Right before the Super Bowl I mentioned a discussion I was having with a friend over whether Johnny Unitas or Peyton Manning was the best quarterback to ever play the game. I even said that Manning may emerge the winner of the debate regardless of what happened in the Super Bowl game. Now I'm not so sure.
Manning wasn't even the best quarterback on the field that game. Not even close. Of course you can argue that greatness can't be measured by a performance in only one game and I'll agree with that argument. But let's take a look at how Manning performs in big games. In his college career at Tennessee, he never once beat arch-rival Florida. In the NFL's post season, his record is a mediocre 9-9, including home field losses to San Diego when the Colts were the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
So where do I put Manning now? This may sound harsh, but I would rank him a notch above Jim Kelly, but below such winners as Unitas, Otto Graham, Joe Montana, Tom Brady and, yes, Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw.