The League

Chris Richardson
National Blogger

Chris Richardson

The lead writer for

Irregular legacy


Well, that was worthwhile. The Super Bowl didn't suck; well, the game didn't. Not true for the commercials, unfortunately. Anyway, we had a great game, featuring a virtuoso performance from Drew Brees, and a nasty game-losing interception. Said interception gave us something else as well -- fodder for discussion focusing once again on Peyton Manning and how his Super Bowl performance impacts his legacy.

For me, it simply enforces what we already know: Peyton Manning is perhaps the best regular season quarterback ever. His ability to throw the ball around the field is only rivaled by names like Marino and Elway. Unfortunately, he's also a mediocre postseason quarterback, something his 9-9 record in the playoffs indicate.
Granted, his teams may not have been as good as some of the teams his Colts have lost to, but in a bottom-line industry like professional sports, reasons like "weaker teams" become excuses very quickly.

Could Reggie Wayne have been more committed to his route and perhaps stepped in front of Tracy Porter? Perhaps, but then again, Manning completely missed Wayne on that incomplete third down pass to Collie preceding Matt Stover's missed 51-yard field goal. Nevertheless, his talent as a passer cannot be denied. If you have any doubt, see the pass he completed to Dallas Clark in the second half. How many people can make that throw, let alone while on the run?

I suppose I'm not being as hard on Manning as folks like Mike Freeman and Robert Littal, but then again, I don't necessarily blame Manning for the Colts defense not being able to slow, let alone stop, the Saints quick/short-throw passing game. What it comes down to is how harshly you judge him for that interception. Is it a defining play, much like Favre's two NFC Championship interceptions should be, or is it simply the combination of a great defensive play and a less-than-exact route from Reggie Wayne? If quarterbacks are solely defined by their ability to "win" Super Bowls -- as much as one player can, anyway -- then yes, the loss to the Saints is as defining a moment as the win against the Bears.

If, however, you look at the entire body of work (What, the regular season doesn't count now?) you'll find a quarterback who, for some reason, just can't translate his stellar regular season play into a dominant postseason juggernaut ala Tom Brady.

By Chris Richardson  |  February 8, 2010; 7:20 PM ET  | Category:  Peyton Manning Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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To me, this campaign to have Peyton Manning officially declared the greatest quarterback ever bears a strong resemblance to the argument that America desperately needs Sarah Palin in the White House. There's no reasoning with people who've been brainwashed.

Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw each quarterbacked four Super Bowl winners. Manning's done it once. The only way that doesn't stack up as 'not enough' is if Ma and Pa Kettle were to do the counting.

Posted by: the7letterkid | February 9, 2010 12:04 AM

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