As we gear up for the fourth Super Bowl to have the presence of Peyton Manning on the field, we want to take a further look at the career and achievements of one of the sports most beloved, talented and decorated stars. Having just come from throwing for 176yds to defeat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Manning is about to hopefully make it four times from eighteen years when it comes to winning the coveted trophy.
The career of Manning has been one about shutting up his numerous critics – from being washed up to no longer having the ability to lead his time to finals, Manning has received every kind of critique possible. His career so far reads three finals, one win – it’s not the best record, is it? With a QB thirteen years his junior awaiting him in the final in Carn Newton, too, it’s going to take a fair amount of hustle from the old dog to shut up his harshest critics.
So, how has the record wound up this way for Peyton?
The Big Win
It took Manning and all of that natural talent eight years to finally get to the grandest of all finals, as he came up against the Chicago Bears in the 2006 Super Bowl. The Bears were conceding just 15.9 PPG at the time, making them the meanest defence in the NFL that season.
As the rain thundered down at the Sun Life Stadium, Manning had his moment in the light as he shut his critics up, providing close to 250 yards in a pulsating final. It was arguably the biggest triumph of his career so far, setting up what looked to be one of the most decorated trophy cabinets in the history of the sport.
Sinner, No Saint
However, Super Bowl XXIV transformed the dynamic of the Final. In this season, two attack minded sides squared off as the Colts stood toe-to-toe with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints came into the Final with plenty of demons to exorcise with a record of falling at the last hurdle, and it felt like they had fate on their side.
Despite the quality of Manning to get his team 10-0 ahead, the Saints came back and through a controversial onside kick to start the second half took the lead early on. Manning eventually threw the lead, though, as he set up the Saints with a pick-six to Terry Porter. With a 31-17 score being set, it was the final play in the game in terms of scoring. Despite covering 333 yards and 31-of-45 score ratings, it was not enough as the Saints finally ended their hoodoo.
Close, No Cigar
Manning was involved in Super Bowl XLVIII, as the Seahawks took on the Denver Broncos in the big game. Despite running 280yds and finishing the game 34-of-49, it was not enough as Manning watched his team fold yet again. The Seahawks were at one stage 36-0 ahead, meaning that the last Super Bowl that Manning took part in was very much one to forget.
Can he finally make it 2-2? Or will he go down as one of the most underwhelming and disappointing superstars of his era?