Being in my car for quite awhile yesterday, I was treated to the continuing lineup of apologists for the playoff performance of Peyton Manning.
From Mike & Mike to the Boston Talk Radio, WEEI, I was told how the unwashed NFL fandom have gone too far in their post Super Bowl critique of #18.
The problem with the 4th Estate in their insistence that Manning may yet go down as the greatest ever, even going so far as to suggest that he played well in the Super Bowl loss, is that they're unable to get out of their own way in the continued reliance upon the stat whoredom of their argument.
Peyton Manning, he of the 9-9 playoff record owns some very notable playoff meltdowns:
*Shut out, 41-0, in the Meadowland in '02
*Gave up FOUR interceptions in Foxboro in '03
*Put but THREE points on the board in Foxboro in '04
*Threw a pick for six with under four minutes left in Sunday's Super Bowl
We've not yet even entered into this conversation, his starting the '95 Divisional Playoffs versus the Steelers Zero for five, prior to getting his ass kicked all day long, whereuon the threw his offensive line under the bus.
We've not mentioned his getting out played by none other than that superstar, Billy Volek in an '07 Divisional Playoff loss, at home, to San Diego, Peyton failing to find his open receivers late in an effort to win the game.
We've not yet considered his needing to pick up a 3rd & 2 late in the '08 Wild Card Playoff at 8-8 San Diego in order to clinch the game. Yes, Peter King is still bemoaning Peyton the Great being deprived of a chance to win that game in overtime. Too fuckin' bad!!
On talk radio yesterday, the Manning apologists, when confronted with his playoff failures, did what? Of course...they focused on his playoff numbers, having thrown 27 playoff touchdown passes. Of course, as they simply may not have been cognizant, neglect to look "inside the numbers" (never a favored exercise of the pro-Manning crowd) which reveal that fully one-third of P.Manning's playoff TDs, nine touchdown passes, came in a pair of routs of the Denver Broncos in consecutive playoff years.
When your team's up 34-10 in the 4th quarter, ain't nobody better than Peyton Manning, he'll zip it in there for yet one more score. Need a late touchdown in a playoff game though. Don't look at Peyton; he's done it one time ever. The only playoff game in which this guy has truly came up big was the '06 AFCCG vs. New England. Otherwise, he's come up very, very small.
Peyton Manning is now tied for the distinction of all-time Super Bowl choke, with none other than our own Neil O'Donnell. The only player that even comes close would be Scott Norwood, but let's be real, the 48-yarder was hardly a gimme, and no one was touting Norwood, pre-game, as the best all-time at his craft.
I'll once again invoke the words of another famous Fat Fuck, John Madden, in his last game, Super Bowl XLIII, when he said, " A lot in football is when you do things." When Peyton Manning's needed to "do things," he simply doesn't get it done. <!-- / message --><!-- edit note -->