Just a few weeks into life without Dallas Clark, Peyton Manning may have already found his new best friend in tight end Jacob Tamme. While some are declaring Tamme to be the next Brent Celek, that tight end buried on the depth chart just waiting for a chance, he's just providing even more evidence that Manning makes the man.
In a league that includes the likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, you'd be hard pressed to find a player that means more to his team that Peyton Manning. It's almost as if you could pull a vendor out of the stands, throw him on the field, and Manning will throw the ball to him.
Over the years, Manning has made guys like Brandon Stokely, Terence Wilkins, and Aaron Moorehead look good, none of whom went on to make a substantial impact anywhere else. Now it looks as if Tamme and receiver Blair White are the latest to join that group in Indy.
Tamme, a fourth round pick out of Kentucky, and White, an undrafted free agent from Michigan State, have stepped in the roles left by Clark, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez, which were vacated when each went down with a different injury.
Tamme has 17 receptions and a pair of scores in his first two games of action, and White has seen time in five games, catching a touchdown pass in his first game in Denver.
With a wide receiving corps full of misfits, outside of Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon, Manning is still on track to be considered for another MVP award. He's on pace for another 4,000 yard season through he air, and has already tossed 16 touchdowns, to just two interceptions.
Manning's impact may have been more evident than ever against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Down to a contending Eagles team, Manning put the Colts in a position to win, even when surrounded by backups. If not for his kryponite, Asante Samuel, the Colts may have come out of Philly with a W.
It's truly remarkable what Manning has managed to do with so little to throw the ball to. In light of all their injuries, he has placed the team squarely upon his shoulders and is performing in that same brain before brawn style that has already earned him a spot among the greats, even if he's throwing to the hot dog vendor from Section 119.