As much of a pro-Tom Brady and Patriots honk as I am, there is no denying the greatness of Peyton Manning, and what he has been able to do since being drafted #1 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft. Excluding the year lost to injury, Manning is playing in his 17th NFL season, even as we see Father Time eat away at his once impressive arm strength and accuracy.
Arguably the greatest regular season quarterback of all time, Peyton Manning has amassed 71,940 yards passing, while also throwing 539 touchdown passes (Both are NFL records). However, after sustaining a neck injury that cost him the entire 2011 season, Manning has been on a steady decline towards mediocrity. Of course, Manning's historic 2013 season is the true outlier in this thesis, as he threw for 5477 yards and 55 touchdowns, which are both NFL single-season records, as well. However, since that magical season, Manning's numbers have taken a hit, specifically in the current 2015-2016 season, where he threw for 9 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, before being pulled in Week 10 for Brock Osweiler.
So, fans and media alike now lay dumbfounded with a common question: why the hell is everyone so obsessed with Peyton Manning?
It's simply because of the fact that he is an outgoing, good dude. From Papa John's to Nationwide Insurance, it is almost impossible to sit down and watch a 3-hour long football game without seeing Manning's face come across the screen at least once.
I don't want to make this a Brady vs. Manning debate, because I feel like everyone knows how I would suit up for that fight, but the fact of the matter is that Tom Brady doesn't do 10 commercials a season. He doesn't give interviews with ESPN, CBS, Fox and every other sports outlet you can think of, unless they are mandatory, of course. He doesn't play grab-ass with every member of the Sunday NFL Countdown Crew. That simply isn't Tom Brady.
And nothing is wrong with that.
However, Patriot fans cannot get teary eyed when a massive HGH allegation against Peyton Manning is swept under the rug by the NFL, while Ted Wells is left twiddling his mustache thinking about if John Jastremski and Jim McNally took Patriot footballs into the bathroom for some "fun time."
This is the nature of the beast that is the current National Football League. If you scratch our back, we'll scratch yours.
Buckle up, Pats fans. This is going to be a long week.
By Pete Packowski