Cold Hard Football Facts (cont.)
Three other things to consider:
1) Warner is much more likely to play well in the postseason. Warner produced a passer rating of 90.0 or better in six of 10 postseason games. Manning produced a passer rating of 90.0 or better in six of 15 postseason games.
2) Warner is far less likely to lay an egg in the postseason. Manning has played his worst statistical game of the year in the playoffs in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 (as measured by passer rating). Three times in 15 playoff games Manning has posted a passer rating of less than 40 (compared with just twice in 176 regular season games).
Warner has never performed so poorly in the playoffs. In his worst statistical game, his passer rating was 56.2.
3) Most importantly, Warner's teams are much more likely to win the playoffs. Warner's teams are 8-2 in postseason play. Manning's Colts are 7-8 in postseason play. In all of history, only Brady (14-3; .824) and Starr (9-1; .900) boast better postseason records than Warner.
Warner is also gearing up for his third Super Bowl start. The list of quarterbacks who have started more is short: John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Kelly, Montana and Brady.
So what we have in Warner is a quarterback who's as good statistically as anyone who's ever played the position. He's also a two-time MVP, a Super Bowl champion and a Super Bowl MVP.
He'll soon join the short list of quarterbacks who have started three Super Bowls and he's on an even shorter list -- a list that includes only him -- of quarterbacks who got to those three Super Bowls with two different teams (Craig Morton only started two Super Bowls for two teams, Dallas and Denver).
More remarkable is that Warner has done it with historically dysfunctional organizations. Before Warner took them to the big game, the Rams had reached just one Super Bowl (XIV) in their history, including their time in Los Angeles. Warner led the franchise to its only Super Bowl victory and to its first NFL title since 1951. The Rams have fallen off the face of the earth since he left.
Reaching this year's Super Bowl with the 9-7, defensively deficient Cardinals is nothing short of a miracle. The Cardinals are easily the worst franchise in league history: they had won just two playoff games in their first 88 years of NFL football. Yet they've won three playoff games this month alone, and they head to the Super Bowl with what's easily the worst defense (426 points allowed) of any conference champion in league history.
For his part, Manning remains the Picasso of Choke Artists and the master of the one-and-done. Six times in nine visits his vaunted Colts have exited the playoffs without a single victory and he's underperformed almost each and every time.
Given Manning's and Warner's career accomplishments, we'd take Warner over Manning to lead our team six days a week and certainly on Sunday -- especially if that Sunday is in January.
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