Peyton Manning’s Legacy Does Not Need Second Super Bowl Victory

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL, quarterbacks are remembered for several accolades. Statistics and regular season wins allow them to build a positive reputation, but playoff performance and ultimately Super Bowl victories often mark a great player. Debate takes place on a regular basis when it comes to deciding the best quarterbacks of all time. Of course consideration for different eras should also come into play.

One fact that cannot be debated is that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning represents of the greatest ever at his position. His tremendous arm strength allows him to make every throw, and his ideal build can clearly serve as an advantage for this 6-foot-5 pocket passer. What makes Manning even better are those pre-snap decoys such as the now-famous “Omaha.” These cadences confuse opposing defenses which makes defending him even more challenging.  Sadly there is still criticism from some based on past playoff losses.

Manning’s postseason record of 10-11 is sometimes used to overshadow positives. It should be noted that several of his Indianapolis Colts teams dealt with porous defenses. Throwing 55 touchdowns during 2013 was simply astonishing. Just one Super Bowl victory is very difficult to win. Younger brother Eli Manning has solid ability, but he is not a better QB than Peyton simply because of his two rings. Dan Marino never won the Big Game, but he is still remembered as an elite quarterback. Brett Favre — like Manning — had one ring and is soon going into the Hall of Fame as well. Denver has been football’s best team for much of the season, so not winning the Lombardi Trophy would be disappointing. It can be argued that rival Tom Brady, whom Manning battles again in Sunday’s AFC Championship, gets more praise because of his three titles. Denver’s quarterback will be a legend forever regardless of what happens.

Nick Mamary is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickMamary1, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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  • scotthumble

    Many would say that Steve Jobs’ career and contributions solidify him as a technical innovator for the ages. I say that he would be forgettable if it were not for his commercial success starting with the iPhone. He released many more flops than successes. Either way, his legacy remains simply because it is worthy of a debate. The same applies to Manning. If he raises the Lombardi Trophy again before he retires from the game, his other accomplishments carry more meaning. Because it is worthy of a debate, his legacy will always be there in the hearts and minds of millions of fans with others saying that he fell short. The same arguments will prevail even if he does win it all. But for those who see greatness in him one way or the other, watching him hoist that trophy again will be all too sweet. This is particularly true if he accomplishes that monumental task at the twilight of his career. If he didn’t have a rich legacy, there would be no debate. His legacy is a foregone conclusion but how it ends could be spectacular.