Benjamin Morris writes at 538 that Peyton Manning is the comeback king of quarterbacks based on the above chart. He says “Peyton Manning is a practically Messi-esque outlier, complete with his own Cristiano Ronaldo to keep him company.”
I responded the same way he did when I looked at it, especially in the haze of yesterday’s comeback. But then I kept looking at his graph, and then looking at his other graph (reprinted below). In the first graph, Manning successfully came back in 10 out of 41 times he’s been behind by more than 15 points. That’s 24.4% of the time. But Tom Brady has come from behind in 5 out of 25 times. That’s 20%, not as good but close. Even better is Andrew Luck, who is 3 out of 13 for 23%. Ok…so Manning is the best of the three, but it’s not so clearcut. Looking at the next chart just below, it’s even less clear cut.
Here, Manning has 26 comebacks out of 69 opportunities, which is an amazing 38%. But Tom Brady has 25 comebacks out of 61 attempts, which by my calculator equals 41%. Andrew Luck, with what appears to be 7 out of 19 chances, is at 37%.
If all this is interesting to you, take a look at Scott Kacsmar’s article at pro-football-reference.com a few years back on previous comeback kings like Elway, Montana, and Marino. The data isn’t totally comparable, but still a good way to waste an afternoon.