Peyton Manning may not think it's time to talk about his legacy but that hasn't kept anyone from debating his place in NFL history. After spending the 2013 season rewriting the record books, Manning has a chance to become the first quarterback to start Super Bowl wins with two different franchises
"If Manning and the Broncos win, No. 18, all things considered, will be the No. 1 quarterback in the history of the NFL," wrote Woody Paige of the Denver Post during Super Bowl week. "The argument should end."
Not everyone agrees that Manning's G.O.A.T status is so clear cut, including Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway. The two-time Super Bowl champion brought Manning to Denver and knows a few things about being a legendary quarterback.
"I don't think there's ever going to be a 'very best.' I think there's always going to be a conversation," Elway told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "So, you're going to always have your detractors, but he may have a large percentage of 'who's the best,' you know what I mean? Yeah, all he can do is he can continue to cement his legacy, especially if he continues to keep going like the year he had this year."
Even with a win on Sunday, Manning would still trail Joe Montana (4), Terry Bradshaw (4), Troy Aikman (3) and Tom Brady (3) in Super Bowl victories. Before the AFC Championship Game between the Broncos and Patriots a few weeks ago, Brent Sobleski of USA Today cited a Bleacher Report poll in which Brady was the overwhelmingly preferred quarterback over Manning among seven NFL scouts and one general manager. Sobleski wrote that even with a win this Sunday, the difference in rings still put Manning below those who have more in the G.O.A.T conversation.
Even if Manning goes on to win the Super Bowl this season, he will still be one ring behind Brady.
Manning is accepted as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He’s simply not quite as great as Brady in the eyes of many.
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