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Old 08-19-2006, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default Will Manning Get his ring?

ahhh probably not without Edge lining up behind him

Will Manning ever get his ring?

By The Associated Press
Saturday, August 19, 2006

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- Peyton Manning went out of his way during the offseason to seek out two guys who know how it feels to miss a golden opportunity.

It just so happens that Mike Shanahan and John Elway also know what it's like to bounce back.

What became of Manning and the Indianapolis Colts last season sure had a familiar ring to it: A dominant regular season, clinching home-field advantage with a month to go, going into the first round with rested starters -- and falling flat.

All that happened to the Broncos in 1996, with a shocking loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Their feeling was similar to ours," Manning said this summer, relaxing during a break in training camp. "The sickness, the missed opportunity. It's as low as it can be. You work so hard to get home field these days."

The subtext? That same Denver team went on to win two consecutive Super Bowls. If Manning wants to shake the persistent notion that he can put up numbers but can't win the big one, he'll have to follow in Elway's footsteps.

"It's a great lesson," Manning said. "They took their time to put it aside and not feel sorry for themselves. And making their peace with the football gods, they did something about it and played a little angry the next year and won two in a row.

"That's what I'd like to do. I'd like to win Super Bowls. Bowls. Multiple. Not just one."

Playing a little angry might be a good place to start.

Elway told Manning that the Broncos' dismay at that bitter loss to the Jaguars made them more eager to come back quickly. They ended up with a wild-card slot the following season -- forcing them to play hard all the way -- and beat Green Bay in the Super Bowl.

But anger isn't Manning's comfort zone. Intellect and a ferocious work ethic are.

That frenetic motion that fans see on the field -- pointing and waving at the line of scrimmage; calling audibles or faking them -- is a manifestation of the intelligence. The fact that he can communicate his vision to teammates speaks to his tireless striving for perfection.

Manning is a leader by example, spending countless hours studying and throwing to his receivers in offseason workouts.

"Forty straight outs," he says. "Not an out, then a post, then some other route like a lot of quarterbacks do. It's repetition, repetition, repetition, so that when you're in a game, it's automatic."

His teammates reciprocate.

"If Peyton asks me, I'll do it. If I ask Peyton to do something, he'll do it," says Marvin Harrison, his favorite receiver, who is on course to finish his career second only to Jerry Rice in many receiving categories.

Manning, meanwhile, already broke Dan Marino's season record for touchdown passes in 2004 with 49, and has a real shot at eclipsing his career passing records. If he never wins a title, though, he and Marino will have that in common, too.

Maybe it's too early to label Manning a loser. But he remains a non-winner.

"The Super Bowl question is legitimate," he said. "I've done a lot, but that's one thing I haven't done since I've been here."

Colts coach Tony Dungy -- who also carries that label with a sparkling regular-season record but no Super Bowl -- is quick to point to another great athlete who started to hear the whispers.

"You forget that they were saying that about Michael Jordan after the Bulls kept losing to Detroit," Dungy said. "They said he'd never win. Then he won six championships. Peyton will win. He just has to finish it once and he'll keep going."

Until last season, Manning's playoff losses were to arguably better teams. Although he played horribly in two playoff losses in Foxborough to New England, it's only fair to point out that both times the Patriots were en route to their second and third Super Bowl titles.

But for the better part of last year, the Colts were the best team in football.

Their run to 13-0 was the only topic that could trump the antics of an obstreperous wide receiver then with the Eagles. Not only were they the favorite to get to the Super Bowl, but they appeared well on their way to becoming the first team besides the 1972 Miami Dolphins to go unbeaten.

With home-field advantage well in hand, Indianapolis lost at home to San Diego on Dec. 18, a loss that was followed by the death of Dungy's son.

The perfect season gone and a cloud of sadness hanging over them, the Colts regrouped and began to gear up for the playoffs. Manning and the rest of the starters sat for most of the last two regular-season games, a loss at Seattle and a win over Arizona.

Then it all came crashing down at the RCA Dome.

In the Colts' first playoff game, a blown replay call, a shoestring, game-saving tackle by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and a shanked, game-tying field goal by Indy's Mike Vanderjagt all added up to a bizarre and shocking loss to Pittsburgh.

For his part, Manning was bad early, so-so later and good when it was too late. Another playoff loss, another stamp in the impression that Manning can't win the big game.

The irony (or perhaps the solace for Indy) is that last season's Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl, following the Broncos' pattern of frustration followed by elation. Pittsburgh was 15-1 in 2004, then lost to the Patriots at home in the AFC title game.

Manning wasn't thinking about that after his team's latest heartbreak, and his frustration came to the surface. His face strained and his demeanor annoyed, the quarterback critiqued his offensive line for having "protection problems."

It was out of character for Manning, but still interpreted as another crack in what often appears as a programmed facade: speak no evil of team or teammates.

Truthful as it was -- the line was outschemed and played poorly -- it appeared to outsiders that Manning was trying to shift the blame. That's a no-no in the "first family of football," where Peyton, brother Eli and father Archie cherish the family image.

Never will that image be more in the spotlight than the Colts' opener at the Meadowlands against Eli and the Giants. NBC's first Sunday night telecast is sure to be a media event of the highest magnitude.

Not like Peyton wanted the added attention.

"I'd love it to be a little quieter. We've been a loud team for the last couple of years because of the touchdown streak a couple of years ago and the unbeaten record," he says. "Maybe something else will catch people's attention."

Fat chance.

This year, the Colts' biggest question remains how they will replace running back Edgerrin James, who went to Arizona in free agency.

