Everyone.. Let’s Pump The Breaks On Peyton..
Let’s make this known from the beginning, I think Peyton Manning is an incredible quarterback. In fact, he’s one of the best ever, but the level he’s being ascended, is a little too high.
This year we have heard everything from: “Peyton should win the MVP because of how his team performed without him” to “Only Peyton could run that offense”, but yesterday I think I heard the most ridicules Manning comment of them all. Trent Dilfer on ESPN yesterday stated that, Peyton Manning will be “Interviewing teams harder than they will be interviewing him”.
Forgive me, but that sounds crazy. We all know he’s an Eleven-Time Pro-Bowler, a Five-Time First Team All-Pro, a Four-Time League MVP and let’s for one minute remove the video game passing numbers and deal with reality. Peyton is one of the best regular season quarterbacks of all time. He has passed for 54,828 yards, 399 touchdowns and his ability to change plays at the line of scrimmage, make most people rank him above so many other quarterbacks.
But in the playoffs, Manning turns into Rex Grossman. All of his numbers shrink. His completion percentage drops from 64.9% to 63.1%, his touchdown/interception ration goes from a +2.01 to a +1.52 and his winning percent goes from 67% to 47%. Yes, we all know that he and his Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006, but even during that playoff run, Manning threw only three touchdowns to seven interceptions.
So if you’re team that needs a quarterback, these are things that you have to weigh. You also have to weigh that you have a quarterback that turns 36 in March and is coming off neck surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season.
When Colts owner Jim Irsay says they will meet to discuss the future, is he way off to do that? The Colts are on the hook for $28 million dollars if Manning is still on the roster come March 8th, so why wouldn’t Irsay be hesitant. There is no guarantee that Manning will be healthy enough to play like he has his entire career and since the Colts have already said they were drafting quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford to be their future, do they really want to tie that much money up in two quarterbacks?
Teams should not be in awe of the “Peyton Manning” name and be so happy that he would consider playing for them, instead they should put him through the ringer. They should make sure that physically he’s ready to go. I also heard on ESPN, that if a team signs him, they may have to change their practice schedule to fit what Manning likes because he likes more reps than the defense, and that he wants two tight ends and no fullback so he can adjust protection. Again, do you want to re-arrange your entire team for a soon to be 36 year old quarterback that even in the perfect situation may only have two more elite years left in his body. Also keep in mind, nothing he’s done consistently in the post season says your team will even get out of the divisional round.
The perfect situation for the Colts is to move on. Pretend it’s 1998 again and start fresh. They have a new general manager and a new coach, so it only makes sense to have a new quarterback.
The perfect situation for Manning is to find a team that is a possible contender that does not have a lot of faith and can’t see their current quarterback getting them in the playoffs. But that team needs to adjust with Manning and not adjust for Manning. If he’s truly that great, he can adjust his game a little as well and make it work for everyone.
Thanks to ESPN for research information…