Posted by Ryan Wilson
We joked earlier that if you're weary of the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning arguments, you could refocus your energies into deciding if Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg knows what he's talking about when he says that Michael Vick could be better than Steve Young.
Well, it seems there's no escaping Brady-Manning. NFL Network finally unveiled the No. 1 player in their countdown of the top 100, and Brady was the big winner. (In related news, Dhani Jones has asked for a recount.) Manning, of course, was No. 2.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who ended up fourth on the list, on why Brady was deserving of the honor:
“He’s not the biggest. He was never the strongest. He was never the fastest. He was overlooked. He went in the sixth round. So with that being said, all of the intangibles that a quarterback is supposed to have, they overlooked with him because it was burning from the inside of him. ...
“It’s a chess match because he understands every coverage, he understands every defense. And if you give it away too early, then the game is like checkers then for him. He plays it how he wants to play it. … And that’s what makes it frustrating playing against him; he always finds those mismatches. … You don’t find too many people playing (who are) willing to sacrifice that much time to do that. That’s why Tom Brady will always be considered one of the greatest of all time.”
Football Outsiders agrees with Lewis. Looking at the last five years of FO's quarterback efficiency ratings, Brady ranked fifth in 2006, and first in 2007, 2009 and 2010 (Brady missed all but 15 minutes of the 2008 season with a knee injury). Manning ranked first in '06 and second every season from '07-'10 (which includes '08, when Drew Brees was first).
So it's finally settled … except that Lewis' teammate Derrick Mason thinks that a) Peyton is "hands down" the NFL's best player and that b) Joe Flacco is the Ravens' "Michael Jordan."
We're still waiting to hear what Terrell Suggs thinks about all this.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.