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Peyton Manning By the Numbers Part III: The Playoffs

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Hello Broncos fans, how you been? Its been a minute since my last post, so for those of you that were waiting for the latest installment in this series about Peyton Manning, I sincerely apologize. If your eyes have yet to gaze upon the statistical analysis offered in Part I and Part II, please feel free to check them out.

So one thing that is said over and over again when people speak of Peyton Manning is some variation on "yeah he's great BUT....he hasn't been that great in the playoffs." Since he was brought here to hoist the Lombardi Trophy sometime (or multiple times based upon the proof of your "kool-aid") in the next few years, this topic has great significance for Broncos fans. Why bring the guy in if he can't get it done?

This post is gonna be action packed with some good stats as usual, but I also want to approach this from some different perspectives, so if you have a few minutes come with me and let's find some answers huh?

Let's start with some numbers overall:

Overall Record: 9-10 (.473)

Home Record: 6-4 (.600)

Away Record: 2-5 (.285)

(1-1 on neutral site)

19 games overall coming in at one game under .500 isn't very impressive for a 4x league MVP. A few things stick out to me, first the Colts have struggled on the road winning only 2 of 7 games outside the confines of the warm and cozy dome. Does this mean PM struggles more outdoors, possibly, we'll keep that in mind later on.

Record against higher seeded opponents: 3-4 (.428)

Record against lower seeded opponents: 6-5 (.545)

(0-1 #1 seed v. #1 seed in SB)

The Colts/PM struggled to stamp out threats from lesser teams, succumbing to the lower seed in 5 of 11 games. A better team should dominate a lesser opponent, not play down to them.

Record in Wild Card round: 3-4 (.428)

Record in Divisional Round: 3-4 (.428)

Record in AFC Championship: 2-1 (.667)

Record in Super Bowl: 1-1 (.500)

Now looking at the Colts records in each round, they have had success once they've made it to the semi-dance and the gig itself. Getting there however has been a bit of an issue. It must be noted at this point that the year the Colts won the Super Bowl, they made it as a Wild Card team. Let's get a little deeper into the numbers.

Record in games against top 10 scoring defense: 7-6 (.538)

Record in games against top 10 overall defense (yards): 7-5 (.583)

Record in games against top 10 rush defense: 7-6 (.538)

Record in games against top 10 pass defense: 5-1 (.833)

Record in games against top 10 scoring offense: 6-6 (.500)

Record in games against top 10 overall offense (yards):3-2 (.600)

Record in games against top 10 rush offense: 5-5 (.500)

Record in games against top 10 pass offense: 3-2 (.600)

It is difficult for me to discern much from this because the Colts records in each category except for one are relatively even. That one category you ask? Games against a top 10 pass defense. Against these teams, the Colts and PM have shredded their way to an impressive 5-1 record. The predominant strategy against a PM led offense is to run the ball and play keep away. So looking at the Colts record against a top 10 rushing offense in the playoffs, they are even at 5-5. Against his career winning percentage, this number is markedly lower, but against the rest of his playoff record, like I said it is relatively even around the board.

One thing we know about our own team, we didn't taste the brass ring until our team was balanced. We had passing attack that struck off of the things that Terrell Davis opened up, and our defense was aggressive and opportunistic with leads. It was beautiful! So overall as a team, how did the Colts stack up?

Times made playoffs with top 5 scoring offense: 8/11

Times made playoffs with top 5 overall offense (yards): 8/11

Times made playoffs with top 10 rushing offense: 0/11

Times made playoffs with top 5 passing offense: 10/11

Times made playoffs with top 15 scoring defense: 6/11

Times made playoffs with top 15 overall defense (yards): 6/11

Times made playoffs with top 10 scoring defense: 5/11

Times made playoffs with top 10 overall defense (yards): 3/11

Times made playoffs with top 10 rushing defense: 0/11

Times made playoffs with top 10 passing defense: 6/11

Does it surprise anyone that the Colts never made the playoffs with a top 10 rushing attack? How about a top 10 rushing defense? Even though the offense was ranked in the top 10 in passing, yards, and scoring 8, 10, and 8 times respectively, the defense was only top ten in yardage 3 times and slightly better in scoring (5 times). Now let me make this clear, I'm in no way laying the playoff failures of the Colts and PM at the feet of the defense, they actually aren't near as bad as I figured before I did some research. In fact some of the discrepancies (will be easier to see later on) in their point and yard rankings suggests to me a "bend but don't break" defensive philosophy. But so far I don't get the picture in my head of the Colts being a balanced and evenly matched juggernaut like our Broncos were. Save that thought for later.

