Peyton Manning: The NFL's Bully

Roger HarfordCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2009

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 29:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts calls out the play from the line of scrimmage against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 29, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

After yet another fourth-quarter comeback against the Texans on Sunday, Peyton Manning is just further securing his legacy. Not as the greatest quarterback ever, but as the league bully.

It seems like Peyton enjoys seeing other teams take big leads against him, only to crush their hopes as he leads the Colts on a game-winning touchdown drive.

Would any of us be surprised to see postgame pictures of Peyton putting Tom Brady in a headlock with his underwear pulled up over his head? Or putting Andre Johnson in a full nelson and taking his lunch money?

What will Peyton do for an encore this week? Beat the Titans, then pull down Chris Johnson's pants in front of the whole stadium?

Seriously though, has any athlete ever been such a sure bet to succeed?

In the '90s, if the Bulls were down by 10 with two minutes to go, you thought, "Well, they got Jordan, so they can still do this."

In the '80s, if the Oilers were down by two with a minute to go you thought, "Gretzky could still pull a miracle."

But if the Colts have the ball down by six with a minute to go, the thought isn't "maybe." The thought is, "This game is over; Colts win." No one else has ever been such a sure thing.

Mariano Rivera is a sure thing, but he only comes in when the Yankees are already ahead. If you have a six-point lead in the last minute, you should be very confident you will win.

But against Manning, you really know there is no hope. He will beat you.

Say what you will about Brady and Brees; Peyton Manning is the NFL's best quarterback. He makes throws that no one else can and makes it look easy. There really is no throw Peyton can't make.

He pushes the rest of the league around and demoralizes them for fun. He really is in a league of his own. Thinking about Peyton as a kid leaves me with just one thought: poor Eli.