200 Miles From the Citi

February 9, 2010 7:45 AM

Peyton's Place

Manning_Loses_SB.JPGI'm well aware I'm not the first person to use that clever little headline...or to write about this subject matter.

But I feel like I need to weigh in.

On Sunday, waiting on a Colts win, I was ready to declare Peyton Manning the best quarterback ever.

Obviously, that's changed somewhat.

I need to start with letting you know where I stand on Peyton Manning.

I don't love him.  But I also don't hate him.

I'm a rare breed who falls somewhere in between on Manning - because he is really the type of player who draws out extreme responses of either love or hate.

Just to figure out further where I fall here - I hated Dan Marino as a player.  Probably because the Jets played him twice a year (and because he killed them quite a bit).  I hated the way he yelled at his receivers, the refs...everything.

I feel the same way about Manning, but only when he plays the Jets.  Most other times, I find myself rooting for him.  (This might change if he continues to be a thorn in Rex Ryan's and/or the Jets' sides.)

Can't really explain it...not really here to explain it...just stating how I feel.

So I was pretty happy to declare Manning the best quarterback of all time.

Except he can't be.

Not with his lack of success in big games.

The funny thing is, I thought Manning had shed that "big game" problem.

He seemed to have figured out the Patriots, he had one Super Bowl already under his belt...but let's face it - Sunday night he cost his team the game.

He panicked and threw an interception in a bad spot that ended up going the other way for six.

The best quarterback of all-time doesn't do that.

Now, making it to the Super Bowl twice is a great accomplishment.  But winning it twice is better.

I think Peyton Manning is still among the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game...He's possibly the best game-managing quarterback, the best at making adjustments and play calls within a game.

But he's not a great "Big Game" quarterback.

Tom Brady is a Big Game quarterback.  Joe Montana is a Big Game quarterback.  Troy Aikman is a Big Game quarterback.  Heck, Ben Roethlisberger is a Big Game quarterback.

As for Peyton Manning, he's still a little hit-or-miss in the Big Games.  He could still change that reputation.  But on Sunday night, he took a step backwards in that department, rather than forwards.

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