If the Colts have taught us anything so far this year, it’s that Peyton Manning just might be even more of an asset to his team than we already thought, and even though chances seem slim that the quarterback suits up at all this season, the leadership he provides for Indianapolis is more evident this year than it’s ever been before, highlighted exponentially merely by his absence.
The Colts seem lost this season without No. 18—that’s already clear only one game in—and so far the only discernible difference between this year’s team and the ones that went 10-6 last season and 14-2 the year before is Manning himself.
That’s the special kind of player Manning is, and that’s the special kind of leadership he provides for his team.
Put Manning in this lineup and the Colts are an immediate championship contender. Keep him off and they’re lucky if they win a single game.
Manning wills an offense to victory. He decides what plays they run, he executes those plays with remarkable efficiency and when his team needs a miracle to even have a chance to win, he turns sacks into touchdowns like water to wine.
Manning is the most respected player on the field in any game he plays, and the confidence others have in him (both his teammates and his opponents) is unmatched.
He’s the epitome of leadership, and if we knew for certain he’d be taking the field again this season, he’d be at the very top of this list.