Peyton Manning is Overrated

As I sit on the sidelines and watch the progress of the NFL playoffs, I felt compelled to write this short blog.  I am preparing to play a round of golf but I wanted to express my view point about Peyton Manning.  Peyton has one Super Bowl ring to his credit and that is one more than what we Eagles fans have in our repertoire.  He is considered a sure fire Hall of Famer based on some incredible regular season statistics.  In the playoffs, Peyton is a regular quarterback and yesterday's loss to the Ravens reflects my sentiment.

Peyton was released by the Indianapolis Colts for a number of reasons.  He had numerous neck surgeries and had missed the entire 2011 season due to these procedures.  Also, Peyton was looking to remain the number one QB and was up for a maximum long term contract.  Peyton's absence resulted in a 2 - 14 regular season record, the firing of Coach Jim Caldwell and the number one pick in the draft.  The pain was palpable but the end result was a new start for the franchise.  The Colts released Peyton and signed Andrew Luck with the #1 pick in the NFL draft.  He had a productive year but the Colts lost to the Baltimore Ravens in his first playoff experience.

John Elway was not happy with Tim Tebow as his quarterback in Denver.  In spite of a first round playoff win over Pittsburgh and a string of comeback victories, Tebow was jettisoned by the Broncos.  He was signed by the hapless Jets but never utilized in a way that could make him earn his contract dollars.  John Elway, a multiple Super Bowl winner, signed Peyton in an effort to return Denver to the upper echelon of NFL teams.  His contract was for at least $90 million with a large signing bonus.  Peyton had a rough regular season start but Denver ended the season with seven straight victories and earned a home playoff game and a bye week.  The result of the extra rest and the pumped up home crowd was a 38 - 35 double overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Peyton contributed three turnovers to the loss.  He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble during a game that was played in freezing conditions.  His effort was aided by the only player to return both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the same game.  There was also another compelling story line being played out during the game.  Ray Lewis, who announced his retirement before the playoffs, had a dismal record against Peyton during their stellar NFL careers.  Ray played like a man possessed and led his team in tackles.  Joe Flacco, who has won a playoff game in each of his five seasons, threw a 70 yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining in regulation.   Ray and the Ravens play on while Peyton and the Broncos clean out their lockers and watch the rest of the playoffs.

I understand that Peyton is a coach on the field.  He is a high character guy with impeccable statistics.  His brother Eli has earned more Super Bowl rings with his on field play.  The fans in Denver were not expecting a three turnover performance after signing Peyton to ridiculous dollars in the off season.  The reality is that Peyton is closer to 40 than 30 and his potential to take a team to a Super Bowl based on his skills and ability to befuddle defenses just diminished further.  What is the Broncos backup plan.  Tim Tebow could have been a viable QB who would have worked within their system.  Instead, John Elway is probably wondering why he risked all of his efforts for a one and done run in the playoffs.  Peyton rides off into the sunset with the large check and the continued playoff failures.

P.S. Peyton is currently on another regular season tear.  He faces my beloved Eagles next week.

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