Tom Brady doesn’t play for the New England Patriots anymore, and Peyton Manning is retired. Yet the two future Hall-of-Famers and rivals are still such lightning rods for conversation, they continue to inspire debates with fans and national media.
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Would Peyton Manning Have Won More Super Bowls With the Patriots Than Tom Brady?
On a recent episode of The Pick-Six Podcast, Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson, John Breech, and Sean Wagner-McGough engaged in a hypothetical discussion that examined what might have happened if Peyton Manning had landed with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots rather than the Indianapolis Colts.
Breech, a veteran CBS Sports NFL writer was definitive in his pro-Manning prediction. He said:
“I think if you put Peyton Manning on the Patriots they probably win eight Super Bowls. I think that they tear it up, they win more than Brady and Belichick.” That’s a bold, yet not preposterous statement. The Patriots’ infrastructure was built for success, Brady was in many ways, in the right place, at the right time. There’s nothing about Manning that would suggest he would have been a worse player had he been put into the exact position.
Breech went even further as he talked about the two men switching sides entirely as he opined about Brady’s fortunes had he played with the Colts and battled Manning and Belichick’s Patriots.
“I think if you put Brady in Indy, that’s the more interesting scenario because Brady didn’t get to continuously play with great receivers … If you give him Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison for most of his career, I think Brady could’ve put up big numbers in that offense, and I would say he wins two or three with the Colts. But I think Manning’s Patriots would beat Brady’s Colts, so I’ll give Brady two Super Bowls, max, with the Colts, and I’ll give Peyton eight max.”
Is Bill Belichick the Real Difference Maker?
So, head-to-head, Breech would give Manning an edge over Brady if the two switched teams, and I’m inclined to agree. This suggests that the real MVP in this situation is Belichick. As it stands, Brady and the Patriots took home six Super Bowls during this era while Manning settled for two (one with the Colts and the other with the Denver Broncos).
Breech doesn’t just believe the Patriots would get six with Manning, he’s setting sights on an even more amazing dynasty run of eight championships. Based on the two he’s still giving Brady and the Colts, there would be two real-life Super Bowl winners in the NFL who would not get their time to shine in this alternate universe.
Oddly enough, Breech could get some supporting evidence for his claim this season. If the Patriots and inexperienced second-year QB Jarrett Stidham can make the postseason and Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers falter, it would be another example of Belichick getting the most out of his QB position and fuel for the fire that TB12 might have benefited from playing for the Hoodie even more than we think.