You might be aware that Colts quarterback and former UT Volunteer Peyton Manning is pursuing history. He's on the verge of tying and breaking the record set by Dan Marino for most touchdown passes in a season.
Last night, Peyton had a chance to do it on the national stage with the ESPN Sunday night crew in town for their game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Peyton didn't get the record last night. But the Colts did get the victory over the Ravens.
But in winning, Peyton showed why he's in a class by himself.
For weeks now, Peyton has deflected the media praise from himself to his supporting cast--because without guys catching the ball, he couldn't come close to the record. (Just ask younger brother Eli what it's like to have all the talent in the world but no supporting cast at receiver). And last night, the Colts had two good opportunities for Peyton to the tie the record, but instead they did what they needed to do to win the game and not pad stats or rub it in the face of an opponent who was clearly defeated.
The first was on when the Colts got inside the five yard line and instead of going play action, they hand the ball off to Edgerin James who walks into the end zone, untouched. The touchdown put the Colts up 20-3 at that point and pretty much sealed a win. It would have been easy for the Colts to go for the record right there but instead they go for the win--because a win is what the team needs as they push toward the playoffs.
The second was late in the game. The Colts defense takes the ball away from the Ravens with under two minutes to go. The ball goes inside the ten yard line and instead of taking a chance to pad his stats or get in the record book, Manning and the Colts show class...they kneel on the ball and take the win.
After the game, Peyton said had the Ravens taken a time out there, they might have gone for it. Instead, both sides showed class--one in winning and the other in losing. Peyton also went on to say on ESPN that while the record will happen if it happens. He's more concerned with getting his team deep into the playoffs and to the Super Bowl.
As if I weren't already a huge fan of Peyton Manning, this just reinforces why he's one of the GREAT guys in the NFL. With both of my teams out of Super Bowl contention, I am now officially on the Colts bandwagon to win it all.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/20/2004 09:23:00 AM