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NFL Denver Broncos

2014 AFC Championship: Peyton Manning Convincingly Shuts the Mouths of Critics

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

All of this past week, Peyton Manning has heard plenty of reasons why he can’t win in the postseason. He’s heard all week long about how Tom Brady has simply been superior in all aspects of playoff football. Sunday, the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots squared off for the 2014 AFC Championship and Manning had the chance to give his critics a reason to eat their words.

In a nutshell, that’s exactly what he did.

From the get-go, Manning was surgical. In the first half, he piled on 214 passing yards with a touchdown. Manning completed twice as many passes as Brady did in the first two quarters, showing incredible command of an offense that dominated time of possession throughout the entire game.

Entering the third quarter, Manning continued a streak he had began in the second quarter en route to 12 straight completions. After punting on their first possession, Denver went on to score on every single possession for the rest of the game until they finally ran out the clock in the fourth quarter to end it. He completely dominated the Patriots’ defense on this day — in every way possible.

While Manning still doesn’t boast a winning record in the playoffs throughout his career, he sent a strong message to his critics that came out to bark all last week. In his third Super Bowl appearance now, Manning has a chance to cement himself as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time — both in the regular and postseason. If he brings home a second ring, there is no arguing that Manning goes down as one of the best.

There are too many records in his back pocket over the regular seasons he’s played. He’s been too good for too long not to be recognized as one of the best — it’s just not an argument. If he captures a second Super Bowl title, Manning will have caught up to Brady in the discussion for the greatest of all-time. Manning owns more records overall, and two rings will further solidify his greatness for the rest of time.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.