There is still one historian who said last week that it’s not prudent to make the call yet that Manning is better than Leaf, that history will have to decide that once both men have hung up their helmets, and not before.
Austin Nedoma, NFL historian and author, said at a press conference during Super Bowl week in Indianapolis that he’s waiting until both men’s careers are over before making any judgment. “I know that plenty of people, both in the NFL and in the media, have said for a long time that Manning is the better quarterback,” Nedoma told reporters. “Manning has better career numbers, touchdown passing records, he has a Super Bowl ring. I have heard all the arguments, but I would say this to those individuals who’ve already said Manning is better than Leaf: let us not rush to judge the two careers until both players are done playing. It’s just foolish to rush to a conclusion about the two players without all the facts. Foolish.”
Leaf played for the San Diego Chargers, who picked him second behind Manning in the 1998 draft. During his four year career, Leaf made 21 starts, completed 317 of 655 passes for a 48.4% completion percentage, had 3,666 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He retired from the Seattle Seahawks at 26 after being cut by the Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.
Manning has won one Super Bowl, lost another, won four MVP Awards, and ended the 2010 season with 54,828 passing yards, 399 touchdown passes, a 64.9% completion percentage, and had his streak of 208 consecutive games started come to an end due to his neck surgeries.
“It’s entirely possible it could turn out that history will show Manning was the better player,” Nedoma said. “But let’s wait and see. Let’s wait and see.”