FanPost

This Season Was NOT Peyton Manning's Greatest Season--An In Depth Look at A Bold Claim

Fullscreen-capture-862013-121707-pm_medium

via l.yimg.com


You read that right. Peyton Manning's 2013 Season, one in which he shattered the NFL record for TDs (55), and broke the record for yardage (5477), is not Peyton Manning's best season. It's difficult to argue against those numbers, as both records will likely stand for quite a while. However, I am going to claim that Manning's 2004 season was better. I'm going to even go on a longer limb by saying that Manning's 2004 season was better by a LONG SHOT. Now before you start yelling at me, let me explain.

I know that stats don't lie, but they don't tell the entire story. When comparing QB seasons, you have to take into account the difference in pass attempts, competition, and supporting cast, which is exactly what I am going to do.

First lets look at the important stats from each year:

Peyton Manning 2004:

Completions: 336

Attempts: 497

Completion %: 67.6

Yardage: 4557

Yards per Attempt: 9.2

Touchdowns: 49

Interceptions: 10

Peyton Manning 2013:

Completions: 450

Attempts: 659

Completion %: 68.3

Yardage: 5477

Yards per Attempt: 8.3

Touchdowns: 55

Interceptions: 10

On the surface, it looks like Manning's 2013 season blows his 2004 season out of the water. He did beat his previous personal TD record by 6, and out threw himself by 920 yards. However, the one stat here that stands out to me the most, is the Pass Attempts.

Peyton_252bmanning_252bbubble_252bwrap_medium

via 4.bp.blogspot.com


Pass Attempts:

In 2013, Peyton Manning threw the ball 659 times, compared to his 497 attempts in 2004. The difference between these two numbers is 162 attempts, which is a lot, in every sense of the word. So, in order to understand how great Manning's 2004 season was, the first thing you have to do is adjust his stats under the assumption that he threw the ball 659 in that year. This can be done by gathering the averages of yards per attempt, TDs per attempt, and Interceptions per attempt, and mathematically apply those averages to the extra 162 attempts. When we do that, you will see that his numbers would have made his 2013 numbers seem like child's play.

The adjusted stats for the 2004 season in comparison to the 2013 season is as follows:

Peyton Manning 2004:

Completions: 445

Attempts: 659

Completion %: 67.6

Yardage: 6047

Yards Per Attempt: 9.2

Touchdowns: 65

Interceptions: 13

Peyton Manning 2013:

Completions: 450

Attempts: 659

Completion %: 68.3

Yardage: 5477

Yards Per Attempt: 8.3

Touchdowns: 55

Interceptions: 10



As you can see, when the attempts are adjusted, Peyton's stats in 2004 beat out his 2013 stats in every category except for the slight difference in completion % and throwing 3 more TDs. However, He would have thrown 65 TD passes compared to his 55 this year, and He would have thrown for 570 more yards (6047 to 5477).
Simply stated, his stats would have been mind boggling.

Manning-sprintx-large_medium

via i.usatoday.net



Competition: Another major factor in one's statistics is the competition that they face. I have gathered information of the teams Peyton played each year, and their rank in total defense. Here's what it looks like:
2004:

Patriots (9)

Titans (27)

Packers (25)

Jaguars (11)

Raiders (30)

Jaguars (11)

Chiefs (31)

Vikings (28)

Texans (23)

Bears (21)

Lions (22)

Titans (27)

Texans (23)

Ravens (6)

Chargers (18)

Broncos (4)

# of top 10 defenses faced: 3

#of bottom 10 defenses faced: 9

Average rank of defense: 19.75

2013:

Ravens (12)

Giants (8)
Raiders (22)

Eagles (29)

Cowboys (32)

Jaguars (27)

Colts (20)

Redskins (18)

Chargers (23)

Chiefs (24)

Patriots (26)

Chiefs (24)

Titans (14)

Chargers (23)

Texans (7)

Raiders (22)

# of top 10 defenses faced: 2

# of bottom 10 defenses faced: 10

Average rank of defense: 20.69

As you can see, in terms of yardage, Peyton Manning faced stiffer competition in 2004. However, many people argue that this ranking system is not the most accurate, and that defenses should be ranked according to points allowed. I have taken the liberty to compare the competition this way as well. I think you will see that in terms of points allowed, the numbers still favor '04 Manning.

