Super Bowl could be redemption for Manning

I believe I have seen this movie before.

An aging quarterback for the Denver Broncos on the verge of retirement leads his team to the Super Bowl.

I can only hope that it end the same way it did in 1998 when John Elway won his second straight Super Bowl and then rode off into the sunset.

Peyton Manning deserves the same script.

He is the personification of class and in my estimation is the greatest quarterback to ever play in the National Football League.

He is not the best “regular season” quarterback, but the best quarterback ever.

He changed the way the position was played. He was the ultimate coach on the field and the fact that he already has a Super Bowl ring should be good enough.

Like all quarterbacks he receives too much of the blame for when the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos lost in the Super Bowl.

Those teams did not play great defense and in my eyes the reason why the Colts and Broncos lost those games.

Manning probably gets too much credit when his teams win as well.

But after watching the Broncos edge the vaunted New England Patriots Sunday, I am convinced that they would not have done that without him under center.

Manning has never had the greatest arm and he has never thrown the prettiest passes.

That has become even more evident since the neck surgeries.

But he beats you with his mind and the ability to get his team in the right plays more often than not.

And so far in the post season, he has done it by managing the game and not turning the ball over.

The “great” Tom Brady threw a pair of interceptions Sunday and that is part of the reason the Patriots lost.

If Denver’s offensive line can protect Manning long enough for him to make some throws and open holes for its running backs, then I think they can beat the Carolina Panthers, who will be the prohibited favorites in two weeks.

If Manning and the Broncos win Super Bowl 50, it will be redemption for Peyton and they can remove that unwarranted label of the “greatest regular season” quarterback once and for all.

 

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com.

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