Comparing the Greats: John Elway & Peyton Manning


September 30 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) and executive vice president of football operations John Elway talk near the end of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 37-6. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When one reflects on the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, outside current greats such as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, undoubtedly names like Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, and Joe Namath will be ranked among the Top-25 of many of fan’s lists. Each of these epic quarterbacks comes with their own monumental stories of success and when the spotlight is pointed Denver’s way, also expect to see our own John Elway on every fan’s list, leading the Denver Broncos to back to back Superbowl wins in 1997-1998.

Speaking of current greats, don’t think I forgot about Peyton Manning. Despite a Denver-less Superbowl, I still feel that Manning is his own “Comeback Kid” in a way from 2012’s success. True, he did not lead the Broncos into a Superbowl win, but when analyzing the success of Peyton Manning’s debut year versus one of John Elway’s years, what they both have in common is eerily similar.

Take a look:

John Elway was drafted #1 overall in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts before being traded to the Denver Broncos, where he would inevitably retire. Manning was selected #1 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, playing 14 seasons before being released by Indianapolis on March 7,2012 and signing with the Broncos on March 20, 2012. It can be said that both Elway and Manning traded the horseshoe for the horse.

Both quarterbacks led the Broncos to a 13-3 season, a 1st seed playoff spot, only to lose in the divisional round by 3 points. It is true that Elway’s 1996-1997 season versus Manning’s debut 2012-2013 season have this in common, but the great news is that Manning is just getting started and we can expect more to come. So keep an eye out this off season, Broncos Country. Much like their 2012-2013 run, they will be the team to watch!

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