Is Peyton Manning the best quarterback ever? That’s a question being debated this Super Bowl week, and some say the answer hinges on what he does on Sunday.
The argument for Manning is mostly based on the regular season. And when looking only at the regular season, Manning might already be the best quarterback ever. He’s the only four-time NFL Most Valuable Player, and he’s expected to become the first five-time MVP when the votes for the league’s year-end awards are announced on Saturday. If it were just a matter of judging the best quarterback ever to play in the regular season, Manning might already have the title. In fact, a writer at GQ has already boldly proclaimed that “Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback ever to set foot on the gridiron.”
But it isn’t just about the regular season. Manning may need to win a second Super Bowl ring on Sunday to establish himself as the best ever, and Woody Paige of the Denver Post has made the case that one more ring is the one more thing that Manning requires to be the best ever.
The truth is, when judging Manning’s career people are probably going to overreact either way to the result of Sunday’s game. If the Broncos win, we’ll be flooded with stories about how Manning has taken his place as the best ever. If the Broncos lose, we’ll be flooded with stories about how Manning chokes at big moments. But that’s just the nature of how NFL quarterbacks are judged. And if Manning turns in a great game in the Super Bowl, a lot of people will judge him as the best quarterback ever.