NFL Truths: Peyton at the crossroads, more

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Rampage, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Rampage

    Rampage Benched

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    There is no more difficult job in sports writing than criticizing Peyton Manning.

    He epitomizes what we want in a high-profile athlete. He loves and respects the game. He’s committed and well-prepared. He’s highly skilled, fun to watch and maintains an air of humility. He is easy to like and respect.

    However, his accomplishments are rarely placed in their proper perspective. He just won his record fourth Associated Press MVP award. When he retires, he’ll own just about every meaningful career passing record and some experts will argue that Manning is the greatest quarterback of all time.

    I can’t go there. Not now. Not without significantly more postseason success.

    Saturday night, when the Indianapolis Colts face the Baltimore Ravens, Manning will play the most important game of his career, his 16th postseason start. A poor performance and a loss severely damage Manning’s reputation as a champion.

    Yes, he’s battled a big-game image problem since college, and his lackluster individual performance during the Colts’ 2006 Super Bowl run did little to quiet the critics who question Manning’s ability to execute efficiently when pressure is the highest.

    But this goes deeper than Manning’s 7-8 playoff record, 22-17 TD-to-INT ratio and 10-point drop in QB rating during the postseason (95.2 to 85.0).

    Before I go on, marinate on these comparative numbers:

    Kurt Warner: 9-3 record, 31-13 TD-to-INT, 93.7 to 104.6 QB rating.

    Tom Brady: 14-4 record, 28-15 TD-to-INT, 93.3 to 85.5 QB rating.

    Brett Favre: 12-10 record, 39-28 TD-to-INT, 86.6 to 85.2 QB rating.

    Dan Marino: 8-10 record, 32-24 TD-to-INT, 86.4 to 77.1 QB rating.

    John Elway: 14-8 record, 27-21 TD-to-INT, 79.9 to 79.7 QB rating.

    Joe Montana: 16-7 record, 45-21 TD-to-INT, 92.3 to 95.6 QB rating.

    That’s right. Manning compares most favorably to Marino, a great player who dominated the stat sheet but had trouble winning and producing at the same high level in January.

    Now, let’s take the discussion a step farther. Manning is playing in the QB era, which is somewhat like baseball’s steroid era. The rules of the game so heavily favor the quarterback and the passing game that statistics are being distorted.

    It’s nearly illegal to touch the quarterback now. Since the beginning of the new millennium, the NFL has passed a series of rules aimed at assuring the players most likely to receive $100 million contracts don’t end up on injured reserve. In the mid-1990s, the league installed radio transmitters in the helmet of QBs and renewed its commitment to stop defensive backs from touching receivers more than five yards downfield.

    The purpose of the rule changes since 1978 (when the league first outlawed receiver-DB contact beyond five yards) was to create the Arizona-Green Bay shootout we watched last weekend. Kurt Warner and Aaron Rodgers completed nearly every pass they threw.

    Throwing for 4,000 yards in a season used to be a very big deal. No one did it in 1997. Two guys did it in 2001. This past season, 10 QBs surpassed the 4,000-yard barrier. In 1990, three quarterbacks -- Jim Kelly, Warren Moon and Joe Montana -- completed more than 60 percent of their passes. Nineteen years later, 21 quarterbacks -- including future career backups David Garrard, Alex Smith and Chad Henne -- connected on at least 60 percent of their throws.

    Playing quarterback is still the most difficult job in all of sports, but rule changes have made the task much easier. No one has benefitted more than Peyton Manning. He’s collected four MVP trophies in seven years by taking advantage of league’s insistence on providing quarterbacks PEDs -- performance-enhancing defenses.

    The lone remaining venue where a QB can distinguish himself from the pretenders is the postseason.

    Manning needs a good showing and a victory on Saturday. If not, he’s a Dan Marino upgrade and a slice below Brett Favre. That’s not bad company. But it’s not Montana, Elway and Brady. Hell, Manning could fall behind Kurt Warner, if Warner wins another Super Bowl.

    Now, the rest of the Truths.

    9. The media and fan cry that it’s time to end the Donovan McNabb era just so the Eagles can take a flyer on Kevin Kolb is a bad joke.

    I was disappointed by the Eagles' performance against the Cowboys, too. I thought early in the game when field position was critical McNabb turned down a couple of opportunities to run the ball for short gains and set up manageable third-down situations. McNabb didn’t play smart.

    But Philly’s offensive line was terrible and Andy Reid’s management of his offense suspect. Legitimate playoff quarterbacks can’t be found on every street corner. The Carolina Panthers gave Jake Delhomme a contract extension last season. And people want the Eagles to discard McNabb like he’s spoiled milk?

    No way. McNabb deserves another year with Philly’s young playmakers. And the Eagles need some safety and linebacker help on defense.

