It’s time to be accountable. Peyton Manning must take accountability and accept the much deserved criticism for his play last night and throughout his career in the clutch. Denver Broncos fans have much love and admiration for Peyton Manning because frankly he saved the masses from the Tebowmania that swooping through Denver. Manning was everything that Tebow wasn’t: A Super Bowl winning QB, a proven NFL star, a pocket passer, a man who could throw a football, someone who was respected by offensive players, a viable offensive threat, need I go on?
Peyton Manning has been given a pass during his short time in a Denver Broncos uniform and throughout his entire NFL career. The Colts dared not criticize their savior or hero and fans and media alike in Denver have been avoiding the same. Peyton Manning will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, regardless if he doesn’t win another championship. But, Manning although brilliant in the weekly game plan, should also be remembered as a man who is mentally soft, high maintenance and folds under the pressure of big games and high expectations.
No need to look at the stats when the proof is in the pudding. Need examples? Go to a home Broncos game at Sports Authority Field. As a season ticket holder, I cannot remember at any time where John Elway would ask the home crowd to shut up during an offensive series. Maybe a handful of times at the goal line with the game on the line could that be an acceptable request. Is Manning really incapable of running an efficient offense at his home stadium unless it is silent? This is a game atmosphere and fans pay top dollar to watch one of the proudest and most successful franchises in NFL history, I’ll be damned if I’m going to shut my mouth so that you can pretend its training camp or practice.
Peyton Manning cannot perform at a high level in cold weather. That is a problem when football is a COLD WEATHER GAME!! Manning owns a 3-6 record when playing in temperatures below 32 degrees. In those games, Manning has a touchdown-turnovers ratio of 9 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. What is Manning and the Broncos to do if they play a cold weather game from now until February? Manning needs to toughen up and bare the elements, rather than fidgeting with his gloves, worrying about personal comfort and other variables outside of his control, just as his teammates who have sacrificed their bodies and careers for his health, his wellbeing and the success of the team.
Peyton Manning let his team down last night when they needed their leader to show some guts and drive the ball down the field in overtime. Bill Belicheck literally slapped the face of Peyton Manning by deferring the ball in overtime and choosing to play with the wind at their backs. Belicheck and the entire nation knew that Manning couldn’t do these things: play in cold weather, with a glove on his throwing hand, into the wind and in a game where he ultimately had to be the best player and carry his team to victory. Manning failed his team when they needed him most. Go ahead and blame the receivers for not catching the overthrown balls or the balls thrown behind them. Go ahead and blame Holiday for causing DRC’s injury or for muffing punts. Go ahead and blame Wes Welker and Tony Carter for the miscue in overtime. I’m putting my blame on the leader and true captain of the team. As a Bronco fan you should too, instead of continuing to give him a pass because he beat Rex Grossman in the Super Bowl.
Roberto Padilla is a Radio Talk Show Host in Denver, Colorado. He is originally from Springfield, Virginia and has been in Denver since he was moved as a young child during the Redskins Super Bowl XXII season, one that saw the Redskins defeat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII. You can follow Roberto on Twitter @RealRobertoNFL or send questions and feedback to The.Roberto.Padilla@gmail.com