Even though Peyton Manning beat the New England Patriots on Sunday to advance to his third Super Bowl, his critics, along with many others, will continue to bring up his underachieving playoff record.
Manning is 10-11 all-time in the playoffs. However, one should ask the common question, “What have you done for me lately?” Since 2006, Manning boasts an 8-5 playoff record, including his four straight wins in the ’06 playoffs, when he beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
His matchup vs. the Seahawks is definitely a tough one, as Seattle allowed just 2,752 yards passing in the regular season, the least in the NFL.
The wide receivers of the Broncos, especially Demaryius Thomas, might be able to contest with the likes of Richard Sherman. As we’ve seen, Sherman likes to talk, but the Broncos can do their share of smack talk on the field.
Thomas ranked fourth in receiving yards during the regular season, piling up a career-high 1,430 yards through the air. On top of this Thomas, Manning also has “Orange Julius” to work with. Julius Thomas, Manning’s tight end, finished third amongst tight ends with 12 touchdowns during the regular season. Having Eric Decker and Wes Welker also obviously helps. Although Welker has put up terrific regular season numbers, he has been known for his big drops in the playoffs (see last year’s AFC Championship Game and Super XLVI).
There’s no question, without these targets, Manning wouldn’t be playing for his second Super Bowl title. Yet, it takes a certain quarterback to win big games, which was pointed out by my co-host, Tom Bostwick, on Thursday; I must add, Bostwick is a Seahawks fan and of course will be rooting against Manning in the Super Bowl.
Let us take a look at Andy Dalton; he put up great regular season numbers, with 33 touchdowns and 4,296 yards passing. The Bengals QB doesn’t have the weapons Manning has but there’s no doubt Dalton has talent around him in Cincinnati. Yet, when the lights shined brightest during the Bengals wild card game vs. the Chargers, Dalton laid a dud.
We all know Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the National Football League. With another championship, the quarterback, now famous in the city of Omaha, can vault himself into the conversation of being the best to ever play.