Oct 7, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) following the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY - New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is still considered the premier player at his position. Despite rewriting the NFL's record book this season, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning hasn't changed this particular perception around the league.
BleacherReport.com's Mike Freeman polled seven NFL scouts and one general manager to find out which quarterback they prefer. Brady was the overwhelming favorite by receiving seven votes.
What was the reasoning behind the vote?
"While Manning is a more physically gifted thrower, Brady is the better overall quarterback because he has done more with less."
This season is a perfect example of how the two quarterbacks are different yet get similar results.
MORE: AFC Championship preview: Brady and Manning, once more
Brady may not have broken any passing records this year, but he still led his team to a 12-4 record and the Patriots' fifth straight AFC East division crown.
The Patriots were able to achieve both feats without an 1,000-yard rusher on the roster. Rob Gronkowski only played in seven games. Aaron Hernandez was released by the team prior to the season. The Patriots also lost Wes Welker to the Broncos in free agency. Brady turned to Julian Edelman, who put up career highs with 105 receptions for 1,056 yards.
MORE: Patriots receiver Julian Edelman grabs leading role
Manning, meanwhile. had the pleasure of driving the Cadillac of NFL offenses.
Broncos' RB Knowshon Moreno ran for 1,038 yards. Wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker combined for 2,718 receiving yards. And Julius Thomas developed into one of the game's top tight ends.
An argument can be made Manning helped his teammate play at a higher level. But Manning can't argue he's been better than Brady when the two quarterbacks have gone head-to-head.
The two signal callers have played each other 14 times. The Patriots are 10-4 in those contests, including a 34-31 overtime win during Week 12.
MORE: Tom Brady holds decided stats edge over Peyton Manning
At this point, Manning is simply fighting an uphill battle. Manning and his Broncos can beat the Patriots Sunday, and the quarterback won't get much credit. The Broncos are favored to win and possess more overall talent. 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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