Allow me to share one last set of numbers before I get into specific games.

Record in games decided by 3 or less points: 0-3

Record in games decided by 4-8 points: 2-3 (.400)

Record in games decided by 9+ points: 7-4 (.636)

11/19 games have ended with one team winning by 9 or more points---so in essence over half the Colts playoff games have been relatively one sided. In those games, the Colts have a respectable 7-4 record. Close games are a bit worrisome to me. In outcomes where a team won by one score or less, the Colts/PM are only 2-6---0-3 in games decided by a FG.

Times scored 0-10 points (0-2): 2/19 (.105 .052)

Times allowed 0-10 points(4-0): 4/19 (.210)

Times scored 11-17 points (1-6): 7/19 (.368 .173)

Times allowed 11-17 points (3-1): 4/19 (.210)

Times scored 18-25 points (2-2): 4/19 (.210 .255)

Times allowed 18-25 points (1-6): 7/19 (.368)

Times scored 25+ points (6-0): 6/19 (.316 .519)

Times allowed 25+ points (2-3): 5/19 (.263)

The numbers in bold are the Colts/PM's winning percentages in those situations in the regular season---and across the board they fall short in the playoffs. Looking at their record in specific situations, they are 6-0 when they score 25 or more points, and 4-0 when they allow 10 or less. Conversely they are 0-2 when they score 10 or less points and 2-3 (decent actually) when they allow 25 points. So simply said, they score a lot they win, they keep teams from scoring they win, they don't score they lose, they don't keep teams from scoring they mostly lose...mostly---rocket science huh? Their track record when they don't score 18 or more is abysmal. This shouldn't be news to anyone, they weren't built to be a tough defensive team that can win lower scoring affairs, they were built to score points and play from ahead defensively.

Average margin of victory in playoffs: +14.7 points

Average margin of loss in playoffs: -10.5 points

PPG scored: 21.05 (400 points, 19 games)

PPG allowed: 20.89 (397 points, 19 games)

As far as scoring averages when they won they won big, and when they lost they lost big. The offense failed to average the 26ppg they did in the regular season and the defense didn't help much by allowing about 21ppg. Offensive scoring and defensive scoring are virtually tied, which is a common theme in all the stats---its pretty even.

So now that I've bored you to death or given you some stats to throw out when you and your buddies are having a debate, let's get to the next part---specific games, recaps, and PM stats. I'll assess each individual PM performance and grade it like in school (A-F)...hell I'll even give PM his overall playoff GPA;)

Playoff game 1

January 16th, 2000 Divisional Round

Titans 19 Colts 16

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 4th 19th 4th 3rd 14th 18th 19th 17th
Titans 11th 13th 13th 7th 17th 10th 25th 15th

Colts--top offense, average defense....Titans---above average offense, average defense. Both teams went 13-3 with the Colts winning their division (East at this time) and the #2 seed. The Titans were runners up to the 14-2 Jaguars (Central division) and were the #4 seed.

Recap:

This seemed like a defensive slugfest. Both teams alternated FG's in the first half and at halftime the Colts led 9-6. The closest the Colts got to the endzone in the first half was the 17 yard line. In the second half, the Titans scored 13 unanswered to pull ahead 19-9. The TD was a 68-yard scamper by Eddie George in the 3rd Q. The Colts scored a late TD on a 15 yard run by Peyton Manning.

The Colts didn't turn the ball over, the Titans had 1 fumble which resulted in a FG. While Steve McNair only passed for 112 yards, Eddie George rushed for 162 on 26 carries. Manning was off target and though he didn't turn the ball over, he failed to consistently keep drives going. The name of this game? Ground control and keep away, the Titans were successful, and the Colts running game outside of Manning's 22 yards managed just about 50. The Colts defense couldn't stop the run, the Colts offense couldn't run, and the one dimensional offense faltered behind an uncharacteristically inaccurate PM performance. One and done for the Colts.

Manning Watch:

19-42 (45%), 227 yds, 0/0, 2 rushes, 22yds, 1TD

Hmm, looks eerily familiar to someone---you know who I speak of;) Below Average Performance D

Playoff game 2

December 30th, 2000 Wild Card Round

Dolphins 23 Colts 17

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 3rd 16th 2nd 3rd 21st 18th 25th 15th
Dolphins 26th 14th 27th 16th 5th 5th 14th 3rd

Colts---top offense, below average defense...Dolphins---below average offense, top defense. The Dolphins went 11-5 and won the East and #3 seed. The Colts went 10-6 and were the #6 seed.

