January 12, 2015

Colts Silence Broncos Offense, Make Peyton Manning Look Old: Peyton Manning has his ninth one-and-done in his playoff career after Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a 24-13 road victory over the Denver Broncos, putting Indy in its first AFC Championship Game since 2009. Manning went 21-for-40 with only 152 yards, leading to headlines talking about retirement.

posted by rcade to football at 08:21 AM - 23 comments

I've said it before in a couple of other places, but I don't think I've said it here:

For all his acclaim as being one of the best QBs ever (and he is, I'm not questioning that)...

...his lack of playoff success is becoming a "Yeah, but..." on his career.

posted by Bonkers at 08:40 AM on January 12

Totally.

If it hadn't have been for that game winning drive in 2006 (forgiving an otherwise awful playoff performance that year), Peyton's legacy would be a lot harder to define as one of the best ever.

11-13, 9 one-and-dones, it's not enough to boot him from a top 5 list, but it certainly is something for people to chew on. Plus, it doesn't help that his slack-jawed younger brother went savant twice and got himself two trophies in the same time period.

The reality is, there are dozens of moments to show that he has been one of the most dominant clutch players of all times - but he just couldn't string enough of them together in Jan/Feb. So it goes.

If this is it for him, it's a sad way for him to go, but the back half of this year everyone says he's looked hurt or old or both. It doesn't bode well for 2015.

posted by dfleming at 11:00 AM on January 12

Since beating the Rex Grossman Bears in the Super Bowl doesn't really count as a crowning achievement (and Peyton had a rather ordinary QB rating in that game anyway), to me, Peyton's grand career moment is the game he played previous to that, the 2006-07 AFC Championship game, when he brought the Colts back from a serious halftime deficit to beat the Pats. He was unstoppable in the second half when it had looked in the first half like the Pats had gotten inside his helmet as usual and were going to ruin his day once again.

It was a monumental comeback under intense do or die circumstances.

posted by beaverboard at 11:11 AM on January 12

The fact that he has that 2006 playoff run (including the comeback against the Pats), it definitely puts the kibosh on "can't win the big game" stuff.

I've always felt that it says something about Manning that he's led his team to the playoffs so often, and a lot of those one-and-done games are in the division round. If his team had a chance to pancake a lesser opponent in the wild card round, then those could be 1-and-1-and-done instead.

I hope Manning comes back for another try.

posted by grum@work at 11:28 AM on January 12

a "Yeah, but..." on his career

Careful ..

Outside of the last 2 years Manning has historically played on teams that had glaring weaknesses. The fact they were even in the playoffs had everything to do about Manning. And he's 2-2 against the Patriots dynasty with Brady at the helm.

Come to think of it Brady has lost more games in the playoffs as a heavy favorite than has Peyton.

Is Brady also then a "Yeah, but .." ?

posted by cixelsyd at 01:30 PM on January 12

Come to think of it Brady has lost more games in the playoffs as a heavy favorite than has Peyton.

Is Brady also then a "Yeah, but .." ?

Ignoring the fact I don't think this statement is actually true (please cite, and define heavy while you're at it), considering Brady's 19-8 career in the playoffs, is your argument that losing heavy favorite games negates what you do at even-odds or even as underdogs to reach 19 career postseason wins and three rings?

posted by dfleming at 01:40 PM on January 12

This data is surprisingly hard to find. Here's the best resource I've found. And here's a spreadsheet showing them as favorites (assuming I cut that up right).

posted by yerfatma at 03:13 PM on January 12

No quarterback who won multiple Super Bowl rings as the starter is ever going to be described as a "yeah, but ..."

posted by rcade at 03:35 PM on January 12

You can only put part of the blame for the Pats first loss to the Giants on Brady's discomfort under the impressive NY pass rush.

Among other things, Belichick didn't trust his new kicker Gostkowski. He declined to send him out for a FG attempt that he would have let Vinatieri kick. He also called desperation bombs to Moss on the Pats' last possession rather than trying to work the ball down the field methodically so they could kick it to tie and go to OT.

The yakkers made a big deal out of the Luck and Manning narrative yesterday. When the Colts come to Foxboro, if the weather adds a wrinkle to things, the theme of the day could be Vinatieri and Gostkowski.

They could go deep on this motif to fill idle broadcast time. Such as: Manning hasn't won a title either before or since being a teammate of Vinatieri's. And the Pats haven't won a title since Vinatieri left.

Skip and Stephen, are you with me on this? It's Bristol Bucks in the bank. You could run with it for at least part of an afternoon, and then keep coming back to it later. It's real content, guys. Trust me.

posted by beaverboard at 04:24 PM on January 12

If that spreadsheet is correct (if you put it together yerfatma, you're a mensch), Brady's lost twice in the playoff with a spread higher than 4 points, whereas Manning's lost four times with spreads larger than 9 alone.