2004:

Pats (2)

Titans (30)

Packers (23)

Jaguars (7)

raiders (31)

Jaguars (7)

Chiefs (29)

Vikings (26)

Texans (15)

Bears (13)

Lions (18)

Titans (30)

Texans (15)

Ravens (6)

Chargers (11)

Broncos (9)

# of top 10 defenses faced: 5

# of bottom 10 defenses faced: 6

Average rank of defense: 17

2013:

Ravens (12)

Giants (18)
Raiders (29)

Eagles (17)

Cowboys (26)

Jaguars (28)

Colts (9)

Redskins (30)

Chargers (11)

Chiefs (5)

Patriots (10)

Chiefs (5)

Titans (16)

Chargers (11)

Texans (24)

Raiders (29)

# of top 10 defenses faced: 3

# of bottom 10 defenses faced: 6

Average rank of defense: 17.5

After doing this analysis, it is obvious that Peyton Manning faced better competition in 2004 than he did in 2013.

Peyton-manning-oreo_medium

via news4mass.files.wordpress.com


Supporting Cast:

While competition and adjusted stats are more concrete, the comparison of supporting casts is a very opinionated subject. However, I will try my best to look at this subject logically and give my best, unbiased opinion. Here is a look at each offensive position(besides QB) from both years:

Running Back: Edgerrin James, Dominic Rhodes vs. Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman. EDGE: 2004

Edgerrin James is the best running back out of this group, and Dominic Rhodes was no slouch as a backup. James ran for 1548 yards and 9 touchdowns that year, and posted another 51 receptions, 483 yards and 0 touchdowns as a receiver. Knowshon Moreno had quite a good year this season as well. He ran for 1038 yards and 10 touchdowns this year, and came up with 60 receptions, 548 yards and 3 touchdowns as a receiver. Knowshon was more serviceable as a receiver, but I will still give Edge the edge in this one (see what I did there?)

Wide Receiver: Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokley vs. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker. EDGE: 2004

This category is real tough. Marvin Harrison was the best talent out of this group. He had a great year as well, posting 86 receptions, 1113 yards, and 15 touchdowns that year. Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley both posted 1000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns that year as well. However, Demaryius Thomas posted the best year out of the group. He had 92 receptions, 1430 yards and 14 touchdowns this year. Eric Decker posted 1000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns. Welker posted 10+ touchdowns as well, and probably could have reached the 1000 yard mark if he played the entire season. The real difficulty in judging this category is that in '04, Peyton had one of the greatest receivers of all time in Harrison, and in '13 he had one of the greatest slot receivers of all time in Welker. However, I would give a slight edge to the 2004 squad.

Tight End: Julius Thomas vs. Marcus Pollard and Dallas Clark Edge: 2013

Julius Thomas had 65 receptions, 788 yards, and 12 touchdowns this year, and was an absolute matchup nightmare.

He got more production from the Tight End position than Pollard and Clark combined. I give Thomas a big edge in this category.

Offensive Line: 2004 vs. 2013 Edge: 2004

It is tough to compare these offensive lines. They were both tops in the league in pass protection. However, the 2004 line only let up 14 sacks, compared to 20 this year. I give the slight edge to 2004.

So, in my opinion, Manning had a better supporting cast in 2004, but not by much. They were both amazing groups. Although I believe that the 2004 receivers were slightly better than 2013, if you factor in tight ends as targets, I think the 2013 group takes the cake.

There you have it, folks. This analysis is not an exact science, there are many other factors that could come into play. If Peyton Manning thrown more balls in 2004, who's to say he would have stayed on pace? He could have hit a major slump, or he could have hit an even hotter streak. But all other things equal, you can imagine that Manning's numbers would have shattered his this year. You can also factor in the different eras, wheras the league makes it easier for QBs than it did in 2004. However, basing the seasons off of adjusted statistics, competition, and supporting cast, it's easy to see that Peyton's 2004 season was better than his season this year, and it's NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Manning_medium

via chrisgoodwin.info


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Gang Green Nation

You must be a member of Gang Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gang Green Nation. You should read them.

Join Gang Green Nation

You must be a member of Gang Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gang Green Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker