Steady or Not? Peyton Manning Costs the Colts Ring Number Three

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts reacts after a play against the New Orleans Saints during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Finally, it's over.  No more analyzing, no more questioning, and more importantly, no more Super Bowl talk.

Yes, the New Orleans Saints have won Super Bowl XLIV and have sent Bourbon Street into a frenzy, as they delivered their once-meaningless and poverty-stricken city a Super Bowl win that means more than just a winning franchise.

Peyton Manning, on the other hand,...well, he has only himself to blame. Leading up to Sunday, people were caught up in the pre-game glitz and glamour of commercials, food, music, and the overall positive feeling of a Sunday off to watch the greatest game in the world.

One thing fans didn't take into account, is the possibility that Peyton Manning may not be able to get the job done against the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints. 

Why would they, though?  He's the most consistent quarterback in the game today; why would anyone expect anything different?

Well the answer is, I guess no one did.  Unfortunately for Indianapolis fans, the question proved to be a worthy one.  The game began in its usual fashion: the anthem followed by a few last-minute picks by the commentators and then the opening kickoff.

Once New Orleans stalled on their first drive and gifted the ball to the Colts' offense, the offensive game plan had kicked into fifth gear as Peyton Manning drove the Colts downfield. 

Things were clicking, Joseph Addai was running well and Jim Caldwell looked calm and collected on the sidelines as if to say, "I don't have a care in the world."

Well that care became a worry, and that don't became a do.  Basically to sum it up for you, Peyton Manning got mad. 

Dropped passes began to occur thanks to Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie, and perfect passes went astray as the Indianapolis offense slipped back into an almost Tony Romo Cowboy like looking team.

Normally as cool as a cucumber, Manning became aggressive both on the field and off.  And rather than slapping his teammates' behind and saying "We'll get em' next time," an icy glare was the fate that nervous Colts receivers received.

Body language was the key, and it was something Manning lacked.  Dare I say it, he almost mimicked his brother Eli and more than once threw in the odd "Aww shucks" expression after an incomplete series.

The blame is to go all around though, and after talking to many Colts fans already, the terms "fire Jim Caldwell" have already arisen. 

Still, there is a lot to build from on this loss, and although the Top 10 quarterback list is still missing Peyton Manning, the game would not be the same without No. 18.

Give him time, he'll get No. 2, but he arguably cost the Colts big time in this game.  As for New Orleans, well, all I have to say is good on them.  A well-deserved victory and a great comeback in the end.