If he’s not the greatest quarterback of all time, most would have to agree Tom Brady is in the top five. He’s got more championships than any other quarterback. He’s also playing at a high level late into his career, well past the age of 40. Over the course of his career, Brady’s vanquished plenty of his foes in their attempts to knock him off. But there are two of Tom Brady’s rivalries that stand out above all the rest as being especially memorable.
Tom Brady’s career overview
The New England Patriots selected Brady out of the University of Michigan with a sixth-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He wasn’t a standout at Michigan and he immediately became a backup in New England.
When longtime Patriots starter Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury, Brady stepped in and never relinquished the role for any reason other than injury. In his first season as a starter, Brady led the team to a Super Bowl championship.
Brady began his career as something of a game manager and evolved into one of the best passers of the era and quite possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. He has six Super Bowl championships with victories over the Rams twice, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2007, despite being upset in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants, he led the Patriots to an undefeated 16-0 regular season.
Tom Brady’s rivalry with Peyton Manning
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning’s names will always be linked as two of the greatest quarterbacks of their era. While Brady outlasted Manning, the two played many epic contests against each other in both the regular season and the playoffs. Here’s a career comparison (Brady’s totals are valid through games played before November 4, 2019):
- Games: Brady 278, Manning 266
- Record: Brady 215-61, Manning 186-79
- Completion percentage: Manning 65.3%, Brady 64.1%
- Touchdowns: Manning 539, Brady 531
- Passing yards: Brady 73,050, Manning 71,940
- Rushing touchdowns: Brady 22, Manning 18
- Quarterback rating: Brady 97.4, Manning 96.5
- Playoff games played: Brady 40, Manning 27
- Playoff record: Brady 30-10, Manning 14-13
- Playoff touchdowns: Brady 73, Manning 40
As you can see, the numbers are pretty close. Head to head, they’re even closer:
- Wins: Brady 11, Manning 6
- Team points per game: Brady 29.2, Manning 24.2
- Passing yards: Manning 4,985, Brady 4,323
- Passing yards per game: Manning 293.2, Brady 254.2
- Touchdowns: Manning 35, Brady 32
- Interceptions: Manning 22, Brady 15
- Completion percentage: Brady 64.7, Manning 61.3
- Rushing touchdowns: Brady 3, Manning 3
From 2001-2005 Tom Brady won the first six meetings of the two. In eight of the games, Brady managed to not throw an interception. The last meeting of the two, the 2016 AFC championship game, was won by Manning as a member of the Denver Broncos.
Rivalry with Richard Sherman
According to Richard Sherman, his beef with Tom Brady started when Brady came up to him and Earl Thomas during a Seattle vs. New England contest to ask, “And who are you guys?”
After some more trash talk, Brady told Sherman to “come see me after this win.” When the Seahawks went on to win, Sherman got right into Brady’s face in an image that will forever be linked to the brash cornerback.
Sherman exposed a different side of Brady many fans aren’t used to — the one that likes to talk a little smack. Both players clearly share a mutual respect for one another, however, as evidenced by their interaction following the Patriots defeat of the Seahawks in the Super Bowl several seasons ago. Sherman extended his hand to Brady to offer congratulations, and Tom Brady accepted it gracefully.