Jan 29, 2014; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) during a press conference for Super Bowl XLVIII at Hyatt Regency. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl 48: The Legacy of Peyton Manning

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The “Road to MetLife Stadium” has reached its conclusion. Sunday night, the Denver Broncos will take on the Seattle Seahawks at our beloved MetLife stadium for the right to call themselves the champions. Specifically, they will be the champions of the first, and maybe only, open-aired cold weather Super Bowl.

One name that is on everybody’s lips, and with good reason, is Peyton Manning. Specifically, the talk is about Peyton Manning’s legacy, and whether he needs this one to cement that legacy.

It’s really odd talk if you ask me.

Take a look at the stats that this man has racked up over the years:

Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk Yds NY/A ANY/A Sk% 4QC GWD AV
1998 22 IND QB 18 16 16 3-13-0 326 575 56.7 3739 26 4.5 28 4.9 78 6.5 5.2 11.5 233.7 71.2 22 109 6.08 4.84 3.7 1 1 11
1999* 23 IND QB 18 16 16 13-3-0 331 533 62.1 4135 26 4.9 15 2.8 80 7.8 7.5 12.5 258.4 90.7 14 116 7.35 7.06 2.6 6 7 18
2000* 24 IND QB 18 16 16 10-6-0 357 571 62.5 4413 33 5.8 15 2.6 78 7.7 7.7 12.4 275.8 94.7 20 131 7.25 7.22 3.4 2 3 18
2001 25 IND QB 18 16 16 6-10-0 343 547 62.7 4131 26 4.8 23 4.2 86 7.6 6.6 12.0 258.2 84.1 29 232 6.77 5.88 5.0 15
2002* 26 IND QB 18 16 16 10-6-0 392 591 66.3 4200 27 4.6 19 3.2 69 7.1 6.6 10.7 262.5 88.8 23 145 6.60 6.09 3.7 4 5 15
2003*+ 27 IND QB 18 16 16 12-4-0 379 566 67.0 4267 29 5.1 10 1.8 79 7.5 7.8 11.3 266.7 99.0 18 107 7.12 7.35 3.1 3 4 18
2004*+ 28 IND QB 18 16 16 12-4-0 336 497 67.6 4557 49 9.9 10 2.0 80 9.2 10.2 13.6 284.8 121.1 13 101 8.74 9.78 2.5 2 4 21
2005*+ 29 IND QB 18 16 16 14-2-0 305 453 67.3 3747 28 6.2 10 2.2 80 8.3 8.5 12.3 234.2 104.1 17 81 7.80 8.03 3.6 1 1 18
2006* 30 IND QB 18 16 16 12-4-0 362 557 65.0 4397 31 5.6 9 1.6 68 7.9 8.3 12.1 274.8 101.0 87.22 14 86 7.55 7.93 2.5 4 4 20
2007* 31 IND QB 18 16 16 13-3-0 337 515 65.4 4040 31 6.0 14 2.7 73 7.8 7.8 12.0 252.5 98.0 78.4 21 124 7.31 7.29 3.9 1 2 17
2008*+ 32 IND QB 18 16 16 12-4-0 371 555 66.8 4002 27 4.9 12 2.2 75 7.2 7.2 10.8 250.1 95.0 79.77 14 86 6.88 6.88 2.5 4 6 16
2009*+ 33 IND QB 18 16 16 14-2-0 393 571 68.8 4500 33 5.8 16 2.8 80 7.9 7.8 11.5 281.3 99.9 82.94 10 74 7.62 7.51 1.7 7 7 17
2010* 34 IND QB 18 16 16 10-6-0 450 679 66.3 4700 33 4.9 17 2.5 73 6.9 6.8 10.4 293.8 91.9 68.61 16 91 6.63 6.48 2.3 0 2 16
2011 35 IND 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012*+ 36 DEN QB 18 16 16 13-3-0 400 583 68.6 4659 37 6.3 11 1.9 71 8.0 8.4 11.6 291.2 105.8 84.11 21 137 7.49 7.89 3.5 3 3 15
2013*+ 37 DEN QB 18 16 16 13-3-0 450 659 68.3 5477 55 8.3 10 1.5 78 8.3 9.3 12.2 342.3 115.1 82.93 18 120 7.91 8.87 2.7 2 2 19
Career 240 240 167-73-0 5532 8452 65.5 64964 491 5.8 219 2.6 86 7.7 7.7 11.7 270.7 97.2 270 1740 7.25 7.24 3.1 40 51 254
14 yrs IND 208 208 141-67-0 4682 7210 64.9 54828 399 5.5 198 2.7 86 7.6 7.5 11.7 263.6 94.9 231 1483 7.17 7.04 3.1 35 46 220
2 yrs DEN 32 32 26-6-0 850 1242 68.4 10136 92 7.4 21 1.7 78 8.2 8.9 11.9 316.8 110.8 39 257 7.71 8.41 3.0 5 5 34

 

These are about as dominating as they can be. The fact that he has had two of his most dominating seasons after the age of 35 should be reason enough to cement his legacy at the top. Then, add in the fact that these seasons took place after the age of 35, and after FOUR NECK SURGERIES. It should tell us all we need to know.

But there are still some that question his legacy. This, “He can’t win the big one” argument keeps coming up. Despite the fact that he has a Super Bowl win AND an MVP award, Peyton Manning can’t win the big one, according to some.

Let’s go over why this has nothing to do with his legacy.

As I said, he has won the big one. At the moment, his playoff record is 11-11, including the 2006 Super Bowl win. That actually is a lot of “big ones” that are under Peyton’s belt. It’s really silly to say it isn’t.

Secondly, Peyton’s teams wouldn’t have even BEEN IN a lot of these games if it weren’t for him. Manning’s dominance gave his teams the chance to be in these games in the FIRST PLACE. His legacy is about how he has played FOR HIS CAREER, not just in specific games.

One more issue. Nobody questions the fact that Dan Marino has a brilliant legacy, right? Well, he never won a Super Bowl, for anyone that wasn’t aware. His record in the playoffs? 8-10.

So, he has a worse post season record, and no titles. If that is what we consider elite and part of a legacy, Marino’s is worse, but Peyton is the one that gets questioned.

It makes no sense. Does winning on Sunday end a lot of the questions? Yes. But it shouldn’t come to that. There are no questions about the legacy of Peyton Manning.

One of the best to ever grace a football field.

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