Tale o' the Tape: Favre vs. the First Family

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 18, 2008



By Mark Sandritter
Cold, Hard Football Facts mark of all trades
 
Brett Favre's NFL resume is so impressive that even George O'Leary thinks it's too good to be true.
 
He has firmly plastered his name atop of the record books and chiseled his name in football lore while battling a who's who of signal-caller royalty. In the playoffs alone, Favre has faced four former Super Bowl MVPs, including Kurt Warner, Steve Young, Troy Aikman and John Elway. A meeting with a fifth, Tom Brady, may be on its way.
 
We don't need to rehash his achievements here. You know them all.
 
Suffice it to say, it's just not fair to compare the career of this gridiron god to any one other passer – least of all his opponent Sunday, Giants journeyman quarterback Eli Manning.
 
So, to even the playing field in our Tale o' the Tape, we stack up Lord Favre against the entire First Family of signal callers, Eli, Archie and a certain 6-5, 230-pound quarterback with a laser rocket arm known as Peyton.
 
TALE o' the TAPE: Favre vs. the Mannings
Category
Brett Favre
the Mannings
Advantage
Seasons
17
27
Mannings
Games
253
368
Mannings
Wins
160
173
Mannings
Losses
93
190
Favre
Win percentage
.632
.476
Favre
Super Bowl rings
1
1
Even
Pro Bowl selections
9
10
Mannings 
All-Pro selections
6
7
Mannings 
10-Win seasons
9
10
Mannings 
Division championships
7
7
Even
4,000-yard passing seasons
5
8
Mannings 
30-touchdown seasons
8
4
Favre
60% completion seasons
11
12
Mannings 
90+ passer-rating seasons
8
7
Favre
Passer rating
85.7
78.4
Favre
Yards
61,655
76,922
Mannings 
Attempts
8,758
10,852
Mannings 
Completions
5,377
6,466
Mannings 
Completions percentage
61.4
58.0
Favre
Touchdown passes
442
508
Mannings 
Interceptions
288
390
Favre
Yards per attempt
7.0
6.85
Favre
Rushing yards
1,786
3,098
Mannings 
Rushing touchdowns
13
36
Mannings 
Playoff games
21
18
Favre
Playoff wins
12
9
Favre
Playoff losses
9
9
even
Playoff win percentage
.571
.500
Favre
Playoff yards
5075
4519
Favre
Playoff attempts
687
613
Favre
Playoff completions
419
381
Favre
Playoff completion percentage
61.1
63.1
Mannings 
Playoff touchdowns
37
27
Favre
Playoff interceptions
26
21
Mannings 
Playoff passer rating
86.0
85.3
Favre
 
 
Conclusions
1. Not even Favre could overcome the Manning juggernaut
He  may hold virtually every career passing record, but not even Favre could over come the compilation of Mannings. Boosted by Peyton's gaudy regular-season numbers, the Mannings surpass Favre in most of the major regular-season categories including touchdowns, wins and yards.
 
But Favre does trump the Mannings when it comes to key efficiency figures, including win percentage, completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating.
 
Archie's biggest contribution (or only major statistical contribution) came on the ground where he totaled 2,197 of the Mannings' total 3,098 rushing yards. Favre, while a solid runner throughout his career, stands no chance in the touchdown department, either, where the fleet-footed Archie tallied 18 scores and Peyton adds in a surprising 16 rushing TDs.
 
2. Lord Favre still rules January
Maybe the Mannings spend too much time celebrating the holiday season. Or maybe they just crack under pressure.
 
Either way, the Mannings trio is no match for Favre when it comes to success in the playoffs. Favre has played in and won more postseason games than the Manning combined and he leads the the cumulative Mannings in every statistical category outside of completions percentage and interceptions.
 
Archie famously never made the playoffs. But his boys routinely find their way into the postseason, only to discovoer little success. Peyton and Eli have combined to play on ten 10-win teams and reached the playoffs a combined 11 different seasons. Yet they have just nine playoff victories to show for it.
 
Overall the Mannings' statistics are similar to their regular season numbers with increases in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating.
 
Where Favre makes the difference is consistency.
 
In their playoff careers, Eli and Peyton have posted passer ratings lower than 40 a combined four times in 18 games - not a number you want to put on the family mantle. Favre, on the other hand, has never had a postseason passer rating below 50 (even in his atrocious 6-pick game against St. Louis in the 2001 playoffs, he ended with a 53.5 passer rating).
 
3. Archie's biggest contributions came off the fields
Although some consider Archie to be among the NFL's best quarterbacks, statistically his numbers are dwarfed by Favre and Peyton. Even Eli is somewhat close to Archie's numbers despite playing for 10 fewer seasons.
 
Instead, where Archie impacts this matchup is off the field: He gave Peyton and Eli great quarterback genes and was key in their development.
 
Archie won just 38 games in his career, never made the playoffs, threw more interceptions than touchdowns and had the lowest passer rating of the group, 67.1, modest even by the Dead Ball Era standards of the 1970s.
 
But, hey, he had to be doing something right. Archie made two Pro Bowls and raise two future NFL signal callers.  He also owns some sweet digs in the heart of New Orleans.
 
The Bottom Line
So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, it shows how great Favre has been over the course of his career. To match up favorably against three players, including one football legend and another who may go on to rewrite the record books, is an amazing accomplishment. Consider, too, that Eli and Peyton were both overall No. 1 draft picks; Archie was selected No. 2 overall. (Favre, for his part, was a humble-by-comparison high second-round selection.)
 
Based on career averages, Favre would top the Mannings in most categories. And without Peyton the combination of Eli and Archie would trail Favre by a wide margin in nearly every statistical category.
 
Still, we didn't come here to discredit the First Family of Football.
 
It's a monumental achievement for three quarterbacks from one family to achieve NFL success (including the possibility that brothers could win back to back Super Bowls as quarterbacks). Even sans Peyton, the team of Archie and Eli could be the most successful family passing duo in NFL history.
 
But with a key emphasis on postseason success and year-to-year consistency, Favre proves too much to overcome even for the First Family.

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