You know Peyton Manning feels like Doughboy sitting on that curb, tossing back a 40-dawg and kicking it with Cuba Gooding Jr. at the end of Boyz n the Hood. Folks don't even get amped when he shatters another record. They just start talking about the Super Bowls he could have won.
Say what you want about Manning. Being an NFL QB of his obviously superior skill and talent level has always worked against him to a certain extent. The way he is judged is kind of how Olympic qualifying events become witchunts. Everybody starts with a 10 and then they start looking for and deducting points for mistakes.
After so many great performances, the magnificent becomes mundane and the search for imperfections intensifies.
Manning came into the NFL game a 10. He’s actually been better than that throughout most of his career. Some critics of his legacy continue to harp on the fact that when playing as a “team” is more important than ever (playoffs) Manning’s squads often came up short for one game against more well-rounded units.
Times like these are when the ignorance and fanatical lusts of hating fans and shifty analysts spew out nonsense like, “He should have more than one Super Bowl” or “this (particular) QB is better because” he has two Super Bowl rings.
To me, the greatest insult to Peyton was the discussion some analysts and radio voices were having a few years back about whether or not little brother Eli was better because he rocked two Super Bowl rings.
I’m a Giants fan and even I know there’s no comparison between the two as far as all-time standing goes. Eli probably won’t fall in the Top 20 QB’s of all-time, but Peyton is a highly-plausible candidate for the NFL QB Mount Rushmore.
If I had to bet my life on what would happen sooner—Manning snatching the all-time TD passing mark from the undeserving Brett Favre as he did last night in a 42 -17 Broncos drumming of the San Francisco 49ers or Colin Kaepernick getting yanked in a game for Blaine Gabbert as he continues to become the fastest falling star since…well RG3—it’s an easy decision for me to roll with Peyton.
While the controversial Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh marriage continues to sink deeper into the abyss, Manning surpasses Favre’s mark with an 8-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas late in the second quarter, giving the former Colts great 509 in his statistically incomparable career. He pushed his total to 510 in the third quarter with his fourth TD pass of the night. Through three quarters, Manning was 22 of 26 for 318 yards.
The record-breaking score fittingly came one play after Aqib Talib intercepted an errant Colin Kaepernick pass. The irony is crazy. Just two seasons ago, GM’s were choosing Kaep over guys such as Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers (everybody’s latest love) and of course Grandpa Peyton as the QB they would begin a franchise with. Some even called him “the best of the bunch.”
He rode an Alex Smith concussion, the desperation of a ch'ip-thristy HC, a record-breaking playoff performance and a fortuitous super Bowl birth to overnight superstardom. It was a rise The Shadow League documented in a January 2013 piece entitled, Colin Kaepernick climbed The Ladder To Success Escalator-Style.
“When San Francisco 49ers HC Jim Harbaugh shelved starter Alex Smith in favor of a second-year cat from the University of Nevada (Reno), he had reporters questioning his sanity and fans asking, "Who the heck is Colin Kaepernick?"
With Smith nursing a concussion, Kaepernick got his first NFL start in a Monday Night Football game against the tough Chicago Bears in late November and gave fans a taste of his arsenal in a 32–7 win.
Fast forward to last weekend’s NFC Divisional game, and Kaepernick’s epic performance has the paparazzi is clicking, the groupies whispering and the Bay area thinking Super Bowl.”
He became the toast of the town and a product of the postseason-hype. Remember when RG3 arrived just a few months prior to Kaep's kickoff ? Talking heads labeled his dynamic dual-threat technique as the future of NFL signal callers. As if Manning’s style of wrecking defenses with pin-point pocket passing accuracy and an uncanny ability to confuse and diffuse was a thing of the past.
As far as the TD record goes, I was never a big fan of Favre holding the mark. In my opinion it allows Favre fanatics to overrate him. He was a gunner who threw his team out of as many games as he won them with his wing. I would compare Favre to a Jim Thome in baseball. He’s a compiler. He bounced around from team to team at the end of his career as a shell of his former self, shamelessly retiring and then unretiring.
Looking deeper into the stats, Manning reached the milestone in his 246th regular-season game. Favre needed 302.
More than anything, passing TD’s exemplifies how effectively a QB did his job in the red zone and knows how to air it out when necessary with accuracy and efficiency. That’s Manning in a nutshell and that’s what a QB should be able to do. Then again, Manning revolutionized the QB position with his practice habits, pre game work with receivers, signal –calling and video-game like productivity. While Tom Brady has the hardware, his impact on how the game is played from the Show to Pop Warner can’t compare to Peyton’s—but that’s a conversation for another time.
We tend to get so excited when a new face blitzes the league and does a few amazing things. "Yesterday’s news" isn’t even an appropriate phrase anymore. Now it’s "last minute’s news."
At the age of 38, when most NFL players are making weekly doctor’s visits and preparing for their career after football, Manning is still not only an elite QB, but the best in the business. He’s keeping up with the young bucks and rewriting the history books with every conquest. Our philosophical approach to this dude is all off. We shouldn’t be criticizing the lost tightness on his spiral and the shortcomings of past teammates. We should be singing his praises. Lauding his longevity, contributions to the game and his unmatched ability to transform with the generations.