Heading into Super Bowl XLVI, there were two specific story lines related to the quarterbacks. One was how Tom Brady might measure up to Joe Montana if he won his fourth Super Bowl ring. The other story line was how Eli Manning would stack up against Peyton Manning if he claimed his second Super Bowl ring.
Well, after a riveting finish to the game, the first question is more or less off the table. Tom Brady has done some great things in his career, but 3-2 in Super Bowls and not taking the bull by the horns in late closing minute drives ends any discussion of Brady versus Montana. ItBurnzWhenIP made some interesting comments yesterday about Brady being overrated. I don't know if I'd say Brady "will be the most overrated player ever inducted to the Hall of Fame", but I think there are some intriguing points to be made about the system surrounding him and his great offensive line play. You can form your own opinion, but they are comments you don't hear every day.
As for the Super Bowl winner, Eli Manning? His is an intriguing case. While I think the "clutch" term can be a tough one to use, Eli has certainly made plays in crunch time. The Tyree catch in 2008 was a crazy play, but Eli did a great job of escaping the pass rush as the play fell apart around him. Yesterday's Manningham catch was a great play by the receiver, but also an excellent sideline throw by Eli.
Ranking quarterbacks in the all time pantheon is pretty hard to do while they are still playing. After all, whether it is fair or not, a single win or loss can drastically change opinions. While Brady is not necessarily any different today than he was prior to yesterday, being on the losing end of that game alters opinions.
Where do you place each in the pantheon of NFL quarterbacks? Joe Montana remains ensconced above them, but what tier(s) do they reside in at this point in their careers?