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Jim Irsay Is Right About Peyton Manning

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is under fire this week for comments he made about Peyton Manning. NFL media and fans are outraged at those comments yet an objective look into what Irsay said would reveal…gasp…he’s right!

[adinserter block=”1″]The relationship between the Colts owner and his former QB turned sour two offseasons ago when Manning’s future in Indianapolis was in question. After sitting out a year with an injury there was a big difference opinion between Team Manning and Team Irsay as to whether Manning could and should play again for the team. While they parted ways with a handshake there is obviously some hard feelings lingering in Indy.

Irsay talked about Manning this week in anticipation of this weekend’s game between the Colts and Manning’s new team, the Denver Broncos. Irsay talked to USA Today about moving on from Manning and made immediate headlines with his comments.

We’ve changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these,” Irsay said, referring to his Super Bowl XLI ring. “[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these. Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated.

You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this.

Fans and media are in an uproar over this. All I keep hearing is how unappreciative Irsay is and that he should have been happy with his 11 playoff appearances. Guess what and this may come as a shock to many of Peyton’s defenders here…the season doesn’t end with a playoff berth. The season ends with a Super Bowl and anything less is a losing season.

I have felt for years that Peyton has gotten a free pass by the media for his numerous playoff losses. It wasn’t just the losses here that got overlooked. It was Peyton’s part in the loss. Just last year Peyton threw a late interception into overtime that cost the all-mighty Broncos a Super Bowl entry. The defense kept many of those games close but it was Peyton who couldn’t seal the deal and in some cases sealed it for the opposition.

Irsay is just pointing to the facts here. NFL owners aren’t in this to try and make the playoffs. They want a winner. Yes Peyton did win one but he also lost one, a game in which he threw a critical interception. Take a look at Peyton’s post-season stats here and you’ll get an eye-opener. In all but two of his losses he threw at least one interception in the game. There is no doubt that Peyton Manning is a great regular season QB but how good is he when he is up against the best teams in the NFL in the playoffs is a whole other story.

What Irsay should be grateful for is Manning turning that franchise around. The only Colts team I remember watching in the playoffs during my teens was the Jim Harbaugh-led team that lost in Pittsburgh in an AFC title game. I know there were Colts teams that made a playoff appearances but this was not an elite franchise. The money and attention that Peyton brought to that team post-season record or not is something that very few players could have brought to a franchise. He single-handedly turned it around.

[adinserter block=”2″]Peyton did win a Super Bowl and nobody can take that away from him. However, let’s not forget about the part Tony Dungy played in this. He is regarded as one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history. It wasn’t all Peyton. But think about that for a second. If you told your kids, your grandchildren about the great Peyton Manning games you watched and then told them he only won one Super Bowl they would look at you like you were crazy. Tell them about the post-season interceptions and you’ll have one confused kid on your hands. That is the part of the Peyton Manning story that you rarely hear about.

So while it is apparently off-limits to talk about Peyton Manning’s post-season record, it is time we keep his career in proper perspective. Sure it comes off as sour grapes but as the great Bill Parcels once said, “you are what your record is” and in the post-season, Manning is 3-11 in the first round.

Jim Irsay has no regrets about releasing Peyton Manning and quite frankly why should he?

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Well, explain then, ("Perfect Peyton" threw a pix six in the Jags game, btw), how the supposed Second Coming of the Orange Crush gave up 48 points to the Dallas Cowboys then? I mean, say what you want about the Jags team, the Broncos should have mauled them. They were a 26 point favorite. Broncos should have dominated them.

  2. I fail to see how covering the deep pass was an issue considering the longest completion Jacksonville had was for 23 yards. Most of Henne's yards were short/intermediate routes, a result of Denver allowing the underneath stuff. Jacksonville was also only 5 for 14 on 3rd Down Converstions, meaning a large chunk of those yards were meaningless.

  3. What exactly did Jacksonville expose? Last time I checked, the Denver defense only gave up 12 points, with the other 7 coming on a Pick 6!

    • I think they exposed a suspect secondary, in particular Bailey not being able to cover the deep pass to elite receivers, although that was already exposed by other teams. Don't get me wrong, Bailey was great in his prime but he is playing on smarts now more than physical skill and that can only get you so far in the NFL. Eventually you'll face elite receivers and get torched. But that has nothing to do with this article so it's probably best we move on from that subject.

  4. Jim Irsay is the owner and he is ultimately responsible for the failures that he is alluding to. Maybe he should think about holding himself accountable. Most of the time, the defenses that the Colts had during Manning's tenure in Indianapolis were terrible. Almost always got man handled up front defensively and got pounded by teams with good running attacks. With the exception of Vanderjagt and Vinatieri, the Special Teams were horrible. Irsay should spend more time trying to improve his franchise and less time acting like an idiot on Twitter. You know the players and coaches won't say it publicly, but his people are probably starting to get a little fed up with his immaturity. The last time I checked, Irsay has never broke the bank to bring in any big time free agents. He's all about being cheap and trying to get some steal in the 6th round of the draft or signing somebody from the CFL. Irsay is nothing more than a Jerry Jones Wannabe that doesn't put his money where his mouth is.