Recap:

The Colts had NO business losing this game...none at all. After a couple of short FG's in the redzone (RZ FG's suck!) Peyton Manning hit Jerome Pathon for a 17-yard TD to end the 2nd Q. Going into halftime, the Colts led 14-0. Overall the Colts didn't turn the ball over and forced three of their own (did I mention they had no business losing the game?). The Colt running game was even in gear with Edgerrin James posting a 100 yard game.

Unfortunately for the Colts, the Miami running game kicked into top gear in the 2nd half (40 carries 209 yards for Lamar Smith overall) and the Dolphins ran 20 more offensive plays than the Colts (keep away).

A late Dolphin TD, a fortunate coin flip in OT (The Colts never saw the ball), and a 17 yard TD run capped the comeback. If you're a Colt fan, this game still probably stings you a bit because you should have won.

Manning Watch:

17-32 (53%), 194 yds 1/0

A bit of an improvement here in accuracy, overall a decent but not stellar performance. Average Performance C

Playoff game 3

January 4th, 2003 Wild Card Round

Jets 41 Colts 0

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 9th 26th 4th 16th 8th 20th 2nd 7th
Jets 22nd 22nd 17th 15th 24th 18th 21st 14th

Colts---above average offense, top defense...Jets---Below average offense, average defense. The Colts went 10-6 and were the #5 seed, the Jets went 9-7 won the East and were the #4 seed.

Recap:

That Colts passing offense sure sucked with a 4.4 APA and 2 turnovers. The running game wasn't much better 13 carries 50 or so yards and a lost fumble. Boy that defense sure sucked as well allowing Chad Pennington to look like Joe Montana 19-25 (76%), 222 yards, 3/0....and 180 yards rushing by the two headed beast of Lamont Jordan and Curtis Martin. This game just sucked the big one all around if you were a Colt fan watching.

Manning Watch:

14-31 (45%), 137 yds, 0/2 Bad, just bad, in fact...Piss Poor Performance F

Playoff games 4-6

January 4th, 2004 Wild Card Round

Colts 41 Broncos 10

January 11th, 2004 Divisional Round

Colts 38 Chiefs 31

January 18th, 2004 AFC Championship

Patriots 24 Colts 14

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 3rd 19th 1st T-2nd 10th 21st 5th 20th
Broncos 7th 2nd 9th 10th 3rd 7th 6th 9th
Chiefs 2nd 15th 2nd 1st 29th 30th 20th 19th
Patriots 17th 27th 22nd 12th 7th 4th 15th 1st

Colts 12-4 #3 seed---top offense, below average defense (note the discrepancy in total D and Pts)

Broncos 10-6 #6 seed---top offense, top defense

Chiefs 13-3 #2 seed---top offense, bad defense

Patriots 14-2 #1 seed---average offense, top defense

Broncos recap:

HAHAHAHAHAHA, this sucked on our end. Um well 31-3 by halftime, it hurts because we had both a top 10 offense and defense, well until PM cut us up like a kiddies' scissor class (bonus points if you know the movie reference). The big plays read like this...Stokely 31 yd TD pass from PM, Harrison 46 yd TD pass from PM, Harrison 23 yd pass from PM, Stokely 87 yd pass from PM, Elam 46 yd FG LOL!!! Rather than visit the beating in any more detail, let's just say that "The Freaking" freakin' owned us that day it was simply "Maddenesque."

Chiefs recap:

This was a bonafide shootout folks. Both offenses eclipsed 400 yards, both had 100 yard rushers. Hell it even featured a 92-yard return by Dante Hall (I still hate that guy!). In the end, the Colts pulled away 38-24 and held off a late K.C. surge.

Patriots recap:

The Patriots relied on solid defense all year en route to the top spot in the AFC and this game was no different. The Patriots defense forced 5 Colts turnovers including 4 PM INT's. That being said, the score was still only 21-14 Patriots in the 4th Q. A late INT and chip shot FG put to rest any idea of an Indy comeback.

