A Dan Marino for Our Time
Peyton Manning is quite possibly the greatest choke artist in the history of professional football. For 16 weeks of regular season games, he looks unstoppable. He puts up ridiculous numbers, scorches every team he faces, and is a fantasy league king-maker.
Come playoff time, however, Manning is completely worthless. I mean seriously, has there ever been a QB that has looked so much better than everyone else during the regular season and so pedestrian during the playoffs. Even the Dan Marino comparison is kind of unfair b/c Marino always played well in the playoffs but just couldn't get it done in the Big One.
Courtesy of the world's greatest sportswriter, Bill Simmons, comes this tidbit of info on Peyton:
Manning lost only five games in Isidore Newman High in New Orleans, but three of those losses came in the state playoffs. He did not win a state championship. He lost only six games at Tennessee, but famously three of those losses were to Florida, and the Volunteers did not win the national championship until after he left.Furthermore, since entering the NFL, Manning's record as a starter in the regular season is 80-48. His record in the playoffs is 3-6.
Now, I admit that I've never been a Manning fan, but even the most die-hard Manning booster must admit that the guy has consistently had trouble winning the big game. Given that this year's Colts team was the best they've ever had, if Manning ever does manage to win a Super Bowl, I'll be surprised.
As an aside, I'll be rooting for Pittsburgh and Carolina this weekend. I like Bill Cowher to finally earn his due respect and become a Super Bowl winning coach while also sending Jerome Bettis' career out on a high note.