SI compares four of the most successful quarterbacks in this generation.
Four of the most prolific quarterbacks in recent memory are still in the hunt for Super Bowl 50. Together, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have appeared in 12 of the last 14 Super Bowls, winning eight of them.
These four quarterbacks are among the NFL's best ever. But how do they stack up to one another? SI charted out some of their career statistics in both the regular season and the postseason.
• Manning has been playing the longest and has been a starter since 1998 (17 active seasons). Brady became a starter in 2001 (14 active seasons). Roethlisberger started in 2004 (12 active seasons), but he has missed time in all but three seasons due to minor injuries. Rodgers is the youngest of the group, and did not become a starter until 2008 (eight active seasons).
• The first three times Brady made it to the postseason, he won the Super Bowl. Since then (beginning in 2005), his playoff record is 12–8 and his Super Bowl record is 1–2.
In the regular season, Brady has the highest win percentage, nearly 10 percentage points higher than Aaron Rodgers, who is second. Rodgers had the highest average yards per game and the highest touchdown-to-interception ratio. Manning has thrown the most touchdown passes by more than 100 (partly due to his longevity), and he also has the highest average QBR in the regular season.
But in the playoffs, the rankings change a bit. Brady holds the highest winning percentage, and Rodgers has the highest completion percentage. Manning has thrown the most yards per game in the playoffs, and he is the only quarterback who averages more passing yards in the playoffs than in the regular season. Rodgers again has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio, and Brady owns the most passing touchdowns (53) and best Super Bowl record (4–2)
Between all categories and players, only two fared better in the playoffs than in the regular season. This makes sense, given that they are presumably playing better teams in the playoffs than regular season:
• Roethlisberger's win percentage jumps from .661 in the regular season to .688 in the playoffs.
• Manning's yards per game climbs from 270.45 in the regular season to 283.3 in the playoffs.
The only Super Bowl matchup between the four quarterbacks was in 2011, when Rodgers and the Packers defeated Roethlisberger's Steelers.
In the playoffs, Manning and Brady have played each other four times, splitting the matchups 2–2. Brady has beaten Roethlisberger once in the playoffs, while Roethlisberger has topped Manning once. Manning and Roethlisberger face off for the second time in the playoffs this weekend.