Finally, a realistic take on Manning, after all this "greatest ever" talk. You know, it wasn't all that long ago that we were talking about the Great Peyton Manning who can never win a big game. Mr. Regular Season, but not playoff, MVP.
Look, I always think the QB gets too much credit for the W's, and too much blame for the losses, despite the focal point nature of the position in the NFL. And maybe Manning used to personify that unfairness through his career. He certainly is bearing too much of it for the SuperBowl loss, as he put many key passes right where they needed to be, only his receivers failed or did not step up to make the plays for the team.
But, facts are facts: Manning is a very mediocre 9-9 in the playoffs while often playing on very good teams in those playoffs. It's not like he's limping in as a wildcard of 9-7 or 8-8 all the time. Hell, he hasn't had a single digit win team in who knows how long. His TD/ Int/ rating numbers all disappoint over his playoff career.
For some QB's (like Favre), critics point to those kind of numbers as proof that the player is NOT the greatest. What's amazing is what one SuperBowl can do, despite Manning's good performance, to thread a whole, but not so new, look at his career.
Yes, Manning finally got over the hump, and to a large degree that is the name of the game, and it did silence so many of the doubters to his "all time" status. But here he is, 1-1 in the big one, 9-9 in the playoffs (on very good teams). It's not exactly the resume of the greatest ever, now is it?