    8. How did the Bengals win 10 regular-season games and sweep the Steelers and the Ravens?

    Scientists may study this for the next 100 years and never come up with an answer. Cincinnati runs the most vanilla offense in the league. The Jets did nothing special to stop Carson Palmer and the Bengals offense.

    Palmer’s lack of confidence can’t be explained away by a thumb injury. He looks like a QB who doesn’t believe in what the Bengals are doing. Cincy’s tight ends don’t have the speed to challenge the middle of a defense. Cedric Benson’s running should give the Bengals a strong play-action passing game. But it’s unimaginative, too.

    The Bengals should’ve entered the Charlie Weis sweepstakes.

    7. There are several holes in all the Green Bay whining about the uncalled facemask penalty on Aaron Rodgers’ game-deciding fumble.

    The refs miss calls all the time. Rodgers missed Greg Jennings deep on the first play of overtime. The fact is, Brett Favre would’ve connected with Jennings. Packers fans know it and that’s why they’re whining about the hit on Rodgers.

    It’s a distraction so they won’t have to deal with the reality that Favre still throws the long ball better than Rodgers.

    I like Rodgers. I like the way he played in that game. He has yet to justify Ted Thompson’s decision to run Favre out of Green Bay. Maybe next year.

    6. Billionaire owners are not all that different from millionaire athletes: They both make the rules up as they go.

    That’s the lesson from the Redskins’ and the Seahawks’ flouting of the Rooney Rule, which stipulates minority candidates should’ve been legitimately interviewed before Mike Shanahan and Pete Carroll were handed jobs.

    I’m for ending the Rooney Rule. It served its purpose as it relates to coaches. The key now is to provide networking opportunities for minority coaches and executives. The spirit of the Rooney Rule would be best served by creating a day at the annual owners meetings for qualified minority coaches and executives to interview and interact with ownership.

    5. You know who Tom Brady looked like against the Ravens? Peyton Manning.

    At the beginning of the year I wrote that we may never see Fearless Tom Brady again. His knee injury would produce timidity in the pocket. That’s exactly what happened against Baltimore. Under duress, Brady made poor throws.

    Wes Welker is the receiver Brady can throw to in rhythm. Randy Moss is the kind of receiver a quarterback must locate and read before unleashing the football. Moss’ route running isn’t consistent.

    Reading and reacting takes time and allows the defense to get to the QB. The Ravens hit Brady early in the game and Brady started thinking about his knee. It’s natural.

    4. Prediction: Ravens 23, Colts 21.

    This is about karma. The football gods are going to make Indianapolis pay for spitting on history and quitting on perfection. The Ravens jump to a big lead and hold on down the stretch. Ray-ven Lewis and Ed Reed both create critical turnovers. The Ravens get their licks on Manning despite dropping eight into coverage half the game.

    3. Prediction: Chargers 20, Jets 16.

    This game is closer than expected thanks totally to Rex Ryan’s defense. The Chargers won’t rush for 50 yards, and their one-dimensional attack will play into the hands of cornerback Darrelle Revis, who will snag two picks. San Diego trails after three quarters and Phillip Rivers leads the Chargers to victory late.

    2. Prediction: Cardinals 51, Saints 45.

    That’s right. It’s a repeat of last week’s Green Bay-Arizona classic. It’s more seven-on-seven flag football. I can’t bet against Kurt Warner. He’s a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer now. He’s the best postseason quarterback we’ve ever seen, and he’s got a boatload of good receivers. Plus, New Orleans has been lousy lately.

    1. Prediction: Vikings 30, Cowboys 24.

    I want Favre to win. It’s that simple. He’s a great story. He makes my job easy. If he loses, Ted Thompson gets to pretend he did nothing wrong. If Favre makes it to the Super Bowl, I get to write another column ripping Thompson. Rooting against Thompson is kind of like rooting against Charlie Weis when he was head coach at Notre Dame. It’s all about the quality of my column.
  2. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah whatever. Whitlock seems to be a Cowboy hater to me. I know somebody is going to say we think that about every national writer or sportscaster(which I dont') but I have read everyone of these NFL truths throughout the season and he never mentions anything good about the Cowboys. Which is unusual because when the Cowboys are going good they usually get the attention of the national media. I don't know I just find it weird that he never mentions the Cowboys or any of the players in any of his articles.
  3. Rampage

    Rampage Benched

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    as soon as I read the part about him wanting Favre to win I didn't care for his prediction cause it's who he wants to win. I thought the interesting part about this article was what he said about Peyton.
  4. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with what he says about Manning. Peyton's career is going to be pretty much like Marino's except for the Super Bowl. Peyton has had way more opportunities to get more rings and he got one in his worst stretch of playoff games. His defense stepped up and help him out for once but I can recall other games where his defense played well and he didn't. I don't think this is the most important game of his career but the under .500 playoff record is alarming.
  5. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Most ridiculous statement ever.
  6. stilltheguru

    stilltheguru Well-Known Member

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    So Brady is on another level when his rating drops almost 10 also, and his team were known cheaters who won off of defense and a kicker. Cool
  7. CowboyWay

    CowboyWay If Coach would have put me in, we'd a won State

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    I defy anyone who is a fan of NFL football to not like watching Peyton Manning work his offense.