Not surprised it was a bullshit statement, but a bit surprised by big the pile was.

No quarterback who won multiple Super Bowl rings as the starter is ever going to be described as a "yeah, but ..."

Eli's as close as you might get to one, but the way he played those two runs was unbelievable and the Giants would classify as having glaring weaknesses more often than not, if we're adding a multiplier to Peyton's record for that.

posted by dfleming at 04:35 PM on January 12

Stepping away from the Manning theme for a moment, as a Broncos fan I cannot wait for the day that Fox and his mediocre-to-insipid coaching is booted out the door. Given the talent at his disposal his tenure has been the biggest waste of a potential championship window since Norv led the Chargers astray.

Last year in the SB, yesterday against the Colts the team did not look ready to play. The same ineffective vanilla 4-man pass rush all game. A dearth of those intermediate crossing routes that Manning has built a career on and screens designed to get D. Thomas into space; instead we got repeated low-percentage deep shots from a QB with an alleged quad injury. Putting Talib on an island against Hilton. The Colts killed the Broncos in preparation and intensity.

Gah. Is there not a happy medium somewhere between toxic boy-blunder McDaniels and stuck-in-1994 Fox?

posted by deflated at 05:37 PM on January 12

Stepping away from the Manning theme for a moment, as a Broncos fan I cannot wait for the day that Fox and his mediocre-to-insipid coaching is booted out the door.

Poof

posted by tron7 at 05:57 PM on January 12

Stepping away from the Manning theme for a moment, as a Broncos fan I cannot wait for the day that Fox and his mediocre-to-insipid coaching is booted out the door.

Poof

Man, deflated should have posted that on SpoFi awhile ago.

posted by Bonkers at 06:06 PM on January 12

I dunno, i look at all this talk about Peyton vs. Manning, blah blah, and it's all kinda fun to talk about, but what I'm left with in the end is this: It's really frickin' hard to to win the Super Bowl. The margin of error between winning and losing is so incredibly thin, that it's amazing that we're still talking about two quarterbacks who have been in the league for 15 years (approx).

posted by jeremias at 07:47 PM on January 12

Time to buy a lottery ticket. :)

posted by deflated at 09:18 PM on January 12

How can you all bag on John Fox when he's simply a typical mediocre NFL Coach? Let's talk about the marriage of the Oakland Raiders and Jack of the River. Now that should be real bad coaching. Can they move to the AFC East?

posted by yerfatma at 11:33 PM on January 12

Fox's departure, along with the Jason Garrett drama, has the Pro Bowl in flux.

posted by yerfatma at 08:40 AM on January 13

The AFC East already has the Jets and Upstate Rex. We mustn't be greedy.

posted by beaverboard at 11:28 AM on January 13

The NFL is trying to figure out which coaches to use in the Pro Bowl, because right now it's a mystery.
...
The NFL is exploring how to address the dilemma, sources familiar with the situation said. One possible solution would be to send the coaching staffs of the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers -- the other teams that lost in the divisional playoff round. stop holding a Pro Bowl that no one tries in, no one cares about, and no one watches.

posted by grum@work at 12:09 PM on January 13

The AFC East already has the Jets and Upstate Rex. We mustn't be greedy.

At least there will be something to "talk about" in Buffalo next year.

*sigh*

posted by grum@work at 12:10 PM on January 13

My solution for the Pro Bowl?

Jimmy Johnson vs Bill Cowher in Electric Football.

Admit it, you'd watch that way more than you'd watch the real Pro Bowl.

posted by Bonkers at 12:19 PM on January 13

Bill Cowher vs. Bill O'Brien in the Chin Divot Golf Scramble.

posted by yerfatma at 12:40 PM on January 13

Peyton Manning has to be considered as one of the greatest QBs in the league's history. Yes, I know what his post-season record is, but what it took to get to the post season, and considering that some of his Indianapolis teams were somewhat flawed on defense, his career is still one of great accomplishments. He could get into the head of defensive coordinators and head coaches. The most glaring example I can think of is the infamous 4th-and-2 game. Bill Belichick elected to go for the 1st down late in the game rather than punt the ball to Manning. He feared that Manning was capable of leading a comeback regardless of here the drive was started. That respect on the part of an opposing coach is one of the marks of greatness.

One of the Boston "knights of the keyboard" (a term that should have been trademarked by Ted Williams), Chad Finn, who is usually level-headed and not given to fan boy reaction except in a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek manner, had a rather snarky blog recently. He said that Manning should not retire until the Patriots defeat him in the playoffs once more. I equate that sort of sentiment to kicking a 3-legged dog. Those who question Manning's claim to greatness appear to have similar feelings. If Manning retires after this season, I will feel badly that he had to go out with an undeserved loser reputation.

posted by Howard_T at 05:16 PM on January 13

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