  5. I still don't why this is a story, the media is sure good at getting things riled up. The fact of the matter is that even with one of the best offenses ever the Colts couldn't win more than one Superbowl. Does that make Manning a horrible QB, NO! He is arguably the top 1 or 2 QB of this era and the fact that he cant still go is awesome. So the owner took a shot, big deal. You don't think there are players and coaches taking shots on the field all the time? Why does this matter at all? To all the Manning lovers, I am pretty sure that he is a big boy. He can handle a little critisim. Has anyone complained about a lot of classless comments fans have been making of blogs and new reports all over the web? Just wondering why we are not policing them as well.

    • In my humble opinion, classless comments from fans or NFL players or staff that involve everyday players don't create much of a wave. But when you are talking about someone in Peytons class… it creates a stir. Peyton came into the NFL as a heralded and celebrated number 1 pick and was expected to not only put up elite numbers but more importantly, to win several superbowls. Btw, THAT, is what makes a top 1 or 2 QB, not fluffy regular season stats. 16 years later, the reality is that Peyton only has 1 superbowl ring and several first round loses in the playoffs including a very humiliating loss at home in the first round last year while with the Broncos. Now, some will view those losses as Peytons failure to play up to his potential in the post season and some will blame the teams performance, coaching or even management. Either way, regardless of how we see it and whether we don't like or agree with what Jim Irsay said… the reality is that the numbers prove Irsay right and until Peyton proves otherwise by leading the Broncos to a superbowl win or two, he will always be viewed as a QB who was great in the regular season, but, not so great during the post season. How would you then compare him to QB's who came in much less heralded but who lead their teams to multiple superbowls during the same era?

      The bottom line is that all of this makes for interesting debate and speculation which is what inspires and creates hoopla over these kinds of stories. Rooting for or against Peyton, watching it all unfold and getting to see who gets to spike the proverbial football in the face of those who opposed your views…YEAH BABY!!! That's what it's all about!. Oh and btw, I've been a Bronco fan since the early 70's and believed in Elway even after they lost 3 superbowls with him at QB and he went on to win 2 SB's and retire as an all time great as we all know . I KNOW Peyton will do the same and Irsay will smile and be happy for him.

  6. We will see on Sunday night. That's why they play the games….in spite of all the banter. Jacksonville exposed the starter-starved Bronco defense. If Indy fails, mayby Irsay can buy the Jaguars and wear a reversable jersey. What a classless owner!

  7. These are all interesting points, As a Bronco fan, I want to defend Peyton but his post season numbers speak fo themselves and nothing anyone can say, will ever change that fact. The reality is that the truly elite quarterbacks don't just get to the playoffs, they get to the Superbowl and more often than not, lead their offenses to dominate in the big games, win the close ones or come back from behind. QB's like Kelly, Moon, Marino and others have all put up great numbers, but they will always have that asterisk next to their name because they either didn't win a Superbowl or were just one hit wonders. I think that's distinguishes the truly elite from the great ones. Unfortunately, until Peyton wins another ring or two, he'll always as difficult as it is to admit, have to carry that stigma. But hey, if Elway can do it… so can Peyton!! Go Broncos!!.. Go Peyton!!!…YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  8. So wait, let me get this straight… everyone else can go home and watch it on television because it is only the quarterback that wins or loses superbowls right? And according to you, it maybe wasn't even the quarterback, it was the head coach that won the superbowl. Why is it that you can give credit to the coach for winning, but when they didn't win it, it is all Peyton's fault. There are 11 frickin' guys on the field at a time and it takes a whole team to win a championship. The Colts' owner made a whole lot of money with Peyton at quarterback and if you question that, just look into an Indy crowd even to this day…. you will see a whole mess of fans with that ever familiar #18 jersey on. He wants to move on? Great, then why suddenly try and slam Peyton. I am not a Broncos fan, but I am a Peyton Manning fan and yes, I do have a Colts #18 jersey (there is no way that I am wearing a Broncos jersey) and I thank you Irsay for pumping up Peyton for this weekend's game. I know that unlike you, he will remain professional and gracious in his comments, but I hope that he spanks the ever-living crap out of the Colts.

    • Only one of the those 11 players has the ball on every play. Only one of those 11 players call the plays or the audibles. It takes a team to win but a team can only be as good as the guy leading the way. Sure the owner took a shot at Peyton, but is it really a big deal? Did he say Peyton sucks? No, he said that Peyton didn't win as many as Brady or Eli. Why isn't anyone complaining about the part when he mentions Harrison and Wayne? Maybe becuase without the QB (one of 11) those guys are not on the map.

  9. Well, you beat me to the punch. LOL Could Irsay have used some tact? I mean, Peyton did break his neck, literally , for Irsay, and built that stadium pretty much. However, if Irsay is telling the truth, it is not a slam. I am amazed how people who just worship Peyton ignore his post season record. *cough* ESPN *Cough* I mean, seriously? Unreal.

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