Manning cements legacy in playoff loss to Ravens

1/14/13 in NFL   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) reacts after the AFC divisional round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field.  The Ravens won 38-35 in double overtime.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY SportsIt’s tough to win games in the NFL.  Ask anyone who plays in the league.  Playoff games are even tougher to win.  Ask Peyton Manning. 
 
Unfortunately, Manning was reminded of exactly this fact in a 35-38 double overtime loss to Ray Lewis’ Ravens. 
 
While Manning will still go down as one of the all-time great quarterbacks in the NFL, he will also go down as the guy who never quite had that same magic when it came to the playoffs.  After this latest playoff loss to the Ravens, Manning’s career record in the playoffs stands at a very mediocre 9-11. 
 
Sure, many quarterbacks would love to have that record.  After all, to have played in twenty playoff games is a sign of success.  But this was a guy who led his team (the Colts) to more regular season victories than any other team in the NFL in the first decade of the 2000s (2000-2009).  In the midst of this run, he piled on the regular season awards and accolades as well. 
 
But all of the regular season success in the world doesn’t mean anything when the playoffs arrive.  And no one knows this better than Manning, who has been “one and done” from the playoffs a staggering 8 times out of the twelve years he made the playoffs.  Incredibly, in the five years in which Manning has had a first-round bye, he has only managed to win one of those matchups (including this weekend’s loss.) 
 
To see those numbers in print is absolutely mind-boggling.  As a long-time Manning/Colts fan, I’ve known that they weren’t pretty, but I’ve never had to write them down.  It hurts.
 
It’s not all bad.  Manning does have one super bowl victory to his credit, a win over the Chicago Bears in 2006.  He also had another super bowl appearance which resulted in a loss to the New Orleans Saints in 2009 (a loss that was sealed with a Manning pick-six by the Saints’ Tracy Porter). 
 
Simply stepping onto a football field after four neck surgeries that had kept him sidelined for over a year was an incredible feat.  To come back and play at the level he did was nothing short of extraordinary.  The momentum and hype of it all built to a feverish pitch by the end of the season.  Super Bowl or bust. 
 
Many were saying that the only team with a shot at slowing down the Manning-led Broncos would be the Patriots.  This was vintage Manning.  Perhaps better than vintage Peyton (is that even possible?!).  And now with a team that had a legitimate defense – something Peyton often lacked in Indy – many were already playing the “look at what would have happened if those Colts’ teams in Indy had a defense” game. 
 
But unfortunately for Manning, this was not the case.  Manning had three turnovers in a loss to what many believed was a much inferior Baltimore squad.  Two interceptions and a lost fumble.  One of the interceptions was a pick-six near the beginning of the game (albeit from a fairly obvious missed pass interference call), and the second came in overtime that led to the Ravens kicking the game-winning field goal a few plays later. 
 
Moreover, of the 35 points that the Broncos posted, 14 of those came from special teams (a punt return touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown).  That should have been icing on the cake.  Bonus points that none of us thought the Broncos would even need in this game. 
 
Instead it was another one and done year in the playoffs for Manning.  He proved to us all that he could return to the brilliant pre-neck surgery Peyton.  Unfortunately, that is the same Peyton who has always struggled in the playoffs.  In this comeback year, Manning has thus cemented his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play the game – in the regular season. 
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1/17/13   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

bryanpaynter wrote:
Don't fall into the trap - analyzing the player by the TEAM results is often, very OFTEN, wrong.

Peyton Manning's career, regular season and playoffs, has been nothing but excellent. EXCELLENT. Not less than any other QB. Montana. Brady. Bradshaw. (or any QB regarded highly because of TEAM accomplishments). He is the cream of the crop when discussing QBs and must be mentioned alongside any others. And i am not a Colts/Broncos or Peyton fan.

NFL Football is entirely a team sport. Any one player can only add so much to a team. The QB is certainly an integral position - no team wins with a BAD QB (cough cough Trent Dilfer/Ravens). But the QB is still only one piece of the 11 man HALF of the team. O-line sucks - QB gets no time - QB has less margin for error. No RBs worth anything...again, QB has a more difficult task to be effective. Receivers are unreliable - and again the QB has less margin for error. And to me in Peyton Manning's case - if the QB's defensive HALF of the team is less than Playoff calibre - the QB has less margin for error.

So you have to judge that. Peyton led teams did well in the Reg Season because most of the teams faced are not PLAYOFF teams. And then going .500 against playoff calibre teams gets you a very good Reg season record. However, going around .500 in the playoffs...that gets you out of the playoffs almost every time. And really, going against HOT playoff teams - you will often be 1 and done.

So step back from your methods - look from a different angle and you will see that Peyton Manning is all that you desire him to be - EXCELLENT. (and truly, much better than his very inconsistent brother - who won both championships via a defense that game him EVERY chance to win...)

His interception didn't LOSE that game. No more than any dropped passed or dropped interception or missed tackle or whatever...

If i had one game to win and a defense like the Patriots or the Giants or the Ravens, i would be absolutely happy to choose Manning over Brady or Eli....

Here's the thing - I don't disagree with you.  I am a huge Colts/Manning fan and have been so for a long time (since before Manning arrived).

I agree that Manning is nothing short of excellent.  What he did with the Colts was nothing short of phenomenal.  I doubt any other quarterback could have done what he did.  He made a lot of players look really really good. 

I've had the argument with others numerous times about Brady (and even Montana to an extent) being sytem quarterbacks.  They look great (and are - I don't deny that) because they benefit from a great system - schemes, personnel, defense, coaching, etc. I don't think Peyton had quite the same benefit that they did.

