Peyton Manning: What’s His Legacy?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are a better team with Peyton Manning at quarterback; few can argue that unless your name is Peter Tebow. He is the brother of Tim Tebow and made news following the game with this Tweet. “Am I the only happy person in Denver right now?” It was an obvious shot at Manning and the Broncos; so much for the Tebow family showing class. Tebow’s Tweet, notwithstanding, the question has to be asked; can Manning be considered one of the greats of all-time with his playoff record?

With the loss to the Baltimore Ravens; Manning is now 9-11 in the playoffs and has often been beaten by inferior teams. Give the Ravens credit; they played out of their minds and the defense let the Broncos down, but Manning was not good when he had to be. There were the three turnovers including the interception in overtime that all but ended the Broncos season. That was a rookie mistake and Manning made it at the worst possible time. There was another interception, granted it was tipped, that was returned for a touchdown in the first-quarter. Throw in a fumble by Manning that led to a game-tying touchdown for the Ravens, and these questions must be asked.

Manning and the Indianapolis Colts lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in January of 2006 when they were the number one seed, and a big favorite to win the Super Bowl. Manning was average at best in that game and made some key mistakes that led to the upset loss. He has won a Super Bowl and is probably the best regular season quarterback of all-time, but comparing him to the all-time greats is foolish.

The good news for Manning, the Broncos and their fans is that Manning probably has two or three seasons left to change that legacy. Manning’s numbers versus the Ravens, outside of the turnovers, were not terrible and he made some great throws. However there were times when Manning and the offense could have salted the game away and they couldn’t do it. Manning also got the ball twice in overtime and could do nothing with it; all the Broncos needed was a field-goal to win the game and the offense never even crossed to 50 yard-line.

It’s too early to declare what Manning’s legacy is but this much is true; he must improve his playoff record. Manning is a first-ballot Hall of Famer but, as of now, he cannot be considered one of the best of all-time.

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