It comes as no surprise that over that over the past fifteen years the greatest individual rivalry in sports is between that of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Both have maintained fantastic careers, but as Brady is having arguably his best years ever, Peyton is having one of his worst.
Over the last three games, Peyton has managed to throw for just three touchdowns, to a very un-Manning like five interceptions. Still his team is 5-0, but it is only thanks to a stellar defense that the Broncos remain perfect through five weeks.
As much as I hate to see the end of an era, Peyton Manning needs to retire. If you watch his games, you can see he just does not have it anymore. His arm is a noodle, and at this rate he might not make it to November, let alone next season.
To be fair, through the first four games people were saying this about Brady last year, but it is different with Manning. With Manning it is tangible. We watched him begin to decline towards the end of last season, and now this season is off to a similar start.
There have also been numerous stories of Manning this year, from not being able to feel his fingertips, to having to rely on training staff members take off his cleats for him.
I don’t foresee Manning hanging it up any time during this season though. He and Brady are two men cut from the same cloth. I’m not saying that both of these men are winners, I mean come on, four Super Bowls to one, it’s not even close. What I am saying is that both men are going to continue to play the game until they have to be dragged off the field.
As much as I hate to say it, neither of these two men are going to go out on their own terms. They’ll keep pushing themselves until their arms fall off, and while, for now, Brady seems to be pushing back Father Time, Manning’s end is imminent.
To be completely honest, it is sort of sad to watch his decline. As much as I can’t stand his dumb face, and his stupid commercials, I liked having that adversary within the conference with whom you could have some epic battles with. We have had some truly fantastic games against Peyton’s teams, but I guess that time in sports history is over.
What’s really the worst about Manning’s decline is that the media now tries to make Andrew Luck and the Colts our rival. I mean, you can’t really have a rivalry with a team that you beat by about 20 points each game, and as much as everyone likes to talk up Luck, although I think he’s a fraud, it’s just not the same as having an elite caliber Peyton Manning on the other sideline.
Hopefully, the Patriots’ regular season game with the Broncos this year will not be the last chapter in the Brady-Manning saga. Maybe, just maybe, we can get one last epic playoff battle from the two legendary quarterbacks on the road to Super Bowl 50.
By Jake Cianci