"He's the greatest regular-season quarterback of all time," said Brandt, "and I don't think you can argue that. He's the Greg Maddox of football."

Swell.

But quarterbacks are measured by more than regular-season performances. They're measured by the playoffs and Super Bowl rings, too, and that's where Manning returns to earth. He's 11-11 in the postseason and 1-1 in Super Bowls where he has as many interceptions (2) as touchdowns and his passer rating is 85.4 -- a number that would've made him the 19th-ranked passer among this year's quarterbacks.

Yet we want to make him the best ever, and we want to do it now. Someone please explain.

"Well," said Billick, "if he wins this one that means he's won Super Bowls with two different teams, and that would close the gap. That would be his 'up yours' argument with Brady, with Manning saying, 'I did it with two separate teams."

And if he doesn't?

Don't ask. Never let the facts get in the way.

--Clark Judge, a Senior NFL Writer for The Sports Xchange, has covered pro football since 1982 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.