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Not playoff perfect? He’s still the man


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Peyton Manning has been a great quarterback for a long time, but it might be important that the media take a close look at one of his shortcomings as we head into the Super Bowl.

He hasn’t won any NFL games on Tuesdays.

He is a Tuesday choke.

Are you laughing?

You should be. This picking at one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game, which reached a fever pitch at the end of the regular season, makes me ill.

If the Denver Broncos had lost in the first round of the playoffs this season, Manning still should be considered one of the best NFL quarterbacks ever and perhaps the best by the time he is done.

Unfortunately, we are subjected to drivel about Manning choking in the playoffs because his record isn’t perfect. Please, stop.

I would imagine there will be a certain camp that will rip him apart if the Broncos don’t win it all.

I guess it’s just the nature of the media beast.

People have forgotten that Manning led his team to the go-ahead touchdown against the Ravens in the playoffs last year before his defense did a meltdown.

A year later, that loss was viewed as a Manning choke job, at least by some.

It’s also Manning’s fault that the Colts didn’t win four Super Bowls during his time there. Yes, indeed.

In 2008, the Green Bay Packers went 6-10 behind a quarterback seeing his first work as a starter.

That guy was Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers had helped the Packers get a lead late in a string of games that season, only to sit on the sidelines and watch a poor defense cough up a lung. In the next-to-last game that season, I watched “Monday Night Football” and listened to the experts say that Rodgers might not have what it takes to lead his team to victory in those final crucial minutes.

That horrible defense was all his fault? Are we really that stupid?

Of course, two seasons later, Rodgers and the Packers were Super Bowl champs.

Last season, after the Ravens won the Super Bowl, I watched as a panel of “experts” rated NFL quarterbacks. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco was listed as No. 1.

Flacco is a very good quarterback, but winning the Super Bowl only makes you the greatest quarterback on that particular day.

If you had one game to win, and you could select any NFL quarterback to win it, who would you take?

Hello, Peyton. You probably could make an argument for Rodgers or Tom Brady.

That pretty much would do it.

They, or I should say their teams, all have won Super Bowls. Even if they hadn’t, you still would want them leading your team if your life depended on it.

Tony Gonzalez, Dick Butkus, Eric Dickerson and Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl. Are those guys chokes?

So, please, fellow media members, enjoy Manning’s presence in this year’s classic and try to show some respect.

No matter which team wins, Manning still will be the best.

Jay Heater is The Republic sports editor. He can be reached at jheater@therepublic.com or 379-5632.

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