Skip to main content

For years, the NFL revolved around the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning rivalry. The two quarterbacks went back and forth for records and achievements and bragging rights from 2001 to 2016, when Manning retired. In the six-plus seasons since Manning stepped away, Brady has pretty much put all the arguments to bed. He is the GOAT, and Manning is an All-Time great but a distant second to his rival. Although the discussion is settled, it doesn’t mean Brady can’t still get the best of Manning from time to time, like he did in Week 9 of the 2022 season when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB broke one of Manning’s last standing records.

Tom Brady is now the game-winning drive king over Peyton Manning

The Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry basically ended when Manning stepped away following the 2015 NFL season.

Brady already had six Super Bowls to Manning’s two when the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos great ended his career. And while playing the next six-plus seasons, Brady took that time to get the better of Manning in passing yards (86,787 for Brady/71,940 for Manning), completions (7.487/6,125), passing touchdowns (633/539), wins (246/186), and every other meaningful statistical category.

One of the last places Brady and Manning were still in the same breath was for game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks. The pair were tied at 54 game-winning drives, and Manning was one fourth-quarter comeback ahead of Brady at 43 to 42.

That changed in the Buccaneers’ Week 9 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.

Down 13-6 heading into the fourth quarter, Brady led his team to 10 unanswered points, culminating in a one-yard Cade Otton touchdown with nine seconds to go for the win.

That gave Brady 55 game-winning drives to get the best of Manning and 43 fourth-quarter comebacks to tie his rival.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning may not have stepped on an NFL field together for more than half a decade, but the GOAT is still getting the best of his rival all these years later.

Are Brady and the Buccaneers back? 

Tom Brady Peyton Manning
(L-R) Tom Brady, Peyton Manning | Kevin Sabitus/Getty Image; Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Super Bowl Champ Andrew Whitworth Says Tom Brady Did ‘a Disservice’ to Teammates Skipping Walkthrough for Robert Kraft Wedding

While the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry is fun to talk about in terms of the 2022 season, Brady is simply worried about the schedule ahead these days.

The win over an NFC rival in the Rams, was huge for the Buccaneers. The victory brings them to 4-5 and in an unlikely (and sad) two-way tie for the top spot in the NFC South. If the New Orleans Saints can beat the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, it will become a three-way tie.

It hasn’t been pretty, but after starting 2-0, Tampa Bay had been in a tailspin, going 1-5 in their last six. Beating the Rams in the way that they didn’t isn’t confidence-inspiring, but it is a reminder that — no matter what the team’s offensive problems — they have Tom Brady, and no one else in the NFC does.

The Buccaneers still need to run the ball much better. The team had just 51 yards on 20 carries Sunday. And they need to get better on third down, as they converted just 9-of-21 (42%) vs. the Rams. Most of this comes down to play-calling, so if Byron Leftwich can figure this out, Brady has a real chance not just to make the playoffs, but make some real noise, too.

The biggest problem is, will the Bucs’ coaching staff figure it out in time to give Brady a fighting chance?

Tampa Bay hits its bye week in Week 11 and then has a relatively easy schedule down the stretch to get it together.

Have thoughts on this topic? Keep the conversation rolling in our comments section below.