Manning comes up short in the postseason once again

If one were to look up Peyton Manning’s stats from Super Bowl XLIV, they would assume that he did enough to propel his team to a victory. After all, he completed 31-of-45 passes for 333 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

But as has been the case his entire career, Manning’s numbers weren’t enough.

Football is a team sport and one play doesn’t settle the outcome of a game. But when Tracy Porter intercepted Manning (who forced a pass into Reggie Wayne in the face of a New Orleans’ blitz) and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth, it sealed the Colts’ fate. In essence, Manning delivered the nail in the coffin for his own team, although it isn’t a surprise that he failed in the postseason.

The Colts have been very average in the postseason with Manning under center. Don’t believe me? Even with their Super Bowl victory four years ago, Indy is just 9-9 in the postseason with Manning as their starter. Considering he’s referred to as one of the best to have ever played the game, is it a stretch to say that the Colts should be better than that? I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong: Peyton Manning is brilliant. He’s always the most prepared player on the field at all times and he’s the definition of being a student of the game. But isn’t this always the same story with him? Aren’t we always talking about his numbers and forgetting the fact that he only has one Super Bowl victory despite countless appearances in the postseason? Something is wrong here.

Manning wasn’t the only reason the Colts lost tonight. Had they recovered the onsides kick to start the first half and scored, they would have stolen all the momentum from the game and probably would have won. Had they sustained the momentum from the first quarter (a quarter in which they absolutely dominated), they probably would have won. Had their defense produced more second half stops, they probably would have won.

But I can’t shake the fact that when the Colts needed him most, Manning threw a pick six to essentially ensure a Saints’ victory. That’s not to take anything away from the Saints because they played great, but if we’re going to talk about Peyton being one of the best ever, then he needs to win this type of game. (After all, Joe Montana was 4-0 in the Super Bowl and Tom Brady was 3-1.)

It wouldn’t surprise me if Manning won another Super Bowl before his career is finished. But until then, let’s slow down with all the “best ever” talk, shall we?

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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