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Is Peyton Manning the best quarterback of his era?

John Elway hopes to help make Peyton Manning the best quarterback of all-time. Our friend Albert Breer -- we use the term loosely -- asked Elway what would qualify Manning for the title.

Breer: Elway's plan for Manning
How will John Elway turn Peyton Manning into the greatest QB ever? Albert Breer asked, and Elway answered. More ...

"Winning championships, that's the only way," Elway told Breer. "If (Manning) wins two more championships, he'll be, without a doubt, the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. So when I said that, for me, what I meant, that's about winning world championships. He's got the numbers, he has the stats, those will never change, they'll just get better and better.

"But for us to make Peyton the greatest quarterback that's ever played, what will separate him, because now he's in the conversation, if he wins a couple more before he's done, then he'll be right at the top of the list."

Great quote. It's so great we can't contain our thoughts on it in standard paragraph format:

» We love how high Elway is setting the bar. One more title after repeated neck surgeries at age 36 would not be enough. Even one more Super Bowl appearance feels like an uphill battle.

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Peyton Manning gear.

» With that said, Elway probably is right in terms of public perception. Imagine if Manning somehow won two more titles at this stage. He would probably be recognized as the greatest. Of course, you could say the same thing about Tom Brady.

» That's the problem with this entire argument. You can't say definitively Manning is even the best of his era. Brady has a chance to finish his career much stronger. Measuring a player just on Super Bowls is silly. Brady has been to three more Super Bowls, which will be impossible to catch.

Otto Graham won seven titles. The stats from Johnny Unitas' era -- and even Joe Montana's era -- are not comparable to the Manning-Brady era.

» Manning cares a lot about history, but this is the last thing on his mind Thursday against the Chicago Bears. In Manning's first game in 19 months, the future Hall of Famer just wants to show he can take a hit.

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