Peyton Manning needs a second Super Bowl to silence critics

It is often said in the NFL that great players are judged not by their individual numbers but by how many Super Bowl rings they collect throughout their career.

Players like Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady are classed as some of the best QBs ever to play the game because they have won 10 Super Bowls between them.

This is something that is held against Peyton Manning despite putting up incredible passing statistics throughout his career, he only has one Super Bowl victory to his name and has suffered 11 playoff defeats.

You can’t doubt his talent and he still scares defences at the age of 37 less than two years after major neck surgery.

Even though he has always had the reputation of overshadowing his younger brother Eli, Peyton has half the rings his little brother has and it’s amazing to think of the criticism Eli gets despite his achievements.

Peyton had the misfortune of running into Tom Brady and New England Patriots in nearly every postseason; the two were great rivals and the best teams in the NFL at the time.

When Peyton finally enjoyed victory over Brady and Belichick in the 2007 AFC Championship game, which is still one of the great playoff games ever, he went on and won his long awaiting Super Bowl title against the Chicago Bears in Miami.

He’s been close since, losing to the New Orleans Saints in 2010, but has never been able to silence the critics and become a multi-Super Bowl champion.

After his emotional departure from the Indianapolis Colts, the only NFL team he had ever known, Manning landed in Denver saying that was the team that gave him the best chance of winning now. After all he was 36 years old how many more chances does he have to win a title?

The start to his reign in Denver started up and down with a 2-3 record in the first five games but the rollercoaster ride ended there.

In true Manning style he led the Broncos to 11 straight wins and the number one seed in the AFC, unfortunately his playoff woes haunted him again and he lost at home to the unfancied Baltimore Ravens.

This year could be his last chance at winning it all. If he wants to be part of the conversation with Elway, Montana, Brady, Young and Bradshaw he has to claim that second ring.

Frankly for a player that has done what he has done in his career that’s the least he deserves.

images: © Jeffrey Beall, © pleeker