I stated in my article on the AFC Championship game that if Brady or Manning win the Super Bowl this year, they will be considered the greatest quarterback of all time.
I’m not backing down from my statement. Why? Because Peyton Manning is adored by the media and many of his accomplishments are overhyped.
Don’t take this the wrong way- Peyton is a great quarterback, one of the best of all time. He had the greatest regular season by any quarterback in NFL history with 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards. Him and the Broncos’ array of dominant weapons became the greatest offense of all time.
But to become the best, he needs a very strong argument in not only regular season numbers but playoff wins and clutchness. Peyton was 9-11 in the playoffs before this season, and wasn’t quite able to win in January the same way that he did in October. He was eliminated from the playoffs in his first game eight times. His 11 losses are the most by any quarterback in the playoffs.
Yet still his feats are blown out of proportion by media outlets such as ESPN. Even the littlest things he does are considered big news.
Take his Omaha snap count/dummy call/audible for example. Omaha has been used at the line for a while by many other quarterbacks such as Eli Manning and Tom Brady. When Peyton Manning suddenly started using it for his snap count (or as a dummy call, whatever you want) then it was made into national news. Not only was it the top storyline on NFL.com and on SportsCenter for two weeks, but it has also made it to other widely read news sites such as ABC, Huffington Post, Yahoo, and more.
Peyton Manning may be the best regular season quarterback ever, but he has much to prove in order to become the best of the best. Even if Peyton Manning wins the Super Bowl and most fans instantly consider him the greatest of all time, I still won’t be convinced that he’s the GOAT. He will still be 12-11 in the playoffs, and 2-1 in the Super Bowl. Even if Peyton Manning throws 10 interceptions and only 35 yards and Denver’s defense wins the Super Bowl for them, NFL Media such as ESPN will praise him as the greatest quarterback to ever live.
So, by winning a Super Bowl, Peyton would essentially wipe away all memories of his playoff troubles because the NFL is so much of a “what have you done lately” business. If he does come away with the Lombardi, there will be no doubt that media and fans everywhere will laud Manning as the greatest quarterback ever. But Peyton still has a ways to go before he is truly the GOAT, and his career isn’t over yet.