Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning (Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall)

I had tuned out Monday Night football this evening.  What originally sounded like a great match-up between the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos and Philip River’s San Diego Chargers quickly feel sour in the first half.  I must admit, I didn’t pay much attention to the game.  I had it on in my office as I caught up on some work.  The score at the end of the first half was 24-0 in favor of the Chargers.  Plus, the Chargers were the home team so the second half wasn’t something I was looking forward to watching.

Peyton Manning orchestrates second half come from behind victory.

I must also admit… I’m not a big Peyton Manning fan.  I attribute this to my own bias.  I’m a huge Brett Favre fan.  Consequently, anything positive toward Peyton Manning or Tom Brady for that matter just seemed to detract from what I believe should be Favre’s legacy.  So, I’ve never been totally objective toward Peyton Manning’s accomplishments.

His performance this evening changed all that.  I believe I just witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and Peyton Manning was the leader of this historic event.  I may be right or I might be wrong… check out what NFL.com considers the Greatest Comebacks in NFL History and judge for yourself.

Grant it, Favre is now retired and his records will stand on their own until eventually broken… that’s what records are for… right?  And, Brett will eventually be glorified in Green Bay by having his Number 4 Jersey hanging alongside the other five Packers given that honor.

But, Peyton Manning’s performance this evening out-shined any quarterback performance I’ve ever witnessed.  He just seemed to will his team to victory through his leadership.  This was a week where we witnessed some great performances.  The New York Giants dominated the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco.  Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers were near perfect in their huge win against the previously undefeated Houston Texans.

Yet, Peyton Manning’s comeback victory this evening was the greatest achievement of them all.  I fall into the camp of believers that think that Manning’s physical performance has diminished.  While he never had the rifle arm of Brett Favre or John Elway and doesn’t throw the perfect spiral of a Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers, he doesn’t need to.  And, perhaps he can’t make the throws he used to, but this is a guy coming back from an injury that has retired a lot of others.  Maybe some of his old physical capabilities will come back, but maybe they won’t.  Personally, I don’t think it really matters; not after what I witnessed tonight in the second half of this game.

Manning just kept throwing it up and “dropping it into the bucket” of his receivers.  He looked like George Patton leading his 3rd Army in WWII.  OK… I’m exaggerating a bit, but it was clear to me that Peyton led his Denver Bronco football team to a huge victory this evening.

 

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