With two of the AFC's top quarterbacks facing off tonight in San Diego, it's only natural to compare them. Both have led their teams into the playoffs despite very frustrating starts to the season, and both put impressive numbers up across the board. Let's start with a look at Peyton Manning, the league's MVP:

Peyton Manning- Indianapolis Colts: (2008 Stats) 66.8 comp. %, 34.7 att./gain, 4,002 yards. 7.2 avg., 250.1 yrds./game, 27 TD, 12 IN

By now, as he's in his eleventh year, we all know what Manning is capable of. He's a great leader with a great set of tools, both physical and mental, to work with. No other quarterback manages a game and reads defenses like him, and the results have been a reflection of that. If Peyton gets time, he'll pick a defense apart, appearing pretty much unstoppable at times.

In the last nine weeks of the season, basically carrying a team without a running game, Manning led his Colts to nine wins and a wildcard spot. Although very good, his numbers were not his best this year, but the fact that he recovered from knee surgery that forced him to miss all of training camp to still post a Manning-like '08 is impressive enough.

And now, the Chargers' signal-caller, Philip Rivers:

Philip Rivers- San Diego Chargers: 65.3 comp.%, 34.7 att./game, 4,009 yards, 8.4 avg., 250.6 yrds./game, 34 TD, 11 INT

Rivers has had a break-out season for the 'Bolts, leading them into the playoffs. He has the highest QB rating of anyone (105.5), a limited amount of interceptions, and has made far more plays than in the past with more weapons to work with. Without his great season and clutch play down the stretch, San Diego would be watching the Colts take on the Broncos tonight.

So, who's better? For this year, and this year only, the conventional stats would point to the surprising Rivers, with more yards, touchdowns passes and less mistakes. However, keeping the misleading passer-rating out of mind, I would call it fairly close to equal, with the close edge going to Rivers.

But glancing at the intangibles and new-era stats by footballoutsider.com (the NFL's version of baseball prospectus), Manning has the clear edge. In DYAR(Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement), he trails just Drew Brees with 1,983 points, while Rivers comes in fourth with 1,504 points. According to this, Peyton obviously has more value than Rivers.

And few can make a case that Rivers, the five-year pro, can match Manning in his leadership and football-smarts.

In the end, both Peyton Manning and Phillips Rivers are outstanding quarterbacks, two of the best in the league. Because of his experience and the vast amount of accomplishments Manning has already done, though, he is clearly the better of the two, not that we already didn't know that.