Here we are, still five days away from the Broncos divisional matchup against the Chargers, still five days away from the Patriots game against the Colts.
You wouldn’t know it reading Boston Herald writer Gerry Callahan’s latest piece on Peyton Manning.
Callahan shoots multiple bullets at Manning’s performance in the playoffs:
It brings us no joy to predict the annual demise of the soon-to-be five-time MVP, but we can’t ignore the elephant in the Denver Broncos locker room. This is the golden age of NFL quarterbacks, but the one with the most gold remains a tormented, unfulfilled soul. Manning has become a mythic character who has everything — money, records, awards, Papa John’s franchises — but the one thing he wants most: another Super Bowl title…
All of which makes his inevitable postseason meltdown all the more painful and poignant. Consider this: The Greatest Regular-Season Quarterback Ever is not even in the discussion for the Greatest Quarterback Ever. He can’t be. Not with nine wins and 11 losses. Not with one ring in 16 seasons.
If everything holds to form this weekend, the 15th showdown between Brady and Manning will be the biggest one yet and perhaps the biggest non-Super Bowl game in NFL history. The pressure will be immense. Legacies will be on the line. The world will be watching.
Poor Peyton. Starting to feel sorry for him already. - Gerry Callahan (Boston Herald)
Sure, Callahan covers a great playoff quarterback in Brady, but does he not know this is a different Denver Broncos team? Unlike many years in Indianapolis, Manning has a running game behind him now. Unlike last year, he has Wes Welker for those all-important third downs, and a Rob Gronkowski-like tight end in Julius Thomas. This year, Manning has the weather on his side, at least this week, where the temperature in Denver will be around 50 degrees on Sunday.
Callahan can continue to write, and Manning will prove him wrong.
This is Manning’s year. No other QB’s. Not Brady’s, Luck’s, or Rivers’. The 2013 regular season and playoffs belongs to the Man[ning].