Where would 2013 Peyton Manning rank among today's quarterbacks?

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks / Tom Hauck/GettyImages

Peyton Manning's 2013 season has been the best regular season by a quarterback in NFL history. Where would that version of Manning rank among the QBs today? This could be a fun topic to debate.

Before the 2012 season, the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million deal after missing the entire 2011 season recovering from about 299 neck surgeries. Well, we all know what happened over the next four years.

The 2013 Denver Broncos' offense was and still is the best offense in NFL history. Manning won his fifth and final MVP award and threw for 5,477 yards, 55 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and won 13 games in the regular season.

He averaged a whopping 342.3 yards passing per game and the passing yardage and touchdown pass totals still remain as the best two marks in the regular season in NFL history. If we took that exact version of Peyton Manning--the 37 year old during the 2013 season, where would he rank among quarterbacks today?

Who are the best quarterbacks in the NFL today? I'd say, in order, the top five are:

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Joe Burrow
  3. Josh Allen
  4. Justin Herbert
  5. Trevor Lawrence

Manning would surely be ranked well inside the top five, but where? Well, I think he'd easily rank above Trevor Lawrence at #5 and Justin Herbert at #4. I'd also feel comfortable ranking him ahead of Josh Allen at #3. To me, all is way too up and down sometimes. There are some games where I think he looks totally lost, throwing multiple interceptions in a poor offensive showing.

I think the conversation has to begin with at least Manning being ranked inside the top three. Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow are the two best quarterbacks in the NFL, and I don't think it's particularly close or much of a discussion to suggest otherwise.

Would Peyton Manning rank above either of them? Well, I'm not sure you'd be able to use his age as a knock on him-- a good quarterback is a good quarterback, no matter his age, right? The MVP award couldn't care less than Aaron Rodgers won in back-to-back years in his late-30s.

However, Mahomes is in a special tier by himself, I think. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's been a more skilled player at the position than him. He's accomplished in five years what most QBs can't accomplish in a 15-year career, and I think Mahomes is overall a better QB than Manning is and was.

So if 2013 Peyton Manning was playing in today's NFL, I think he'd rank out as the second-best QB in the league, behind Mahomes and in front of Joe Burrow.

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