at their touchdown totals from 2009-2013.
Category 1: Touchdown Passes
Peyton Manning threw for a remarkable 55 touchdown passes last year. With that being said, he still comes in last place in this category thanks to sitting out the entire 2011 season. Rodgers, who has thrown for 159 touchdowns in the last 5 years comes in at 3rd. Brady snags second place with his 162 touchdowns. And with 195 touchdown passes, Drew Brees runs away with 1st place in this particular category.
Rank: Brees 4 pts | Brady 3 pts | Rodgers 2 pts | Manning 1 pt
Category 2: Interceptions
He may have finished with the most total touchdowns, but he also finished with the most total interceptions. Drew Brees comes in at number one on the list with 78 picks in the last 5 seasons. And since were talking interceptions, that means first place will only net him 1 point this time around. Peyton Manning, even without that 2011 season, comes in at number 2 with 54 total picks. Brady earns 3 points by having the second lowest total with 48 interceptions. Rodgers, who was only picked off 38 times, protects the ball the best out of the bunch and earns 4 points towards his rank.
Rank: Rodgers 6 | Brady 6 pts | Brees 5 pts | Manning 3 pts
Category 3: Yards
Not surprisingly, Drew Brees takes home the top spot in this category with 24,823 total passing yards. Brees has thrown for 5,000+ yards in each of the past 3 seasons; he’s the only quarterback on this list to top 5,000 yards more than once. Tom Brady, with 22,703 passing yards, comes in second. And lastly, Rodgers edges out Manning by a mere 494 yards for 3rd place in the category.
Rank: Brady 9 pts | Brees 9 pts | Rodgers 8 pts | Manning 4 pts
Category 4: Completion Percentage
The Drew Brees reign of dominance continues. Brees has been able to complete an impressive 68.3% of his passes over the past 5 seasons. Coming in a close second is Peyton Manning, who has completed 68% of his passes. Rodgers has completed 66.5% of his passes and finishes in third in this category. Brady brings up the rear with 64.14% of his passes being caught.
Rank: Brees 13 pts | Brady 10 pts | Rodgers 10 pts | Manning 7 pts
Category 5: Fourth Quarter Comebacks/Game Winning Drives
With 20 fourth quarter comebacks/game winning drives since 2009, Drew Brees, yet again, grabs the gold. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady tie for second with 14 apiece (since they’re tied for second, each player will receive 3 points this round). Aaron Rodgers, with 8 fourth quarter comebacks, comes in last place and will receive 1 point this round.
Rank: Brees 17 pts | Brady 13 pts | Rodgers 11 pts | Manning 10 pts
Category 6: Playoff Wins
With 5 playoff wins apiece, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees share first place in this category. They will each receive 4 points for first place. Manning and Brady will both take home a share of third place with 4 playoff wins each and will get 2 points added to their rank.
Rank: Brees 21 pts | Brady 15 pts | Rodgers 15 pts | Manning 13 pts
Over the past 5 seasons, Drew Brees has been absolutely phenomenal. He has passed for 195 touchdowns, nearly 25,000 yards, and has completed an insane 68.3 percent of his passes. With 20 fourth quarter comebacks/GWD, 5 playoff wins, and Super Bowl victory, he has proven that he is capable of performing in the clutch.
For better or for worse, Drew Brees has been the most consistent elite quarterback over the past 5 seasons.