The answer was 7-1 Brady.
Then I asked the personnel men to step into their TARDIS, go back a year, and answer the same question. That is, it's the 2012-13 season. Who would you pick? The result was 6-2 Brady.
Then, they were asked to go back five years. The vote was 4-4.
Overall, there was a central theme among the voters: While Manning is a more physically gifted thrower, Brady is the better overall quarterback because he has done more with less.
Most people would assume that Manning would be the choice, since he's the media's darling, but it would seem that GMs, the guys who make the decisions, would rather have Brady over the more statistically prolific Manning.
On an individual basis, the difference between the two QBs is negligible. No matter how you slice it, the QB with the better offensive weapons around him has had the better stats. This year, Manning had some of the best offensive players around him that we've ever seen. Demaryius Thomas is one of the most skilled WRs in football, and has the size and speed to match up with anyone. Julius Thomas looks like the next Antonio Gates. Wes Welker is, well, Wes Welker. Eric Decker is having another great season. Running back Knowshon Moreno is having an incredible season, and rookie Montee Ball has been coming on strong as of late.
Previously, the best players this duo has had around them was Brady's supporting cast in 2007. Prior to that, it was Manning's teammates in 2004. Not coincidentally, each of those seasons were record-setting campaigns.
What sets Brady apart, however, is his ability to do more with less. This year, he lost his 5 leading receivers from last year, and still managed to put together a hell of a season, with 25 TD passes against 11 INTs and led the Patriots to a 12-4 season.
Before the season started, no one would have predicted a 12-4 season. Maybe 11-5 if all the cards fell their way, but 12-4 would have been a stretch. Some were even predicting a Miami Dolphins takeover in the AFC East. After the plethora of injuries that came the Patriots' way, a winning season would have been an accomplishment.
Still, the Pats somehow managed to win 75% of their games, and find themselves in the AFC Championship Game once again.
When Manning makes the conference championship game, it's usually because he has a stacked team around him, and they're the favorite from start to finish. With Brady, it has been a series of overachievements and unexpected victories.
I'd take Brady over Manning every day of the week. Who would you take, if you could choose between these two future Hall of Famers?