When Peyton threw the pick-six to Tracy Porter, not only did he fail on his quest for being the best QB of all-time, he also ended the Brady-Manning debate. For good.
Colts fans can throw out meaningless regular season numbers and inflated stats, but what they can't deny are the facts.
16 of 27, 86.2 QB rating, 145 yards, a touchdown and no picks, game-winning drive.
32 of 48 (Superbowl record) three touchdowns, 100.5 QB rating, 326 yards, a pick, and a game-winning drive.
23 of 33, 236 yards, two TD's and no picks.
29 of 48, 266 yards, one TD, a QB rating of 86.5, and once again, no picks.
25 of 38, 247 yards, one touchdown, a pick, a lost fumble, not to mention that the game was gift wrapped by Rex Grossman's stat line - 20 of 28, 165 yards, two picks, two lost fumbles, and a TD. It's safe to say that the Bears beat the Bears in this one.
Nobody could've written it better, Peyton finally had the chance to silence his doubters down by seven and the ball at the 10, his one shot. Rather than stepping up where the best (Joe Montana, John Elway, Tom Brady) do, he throws the ball right into Tracy Porter's hands. Here's his stat line by the way. 25 of 38, 247 yards, a TD, and a very-important pick.
When you compare the two, there's really no comparison. Unless you're like Bill Polian and think that the regular season is better than the post-season that is. Brady's 14-4 in playoff games, while Manning is 9-9. Brady's Superbowl Passing TD-to-interception ratio is 7-1, while Manning's is 2-2. Wow, the little bugger has only been in half the Superbowls that Tom's been in but has managed to throw more interceptions, a true model of excellence and grace in the clutch right?
Sadly enough for Indy, Drew Brees and Sean Peyton are not Rex Grossman and Lovie Smith, and Peyton and the Colts found that out the hard way. It's tough to say the Saints had a very good defense, after all they were 26th in the league in pass-defense. But like a few years back, Peyton sat on the bench, waited for it to rain and for Brees to give this game to him, but he didn't. For the first time the media-praised three-time regular season MVP had to rise to the occasion on the biggest stage, and there is no argument to be made here, he failed.
There is one guy Peyton remained in contention with last night though, Brett Favre for biggest choker in the clutch. Manning's decision to throw to Tracy Porter got a chuckle out of old Favre and made him remember the good 'ol days.
The good 'ol days, right Colts fans? The days where you could say that Peyton will get his rings, and finish with more than Brady, and be remembered as the GOAT. At the age of 33, with one Superbowl, that seems unlikely. While you can still say that he will be back, that's what you said last year, and the year before. He did get back, and he blew it.
Ah, the good old days, this rivalry is over, Brady is better than Manning, he steps up when Peyton folds. You're telling me that if Tom had as much time as Peyton did today that the Pats wouldn't have went 19-0? Give me a break. It was the first game all season where Peyton felt any pressure at all from the defensive line and he couldn't handle it.
My biggest question is, who's he going to throw under the bus now? Stover, for missing a 50-something yard field goal? His line for only giving him 10 seconds to throw every down? How about Pierre Garcon for dropping one pass?
Now is the moment we never thought would come. Peyton has to accept the fact that he is the one who failed today, it is more-than-likely that he called the play that resulted in a pick, so don't blame Tom Moore, this one's on you. Also interesting storyline, could Peyton possibly be leaving, "the Colts" as he referred to them? Pretty strange that he had to refer to the team he's been playing for for almost 12 years now in the third-person. Whether he will or will not be back next year remains to be seen.
But until then Peyton, you'll have to rot in an unfamiliar place, under the bus.