Peyton Manning: Is His Tenure With the Colts Overrated?

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Peyton Manning: Is His Tenure With the Colts Overrated?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Manning's pocket presence is something all young quarterbacks should strive to attain.

Calling Peyton Manning's career with the Colts overrated is like calling Chuck Norris incompetent—you just don't do it.

But yet, NFL.com managed to do so on Monday. The site posted a video, hosted by Dave Dameshek and Adam Rank, that named Peyton Manning the most overrated player in the history of the Colts franchise.

The two gave a few reasons, namely a lack of postseason success and his propensity for interceptions in big moments. Those are somewhat valid points, but holes can be poked in them. The duo also failed to mention what he did do: turn around a franchise and turn several no-name players into stars.

 

The "Manning Shrunk in Big Moments" Argument Doesn't Quite Work

Dave Dameshek mentioned in the video the following statement: "It gets a little bit crazy when people count him [among] or maybe even putting him at the top of all-time quarterbacks." 

Admittedly, Manning is probably not the best quarterback of all time (I hold that Joe Montana is better, but that is a different discussion). However, to think he doesn't belong in the conversation is crazy. Tom Brady, in particular, is one player whose resume trumps Manning's, many people believe, mostly because of his five Super Bowl appearances and three rings in those Super Bowls.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Manning doubters will put a lot of emphasis on this one pick-six to Tracy Porter.

Even the biggest Brady proponents all know about Manning's fantastic regular season exploits. It's the playoffs that really get to him, they say.

According to Pro Football Reference, though, Manning's playoff passer rating (88.4) actually tops Brady's (87.4). Yes, you read that correctly.

What about Brady dominating Manning the head-to-head matchups between the Patriots and Colts, you say? Well, it was Manning against the Patriots' defense, and Brady against the Colts' defense. Were they ever on the field at the same time? No.

How did the Patriots' and Colts' scoring defenses rank during the three years (2003, 2004, 2006) in which they played each other in the postseason?

Patriots: First, second, second

Colts: 20th, 19th, 23rd

So, it is really a wonder how Manning only won one Super Bowl and often lost to the Patriots? Brady was going up against a mediocre Colts defense, while Manning was facing one of the elite units in the NFL.

Admittedly, Manning had some bad moments in the playoffs (the pick-six to Tracy Porter in Super XLIV, and Ty Law's three interceptions of him in the 2003 AFC Championship game), but not nearly as many as people might think.

Bleacher Report writer Scott Kacsmar brings up a couple of key points about Manning that highlight this point: one about his sparse amount of clutch interceptions, and another about his success on game-winning drives.

 

Manning Made the Colts a Winner

The Baltimore Colts won 10 games in 1977. Following that season, the team went through 22 years, a move to the Midwest and nine quarterbacks without getting back to that 10-win mark.

During Manning's 13 seasons with the Colts, he had 11 seasons of at least 10 wins.

Elsa/Getty Images
Could Brandon Stokley have had an 1,000 yard, 10 touchdown season with any other quarterback?

Talk about a major shift.

And keep in mind, the only player who was there with Manning for all 11 of those 10-win seasons was his center, Jeff Saturday. While the center position is important in football, it's certainly not even close to the importance of the quarterback.

Basically, Manning kept winning despite a revolving door of players around him, and made would-be no-name players such as Brandon Stokley, Austin Collie and Jacob Tamme into very solid players.

Don't blame Dameshek and Rank for using the old "postseason failure" argument against Manning. Manning's reputation is that he loses a lot in the postseason, and it's a view that has been held for several years.

They are right about his frequent postseason failure, but is it usually his fault? No.

Is Peyton Manning's tenure with the Colts overrated?

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Unlike basketball and baseball, football players can only have an impact on one side of the ball. Peyton Manning doesn't play cornerback against Brady in a big game to help out the Colts' defense.

Considering that, the "more championship ring" argument loses a lot of weight in the NFL, compared to the other major sports. How many Super Bowls could Peyton have won with the Patriots' defense? We'll never know, but almost certainly more than the one that he currently owns.

When it comes down to it, you shouldn't knock him for not winning lots of big games. Instead, remember him for carrying a very flawed team to the postseason, year after year.

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