    Its a thing of beauty. Perhaps no qb gets as much respect as he does both on and off the field.

    Ok, maybe he doesn't have the Montana numbers in the playoffs, but did you see what that offense looked like when they put the back up qb in there the last couple of weeks?

    Outside of the cowboys, I don't mind if he wins the SB this year. I just think the guy personifies what you want in a qb in every phase of the game, and even off the field.'

    Whats not to like about the guy.

    Also, as the patriots seem to be going the way of the late 90's cowboys, look for peyton to get a couple more rings in the next 5 years.

    There isn't a qb in the league I would choose other than Peyton if I were starting an NFL team. He's that good.
  8. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    How so? You act like that is an insult to compare Manning's career to Marino. You are such a Peyton jock sniffer it's not even funny. I saw your act in that other thread about Manning. Peyton will have comparable numbers to Marino when he retires. Marino held every passing record when he retired. Manning will probably do the same when he retires. Since you are such the expert when it comes to Manning why don't you explain how it is a ridiculous statement.
  9. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    Talk about taking something to the next level. Where in Whitlock's article or anyone else say that they don't like watching Manning. What Whitlock's argument is and mine as well is Manning doesn't show up in the playoffs and this is reflective in his record. I think that is a fair assessment. Did you not read this in his article:

    He epitomizes what we want in a high-profile athlete. He loves and respects the game. He’s committed and well-prepared. He’s highly skilled, fun to watch and maintains an air of humility. He is easy to like and respect.
  10. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I like Peyton and think he is great. I judge him on what he does. I can't really judge him on what his back up does. His back up is terrible. His backup is Sorgi. Painter is truly the 3rd string guy for the Colts and who played for them down the stretch because of injuries to Sorgi. Put Stephen MgGee in for Dallas and the Cowboys offense would look bad.

    As much as I like Peyton the fact remains that he does struggle in the post season. He got his Superbowl and that is great. The difference between he and Marino is that when both got the Superbowl, Manning got to face an average Bears team while Marino faced a great team in the 49ers. That is a big reason why Manning has a SB trophy and Marino does not in their only SB appearances.
  11. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Whitlock can really hit it and then can act like a total too. At least he is honest about why he wants Favre to win-its all about his column. I do think he is a cowboy hater as well but then he hates a lot of things.

    I agree about Peyton Manning. You see the total control he has during the regular season disapear in the playoffs. He is a great QB and deserves to be a first Ballot HOF. BUT he will never be in my mind what Roger and Troy and Joe Montana were- deadly when it counted in the playoffs and SB. Brady is a question as how much of his rings were tainted- but I would still rather have him at his peak in the playoffs then Peyton. Brady does look like he no longer has the confidence he had- that is clear.
  12. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    This is the most ridiculous statement ever. I mean how could you say something so demeaning to the great Peyton Manning. I've had about enough of this if you say anything more about comparing Peyton to any quarterback I don't know what I will do.;)
  13. Joe Rod

    Joe Rod When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

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    Yow! I knew Warner brought his "A" game to the playoffs, but those numbers are mind-numbing. Is he a first ballot Hall of Famer?
  14. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he is 1st ballot but he will get in the Hall.
  15. thechosen1n2

    thechosen1n2 Well-Known Member

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    at least his prediction is based on thompson hate not that the vikes are better.
  16. bustinj

    bustinj New Member

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    You talk about truth as a means of predicting the future? I guess that's a good enough way to make a guesstimate as any...

    You sound like the Tempt Destiny artist. In the meantime, I'll believe it when I see it.
  17. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    Don't forget his lucky tuck rule call on his fumble against the Raiders
  18. RainMan

    RainMan Makin' It Rain

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    Peyton needs another Super Bowl or two for me to consider him the best all around quarterback of all time. By that, what I mean is one component of a quarterback's greatness is that unparalleled ability to win. Graham, Starr, Bradshaw, Montana, Aikman, Brady ... it's a list Peyton doesn't yet belong. And if he never does, it will be a blemish, albeit a slight one for me.

    But I do think his name is right at the top of the list of the best to ever play the position. I don't know that any other quarterback has ever had such command of the position the way he does. When you watch him on offense, it's almost like watching the televised version of a rehearsed television show. Everything is so smooth and flawless it's as if all his bloopers have been cut from the broadcast version of the game we see.
  19. Joe Rod

    Joe Rod When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

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    Manning's numbers since Whitlock wrote that column (2 postseason games):

    Att Comp Yds Comp% TD INT Rating

    Those numbers are against the #1 and #3 defenses in the league in both scoring and points.
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    I do believe these are the two best playoff games Manning has ever had. Will be interesting to see what happens in the SB.

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