Sunday night, we'll get the privilege of watching two of the NFL's best quarterbacks go head-to-head when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos visit Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. After 13 previous meetings, a lot of analytical ground has been covered, but what about the impact of arm strength? No, not Peyton's -- which we've previously addressed -- but Brady's.
Take a look at these numbers: Since 2010, Brady ranks 25th out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks in completion percentage on passes over 20 yards in the air. He has hit on just 30.3 percent of those throws. Compare that to Aaron Rodgers (44.4 percent, No. 2 in that time frame) or even Manning (38.2, No. 7). This season, the contrast is particularly sharp. Manning sits at 41.5 percent in 2013, compared to Brady's mark of just 22.9.
Forget for a minute about the Manning arm strength refrain. Is it Brady who really has the problem on the deep ball? And if he doesn't, is it merely the help?