But again, to overlook his playoff performances and record isn't fair either.  Peyton is overall an excellent quaterback - one of the all-time greats.  In the regular season, I don't think there's a blemish.  But it's the post-season why he is not considered by all to be the best ever. 

His playoff record is mediocre.  His playoff performances are mediocre (by his standards).  Most of the time, he's one and done. 

Again, I love Peyton, I thank him for a lot of great years (2 super bowl appearances and 1 win), and I will continue to root for him.  But I also realize that his playoff record (and his performances) have their own stories to tell.  No matter how you slice it, he doesn't perform as well in the playoffs as he does in the regular season (" he will also go down as the guy who never quite had that same magic when it came to the playoffs"). 

I was hoping that his performance with the Broncos would allow him to shirk that label...

1/17/13   |   bryanpaynter

Don't fall into the trap - analyzing the player by the TEAM results is often, very OFTEN, wrong.

Peyton Manning's career, regular season and playoffs, has been nothing but excellent. EXCELLENT. Not less than any other QB. Montana. Brady. Bradshaw. (or any QB regarded highly because of TEAM accomplishments). He is the cream of the crop when discussing QBs and must be mentioned alongside any others. And i am not a Colts/Broncos or Peyton fan.

NFL Football is entirely a team sport. Any one player can only add so much to a team. The QB is certainly an integral position - no team wins with a BAD QB (cough cough Trent Dilfer/Ravens). But the QB is still only one piece of the 11 man HALF of the team. O-line sucks - QB gets no time - QB has less margin for error. No RBs worth anything...again, QB has a more difficult task to be effective. Receivers are unreliable - and again the QB has less margin for error. And to me in Peyton Manning's case - if the QB's defensive HALF of the team is less than Playoff calibre - the QB has less margin for error.

So you have to judge that. Peyton led teams did well in the Reg Season because most of the teams faced are not PLAYOFF teams. And then going .500 against playoff calibre teams gets you a very good Reg season record. However, going around .500 in the playoffs...that gets you out of the playoffs almost every time. And really, going against HOT playoff teams - you will often be 1 and done.

So step back from your methods - look from a different angle and you will see that Peyton Manning is all that you desire him to be - EXCELLENT. (and truly, much better than his very inconsistent brother - who won both championships via a defense that game him EVERY chance to win...)

His interception didn't LOSE that game. No more than any dropped passed or dropped interception or missed tackle or whatever...

If i had one game to win and a defense like the Patriots or the Giants or the Ravens, i would be absolutely happy to choose Manning over Brady or Eli....

1/15/13   |   Scott   |   53963 respect

Trokspot wrote:
True - this game was a bit of blip on an otherwise pretty solid Denver defense.  That said, two things remain:

1. Manning was unable to outscore an aging and injured Ravens defense.  In fact, 2 of the Broncos TDs had nothing to do with him (special teams). 

2.  8 out of 12 years are "one and dones" for Manning.  And 4 out of 5 years where he got a bye were one and dones.  It's hard to overlook that.

Trust me, I'm a big-time Colts and Manning fan.  I was ecstatic that I got to root for him for so long (including bringing one super bowl championship) and I was/am rooting for him to get 1-2 more.  It was a bit painful to write this article, but it's hard to ignore.

Like I said, Manning certainly deserves his fair share of criticism for his postseason resume but has the Broncos defense not given up a 70 yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds left, would we still be having this conversation?

1/14/13   |   lenniespicer

To Ray Lewis:
Keep on doing What you do to inspire those coming behind you. God has spoken and there will never be anyone just like you. No duplicate, You are a king in many eyes. And those who want to follow in your foot steps see you... No less. Go on it's not over you were created to be the best. Everyone will not be happy with your status.(Just remember your a king) As long as you know who you are. It really does'nt matter. So go on do what kings do. This year was choosen especially for you.

Karen Brightful Baltimore City

1/14/13   |   mandmthomas   |   126 respect

Scott wrote:
Any defense that allows the offensively inconsistent Baltimore Ravens almost 500 yards of offense is hardly legitimate.  Manning will get roasted by many for his performance but the defense deserves their fair share of blame for this loss as well

first off thats the best ravens defense looked all year and they look pretty unstoppable to me they might be getting old but they did not look hurt

1/14/13   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

Scott wrote:
Any defense that allows the offensively inconsistent Baltimore Ravens almost 500 yards of offense is hardly legitimate.  Manning will get roasted by many for his performance but the defense deserves their fair share of blame for this loss as well

True - this game was a bit of blip on an otherwise pretty solid Denver defense.  That said, two things remain:

1. Manning was unable to outscore an aging and injured Ravens defense.  In fact, 2 of the Broncos TDs had nothing to do with him (special teams). 

2.  8 out of 12 years are "one and dones" for Manning.  And 4 out of 5 years where he got a bye were one and dones.  It's hard to overlook that.

Trust me, I'm a big-time Colts and Manning fan.  I was ecstatic that I got to root for him for so long (including bringing one super bowl championship) and I was/am rooting for him to get 1-2 more.  It was a bit painful to write this article, but it's hard to ignore.

1/14/13   |   Scott   |   53963 respect

Any defense that allows the offensively inconsistent Baltimore Ravens almost 500 yards of offense is hardly legitimate.  Manning will get roasted by many for his performance but the defense deserves their fair share of blame for this loss as well

1/14/13   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

GeorgeMon wrote:
Good read-- I guess Eli got all of the clutch gene in the family!

Thanks... As much as it hurt to write it, it had to be said.

1/14/13   |   GeorgeMon   |   159 respect

Good read-- I guess Eli got all of the clutch gene in the family!