Peyton Manning: The Ultimate Paper Champion

By Dave Holcomb
January 13, 2013 9:30 pm
1,619 Views 11 Comments

Saturday’s loss against Baltimore did not affect Quarterback Peyton Manning’s overall position among the greatest quarterbacks of all-time and certainly did not change his Hall of Fame status. The four-time league MVP has thrown for 59,487 passing yards with 436 touchdowns, made 12 Pro Bowl teams and 12 playoff appearances.

But once again Manning and his team made an earlier than expected exit in the playoffs.

Unfortunately for Manning, this has become somewhat of a trend. While playing for Indianapolis, Peyton took the Colts to the playoffs nine years in a row from 2002-2010. During that span, the Colts went 9-8 in the playoffs and won just one lone Super Bowl title in 2006.

For most franchises, the word lone would probably not describe their one championship, but when Peyton Manning is your Quarterback, the expectations are exceedingly higher. Manning set those expectations during the regular season; his record in the regular season from 2002-2010 as the Colts starting quarterback: 109-35, a whopping .757 win percentage. But again in the playoffs, it drops to just over .500 during that span.

In the past, fans always seemed to have an excuse for the Colts’ failure in the playoffs. The defense was never good enough or the lack of a running game placed too much pressure on the All-Pro QB. In some cases that may be true. Obviously, fans saw what the Colts were like without Manning under center last year when they barely won two games.

Denver though seemingly had everything Manning would need to make a deep playoff run: a top notch defense that gives up few yards through the air or on the ground, a healthy pass rush and maybe the best shutdown corner of a generation. Even without Running Back Willis McGhee, the combination of Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman and Jacob Hester in the backfield would generate a championship caliber running game.

Nope. Not against a very hungry Baltimore Ravens team that led the game just once midway through the first quarter. In one of the greatest games of recent memory, it was Quarterback Joe Flacco who shined bringing the Ravens back to score a touchdown with less than a minute in regulation, and Manning throwing a costly interception at the end of the first overtime.

His second interception of the game, Manning was flushed out of the pocket to his right, but elected to throw back across his body, a cardinal sin for quarterbacks. The turnover led to Baltimore’s winning field goal.

One of sports’ oldest clichés will tell you one play, decision or player does not win or lose a game all by itself. Nevertheless, it is still worth noting that Manning threw two interceptions and lost another fumble. The loss drops his overall playoff record to 9-11 and further proves that Peyton Manning always does better on paper.

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By Dave Holcomb
Senior Writer
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Previous Comments (11)

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2 years ago
And yet, the media and fans still swoon over him constantly. Give me Tom Brady in a clutch any time rather than either Manning. Heh, I know their family is popular but.... Let's look at the record in playoffs.
2 years ago

And Brady did it with sometimes the worst receivers in the game: case in point, 2006- Reche Caldwell... and still should have won that game and gone to the SB.
2 years ago
Although it is difficult to argue the basic premise of the article, it is worth noting that the information regarding when Baltimore took their first lead is incorrect. They led 14-7 in the 1st quarter. Also, you can pin the 3 turnovers on Manning, but its hard to argue that it is Manning's fault that Rahim Moore gave up a 70 yd Hail Mary with less than a minute to play and a 7pt lead. By that point, Manning had put his team in position to win.
2 years ago

Yes, I noticed that mistake. Baltimore led in the game 14-7 as you said. Thanks for reminding me to fix that.
2 years ago
The dominant defense that he had in his side gave up over 40 points.
2 years ago

Dave-that's true, but Peyton's troubles in the PO's are very similar to my guys (Marino's) troubles-too many turnovers. His 2 INT's (although we can't totally fault Peyton) and his fumble gave Balt. 3 extra possessions. That puts extra pressure on any defense and often times leads to more points given up.
2 years ago

If a bad defense is any excuse, Brady has just as much reason for losing 2 super bowls and playoff games as anyone.
2 years ago

I think you prove my point. Peyton and Marino are 2 quarterbacks that simply didn't have as much playoff success as fans expected.
2 years ago

David- I definitely agree with you on that. I will say this for Manning, he played better in a majority of his PO losses than Marino did. My biggest knock on Marino is the way he played in 75% of our championship games-a comp.% under 50%, 4 TD's but 6 INT's, an avg. Passer Rating of under 60, and he led our O to an avg. of only 12 p.p.g. He really left his teammates down.
2 years ago
It's a damn shame Peyton couldn't be the safety on the game tying TD. I mean seriously he put his team in a position to win and only a bonehead play cost him. And here is an article blaming the guy that didn't play a snap last year...

The loss of Moreno was huge in this game as well. He is one man on a 53-man roster. I'm just sayin
2 years ago
Interesting premise, but shouldn't you wait until Payton's career is over to make such comments? I would argue his last 1-2 years, assuming he doesn't retire now, will dramatically affect how we remember him. Remember what happened with John Elway?

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