Blog Entry

Peyton politely reminds us not to overreact

Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:10 am
Posted by Will Brinson

It would nearly have been possible over the last three weeks to forget that Peyton Manning is really, really good. I say nearly because if you turned on the television at any point, that idea was ruined because everyone was screaming about one of the worst stretches in Manning's career.

On Thursday, as he led Indianapolis to a 30-28 win, Peyton reminded everyone exactly who he is and what he does.

Lest you forget, some numbers: Manning's 315-yard game puts him in a tie with Dan Marino for the most 300-yard games in NFL history (63), he crossed the 4,000-yard marker (11th time in his career), and his two touchdown passes gave him 25-plus for the 13th straight season.

He should have had another, but Blair White's, ahem, defense in the middle of the third quarter on a third down would-have-been touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne gave the Titans a little bit of new life.

Asked afterwards what he said to the rookie following the play, Manning laughed it off.

"Like I said, y'all have so many cameras with this coverage and I realize you can't do anything without getting filmed," Manning said. "So I asked [NFL Network sideline reporter] Alex [Flanagan] what I said to Blair and she said she couldn't repeat it."

He was a lot more jovial after the game though, especially because a) Indy's back in the playoff race and b) we don't have to spend the next 10 days talking about the decline of Peyton (Manning claims he doesn't read/listen to stuff, but at some point Tom Moore told him to "keep his head up," so he knew things were bad).

"Hey, nobody likes losing three in a row," Manning said when asked if he was frustrated by the losing. "That's been kind of new to us, that's been kind of foreign territory to us, but it's part of football. "Somebody asked 'Are you in a slump?' and I guess maybe I was, but I'd been on kind of an eight-and-a-half-year hitting streak going into that. It kinda came out of nowhere, but I plan on getting out of it."

Indy's still got work to do, of course, but Thursday night's game -- coming off three straight losses on a short week, no less -- was an example of a different-looking Colts team than we'd gotten used to over the past few weeks.

I kind of thought we got back to being that three-dimensional offense again," Manning said afterwards. "Some first-down runs, some play-actions, some drop-back, we had a good mix and I thought that really got things going for us tonight."

Of course, it's easy to run when the Titans are begging you to do it -- Tennessee declined to put anyone in the box, and Javarris James (17 carries, 49 rushing yards) and Donald Brown (15 carries, 38 yards) were able to establish something resembling a mediocre running game, which is more than you can say for the Colts over the past few weeks.

And aside from White's blunder, the Colts did what they've been doing all season, which is get locked in once they find the red zone and convert drives into touchdowns.

"I just thought we had that good flow," Manning said. "We stayed out of the third and long for the most part. We've been getting in some third and longs, and those are hard to overcome.

"We've been really good in the red zone -- I think we are No. 1 in the red zone, we just haven't been getting down there much. As you can see, it's taken us long drives to get down there, but once we get down there, we get touchdowns."

There are still plenty of issues for Indianapolis to work out, especially on the defensive end. Allowing Kerry Collins to go 28/39 for 244 yards and three touchdowns (even if it some of it was in junk time) and giving up 100 yards to a previously stone-cold CJ2K is indicative of issues that could come into play during the next three weeks as the Colts try and walk down Jacksonville in the AFC South.

They're dealing with injuries too, but at least things are all good on the locker room/team chemistry front.

"If you had told me [White, Tamme, James, etc] were gonna be playing at the beginning of the season, I probably would have said that's not good for us," Manning said when asked who was to blame for the team's losing streak and his rash of picks. "But these guys are learning, and it's my job -- and our job -- to help them. So I think as a veteran, it doesn't do any good to blame anybody else and it's really not about who's fault it is. It's about how you handle it and how you fix it."

And that's the thing -- you can take away Joseph Addai, and you can take away Dallas Clark, and you can take away Bob Sanders (although he hasn't really been there since he signed his contract anyway), and you can take away Austin Collie, and as long as you don't take away Peyton Manning, the Colts are going to have a chance at winning week-in and week-out.

That doesn't make him the 2010 MVP (although you have to imagine he heard everyone crowing about Tom Brady's performance Monday and it boosting him to top dog status), but it does make him, well, Peyton Manning.

Which is something that a lot of people foolishly forgot for the last three weeks.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:49 pm

Peyton politely reminds us not to overreact

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:47 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:46 am

Peyton politely reminds us not to overreact

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Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: December 10, 2010 10:56 am

Yet you still overreact!

Yes, he reminds us not to overreact. A lousy season and he is terrible, but saying that he is still really good after a 30-28 win against a team in peril. To say he is good again after one win is an overreaction. Manning has shown one thing through his career, and that is inconsistency. He has consistently won during the season, but in crucial games, he plays horribly. The only reason he won a super bowl was because the bears were so bad. He had a mediocre game. Unlike some of the greats, when Manning is in a crucial situation, he doesn't calm down, he speeds up. He gets nervous, his feet jump around, and he forces throws. It is a good thing that he has had great receivers on his team over the years. And don't discount the ones he has now, they aren't household names but neither was Reggie Wayne a few years ago. Collie, White, and Gonzales are underrated because Manning gets all the credit for their success. Bull.
The franchise may or may not be on a downturn. They are at least having a bad year, and it isn't just because of injury. The AFC South hasn't improved. The Jags? Really? The only team that looked like it was for real was Tennessee before Vince Young got boo'ed one game and went home crying. He is too emotionally fragile to be a quarterback. The Texans? They had a chance, they always do, and they always blow it.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 10:48 am

Peyton politely reminds us not to overreact

Who in the press overreacted?  You were still kissing his butt (as always) and telling us he is god.  I kind of think you'd want to hand the MVP award to him if he went 5-11 and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. 

The fact is, he returned to his weak division and did what any decent quarterback with Reggie Wayne and Garcon would do.  We all know, if he were playing at Pit, Bal, NE, NYJ, Chi, SD etc. it would have been another loss and another multiple iterception game.

I wish the press would report on his advantages: weak division that doesn't pass defend well; home games in a dome and away games mostly in warm weather; a career where he has been surrounded by guys like Harrison, Wayne, and Clark; a weak D that makes him throw the ball constantly (and thus add to yards).  And they should focus on Manning's playoff/bog game mediocrity and interceptions.  Instead of saying: "look over 300 yards and 3 TD's against teams like the Texans and Titans, he is obviously the greatest"

If Brady had three bad games in a row and then lit up the Lions or the Bills, the press would not let him off the hook.  Yet Manning continues to beat up his weak division while looking bad against quality opponents and the press is ready to give him the MVP back (Manning still needs to give Brees and Warner back their MVPs).

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2010 4:23 am

Peyton politely reminds us not to overreact

Don't knock Blair White too much.  Without two absolutely sensational catches by him, Peyton Manning would not even have come close to pulling out the game against the Patriots.  The score was 31-14 after three quarters.  White made two spectacular catches in the end zone that kept the Colts in the game until James Sanders intercepted one of Manning's passes with time running out.

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