Why was the media so hard on Peyton Manning this week for a three game “slump”?
In my opinion, it comes from the media’s pressure and not rational understanding of what a winner means. Winning, in my estimation, doesn’t mean you have to have more than one Super Bowl ring, which is why so many have the opinion that Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the game.
And I don’t deny that Tom Brady’s dominance at the position (and the Patriot’s domination of the AFC) have aided to the talk that Peyton Manning is just a regular season dominant, stat-crazy QB that can’t win the big one. It’s followed him his entire career, from Tennessee (he could never beat Florida and Spurrier) and he can’t beat a few teams in the NFL (most prominently the Patriots, now the Chargers have become an annoyance).
Why I think Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the game? It’s a simple matter of what I love in a man, a winner, an alpha male, and man that represents the best in everything they do, everything that they accomplish. Manning’s supremacy of his position can be shown in the 4 NFL MVP awards he holds in his position, or the Super Bowl MVP (2007) and championship ring he brought to Indianapolis. It’s the passion, the love, the respect, the leadership he brings to the game. If I had the opportunity to start my own franchise, I would begin by picking Manning because of his intelligence, his knowledge and his desire to be the best on the field. There is a reason the Colts drafted him (and with good fortune) over Ryan Leaf in 1998, and it was because of those intangibles. Manning has a gift and was bread for the quarterback position, and as the first family of football, he has blue football blood running through his veins.
And Peyton Manning’s stats don’t lie. For 2010, he is 378-569 with a 66.4 completion%, 4,028 yards (thru 12/11) averaging 309.8 yards per game, 26 TDS 15 INTS and a QB Ranking of 91.2. For his career, at 34 years old, he is in his prime. For the career,11 years in the NFL, he’s played in 205 consecutive games, has a QB Rating is 94.6, 4610-7100 with a passing percentage of 64.9 with 54,156 yards passing, averages 264.2 yards per game with 392 TDs and 196 INTS.
compare to TOM BRADY IN HIS CAREER
10 Years in the league
QB Rating 94.7, 2929-4603 completion/attempt, 63.6 completion%, 33,873 yards passing, 240.2 yards per average, 252 touchdowns, 103 INTs.
You can blame the int’s with better fortune or Peyton forcing the ball in random places (i.e. the play in the last Super Bowl to the New Orleans Saints), he knows that when he can make the plays happen, he and the Indianapolis Colts have possessed the power to come back late in games and win them with no problem. Peyton Manning has been the NFL poster child for consistent excellent play in game changing situations and winning. Consider the amount of wins, undefeated seasons until the 12th, 13th, and 14th game, earning #1 seeds and first round byes. Countless appearances in unforgettable AFC Championship games with the Patriots in the past 12 years. He has consistently put up steady numbers and continued to take players like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, to the no name replacements, Jacob Tamme, to fill those voids into household names. Peyton Manning is the NFLs closest thing to perfection on and off the field. During this “slump”, he never blamed anyone but himself to the media, which most star players wouldn’t do; most people would just let a slump ride out, but the leader and competitor that Peyton Manning is, there was no one on the planet more ready to get back to his form than Peyton Manning. The frustration through these last games, where Peyton threw four interceptions in back to back game for the first time ever in his career, we placed squarely on his shoulders and he took responsibility on the Colts offensive failures. Leadership is key in what makes him great. His performance at a superior and consistent level is what makes him the best in the NFL.
To end, I will post a video from You Tube of the post game interview from the NFL Network crew of Rich Eisen, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Primetime Deion Sanders. Not only does he have the poise that most people in media would kill for, his genuine take on his team and their struggles and his responsibility and the truthful nature of his response is what makes him the best. His play is just filler for the killer package that is Peyton Manning.
A class act and one hell of a quarterback.
(stats and info from espn.com and nfl.com)