First-round draft pick Joseph Addai is already locked in a position battle with Dominic Rhodes, who ran for 1,104 yards in half a season as an undrafted rookie in 2001 when James was hurt.

"It will be harder without Edge, no question," Manning says. "But I love this Addai kid. He was a quarterback in high school. He listens, he learns and he asks the right questions. And he has great ability. Combine him with Dominic and we don't lose too much."

Manning still has three great targets in Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley. James was allowed to leave because the Colts made re-signing Wayne a priority, along with defensive end Robert Mathis and linebacker Gary Brackett as they continue to build a defense to go with the league's most consistent offense.

Manning, who probably knows more NFL history than any active player, understands the quandary for a team playing for nothing in the last quarter of a season. Hence his questions for Shanahan and Elway about how the '96 Broncos evolved into the Super Bowl champion Broncos of the following year.

For one thing, don't expect any kind of letup from Manning if the Colts are cruising into another postseason.

"There's something to be said for coming down to the last week of the season playing hard," Manning says. "How do you treat it if you've clinched? How do you feel if you play the starters and your starting tailback or one of your other important players gets hurt and he's out for the playoffs? And I think about the rust factor. If we rest are we sharp? It's always a difficult call."

However it goes, he wants to shake the tag.

"This year it has to be finished," Manning said. "We have to finish every drive. We have to finish every game.

"We have to finish the season."
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Old 08-19-2006, 06:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

Will Manning ever get his ring?


Let me think......


Uhhhhh....


NO


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Old 08-19-2006, 06:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

The only ring Manning is going to get is another ring around the collar the next time Peezy and Farrior get a hold of him.

He's a damned good QB, but imho, he chokes in the big games.
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Old 08-19-2006, 11:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

He'll get a Hall of Fame ring...I don't forsee a championship ring! I lost alot of respect for him after his press conference after losing to us last year.
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfather
Edge isn't that big a loss--running back is one of the deepest positions in football, and Addai will be a great player for them.

But as someone mentioned above, Peyton's a choker just like his little brother.
I have to disagree on Edge. He provided a lot of blocking and can catch those passes out of the flat. I don't know what Addai can do just yet, but I think the Dolts are going to be at a tremendous loss without Edge.
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

In the running game they won't miss Edge too much,but they will in the blitz pick-up that Edge was so good at.

And for Manning getting his SB ring,his window of opportunity is closing fast.I doubt he gets it,actually I don't want him to.
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

The only way Manning gets a ring is if they consistently meet teams who choke more than the Colts do.

Its not just Manning who plays down to the big occasion but also his whole offense, including the O-Line.

What manning fails to, and what most SB winning Qb's can do, is quickly check down to plan b or plan c - if his protection isn't as awesome as it is in the regular season then Manning can't cut it.

QB's with less raw talent have certainly succeeded with poorer performances from their O-Line.

You also have to factor in the Indy's salary cap strategy - one on paper that seems to cram all the resources into a 5/6 year window - Indy wont always be able to glide through their division unopposed.

I take them to win their division this year again and be highly seeded - it may be the last time it happens.

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Old 08-19-2006, 02:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

[QUOTE=Livinginthe past]The only way Manning gets a ring is if they consistently meet teams who choke more than the Colts do.

Its not just Manning who plays down to the big occasion but also his whole offense, including the O-Line.

What manning fails to, and what most SB winning Qb's can do, is quickly check down to plan b or plan c - if his protection isn't as awesome as it is in the regular season then Manning can't cut it.

QB's with less raw talent have certainly succeeded with poorer performances from their O-Line.

You also have to factor in the Indy's salary cap strategy - one on paper that seems to cram all the resources into a 5/6 year window - Indy wont always be able to glide through their division unopposed.

I take them to win their division this year again and be highly seeded - it may be the last time it happens.

I agree with alot you say about Peyton Manning. But I think its to early yet to say he will never win a Super Bowl. The Colts will always give enough help on offense. Plus the Colts defense is getting better. Trust me I doubt Peyton bigtime in the playoffs. But lets wait a few more choke jobs before saying he will never win one.
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Old 08-19-2006, 03:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

Quote:
I agree with alot you say about Peyton Manning. But I think its to early yet to say he will never win a Super Bowl. The Colts will always give enough help on offense. Plus the Colts defense is getting better. Trust me I doubt Peyton bigtime in the playoffs. But lets wait a few more choke jobs before saying he will never win one.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that we will never win one - just that he is going to need opposition that chokes even bigger than he and his team does.

I truly believe that 90% of the Colts playoff woes are down to their offense, not the defense.

The defense certainly aren't elite, as some pundits would have had us believe, but they dont suffer too many blow outs in the post-season.

If we look purely at the Colts post-season losses we see that they concede an average of 25 points a game (this average is bloated by conceding 41 points to the Jets) - which isn't great but nothing that should result in the Colts offense from losing every single one of these encounters.

The Colts didnt need any more than 25 points to win 6 out of those 7 losses but couldn't manage it.

The Colts have averaged a weak 16 points per game and even that number is bloated by putting 49 points on Denver - otherwise the average would be just over 11 - which is pretty pathetic.

I dont see how this trend can be reversed.

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Old 08-19-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Will Manning Get his ring?

Trust me LITP I agree alot with what you say. Just saying its alittle early to totally write Peyton Manning off with winning a Super Bowl. I know what you mean about the Colts defense. True it hasn't been a good unit until last year but in some playoff games it wasn't the defense's fault but more of the offense. The 2003 AFC Title game comes to mind. What did the Colts defense give up 24 points in that game. Considering that Golden Boy threw 4 INT's in that game. I think 24 points isn't that bad. Peyton totally blew the AFC title game along with the rest of the Colts offense.
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