In a recent podcast I brought up an interesting point. What if Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are done winning titles?
Every year we count the Colts and Patriots in as contenders just because of the guys they have lining up under center.
However, recent history shows that a younger crop of QBs maybe ready to take the mantle and much sooner than we think.
With that idea set as the back drop let’s look at the 5 reasons why the best two QBs of their generation won’t win any more titles before they retire.
1 – Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in the league
For the better part of a decade we’ve thought of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the standard for how QBs should play the position. Great pocket presence, excellent decision making, and great accuracy. But last season we saw something different begin to emerge.
The mobile quarterback with great pocket presence, decision making, and great accuracy is now becoming the standard and Aaron Rodgers is at the head of the class. Rodgers put on an absolute clinic late in the regular season and postseason and clearly has the best of both worlds when it comes to mobility and the ability to make the correct decisions in the pocket.
2 – Father Time is undefeated
After the Patriots selected QB Ryan Mallett, in the 3rd round of this year’s NFL draft, I heard Brady responded by saying he is going to play for 10 more seasons. Good luck with that Tom. At 33 years old (34 when the 2011 season starts) it would be hard to imagine Brady playing into his mid 40′s and still being the MVP quarterback he is today. Same thing with Peyton. At 35 years old how many top flight seasons does he have left?
Simple math would tell you that Brady and Peyton have more good seasons behind them than in front of them.
3 – The trend is not their friend
After starting his postseason career at 14 – 2, Brady has dropped his last three postseason starts. What is more the surprising is that in those 3 consecutive losses (Giants, Ravens, Jets) Brady has not looked like the same QB that won 3 Super Bowls before his 30th birthday.
Of course, we all know about Peyton’s checkered postseason history. Granted, his postseason record (9 – 10) may not be all his fault, but it does mean that when the Colts get in the playoffs their chances of being eliminated early is something that is more likely to happen than not.
Winning in the postseason takes a lot of things, including luck, and lately Peyton and Brady have been on the short end.
4 – Less separation between teams
There was a time just a few years ago (2004 – 2006) where the Patriots and Colts were a lock to win their division and more than likely grab the top two seeds in the AFC playoffs. Fast forward to 2011 and the AFC is a much more level playing field. With teams like the Ravens, Jets, Steelers, and Chargers having emerged as perennial powers the path to the postseason is no longer a lock for the Colts and the Patriots.
The Patriots won 14 games in 2010 but based on their postseason loss to the Jets it’s clear they over achieved. As for the Colts it took a win late in the season against Jacksonville to secure a postseason berth. A postseason without both Brady and Manning would have been unthinkable 5 years ago, but now it’s only appears to be a matter of time before it happens.
5 – Championships are just hard to come by
Unlike other sports football is ultimate team game. Even when Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were clearly the best QBs in the game that did not guarantee them championships. In fact, both Brady and Peyton’s best statistical seasons (2007 for Brady, 2004 for Manning) did not result in a championship.
So while Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will probably continue to play well for at least the next couple of seasons there is no certainty that the team around them will become championship caliber during that time.
Think Peyton and Brady have more rings left in their future? Talk about it here.