Manning Watch:

v Broncos 26-31 (84%), 394 yds, 5/0 Looks pretty good to me Masterful Performance A

v Chiefs 22-30 (73%), 304 yds, 3/0 at least this one was against the Chiefs...Masterful Performance A

v Patriots 23-47 (49%), 237 yards, 1/4 a heaping pile of dog crap here...Piss Poor Performance F

Playoff games 7-8

January 9th, 2005 Wildcard Round

Colts 49 Broncos 24

January 16th, 2005 Divisional Round

Patriots 20 Colts 3

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 2nd 15th 1st 1st 27th 24th 28th 19th
Broncos 5th 4th 6th 9th 4th 4th 6th 9th
Patriots 7th 7th 11th 4th 9th 6th 17th 2nd

Colts 12-4 #3 seed---top offense, bad defense

Broncos 10-6 #6 seed---top offense, top defense

Patriots 14-2 #2 seed---top offense, top defense

Broncos recap:

If PM played the us in the playoffs everytime, he'd have at least 10 rings by now. Seriously a top 10 offense and defense gets blown out again...at least we made it to the 20's. 35-3 by halftime. We pulled close (relatively) in the 3rd Q with a couple of Jake Plummer TD passes, but a 43-yd strike to Reggie Wayne ended any hopes of a comeback.

Patriots recap:

The defenses showed up here, the Colts and Patriots alternated punts throughout the first Quarter. A long drive by the Patriots stalled at the 1 as the Colts made a stellar goalline stand to force a Vinatieri FG. A few punts and a FG later, a promising Cots drive was halted by a Dominic Rhodes fumble. At halftime the score was 6-3 Pats. Another long drive in the 3rd resulted in a Pats TD and 13-3 lead. The Colts once again turned the ball over on a Reggie Wayne fumble and that was all she wrote. Manning threw 1 INT at the end of the game. Mini Brady rant here. The few playoff games I've studied of his against the Colts, he was mediocre at best and relied on a solid team performance....sensing a trend here. His stat line for the game 18-27 (67%), 144 yds 1/0.

Manning Watch:

v Broncos 27-33 (82%), 458 yds, 4/1, 1 rush, 1 yd, 1TD after carving our secondary once again, not gonna ding him for the INT, Masterful Performance A

v Patriots 24-42 (57%), 238 yds, 0/1 certainly not up to snuf here, Below Average Performance D

Playoff game 9

January 15th, 2006 Divisional Round

Steelers 21 Colts 18

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 3rd 16th 3rd 2nd 11th 16th 15th 2nd
Steelers T-16th 5th 24th 9th 3rd 3rd 16th 4th

The Colts went 14-2 and were the #1 seed---top offense, above average defense...the Steelers were 11-5 and were the #3 seed---above average offense, top defense.

Recap:

It took awhile for the Colts offense to get in rhythm, as their only score in the 1st half was a FG to close it out. Meanwhile, the Colts D allowed two long 1st Q TD drives. Halftime score was 14-3 Steelers. Bad field position from an endzone punt led to the final Steelers score. A couple of quick strikes in the 4th Q brought the Colts to within 3 points....and then this happened.

Peyton Manning is sacked at his own 9 on 4th and long. Jerome Bettis looks to ice the game, but is stripped. A Colts defender recovers and has a straight line to the endzone....until he's tripped up by Big Ben. The Colts get into position for a game tying FG, only to see Mike Vanderjagt miss from 46 yds out, Steelers win.

Manning Watch:

22-38 (58%), 290 yards, 1/0....No turnovers, but below 60% and not enough points Average C

So here's a relatively short break to assess the grades so far, call it PM's playoff midterm;) I count D,C,F,A,A,F,A,D,C so far. That's 18 out of a possible 36 points or a 2.0 GPA. That's a C average my friends.

Playoff games 11-13

January 6th, 2007 Wild Card Round

Colts 23 Chiefs 8

January 13th, 2007 Divisional Round

Colts 15 Ravens 6

January 21st, 2007 AFC Championship

Cots 38 Patriots 34

February 4th, 2007 Super Bowl

Colts 29 Bears 17

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 3rd 18th 2nd T-3rd 21st 32nd 2nd 23rd
Chiefs 16th 9th 22nd 15th 16th 18th 18th 12th
Ravens 17th 25th 11th 12th 1st 2nd 6th 1st
Patriots 12th 12th 12th 7th 6th 5th 12th 2nd
Bears 15th 15th 14th T-2nd 5th 6th 11th 3rd

Colts 12-4 #3 seed---Top offense, bad defense

Chiefs 9-7 #6 seed---average offense, average defense

Ravens 13-3 #2 seed---average offense, top defense

Patriots 12-4 #4 seed---good offense, top defense

Bears 13-3 #1 seed---average offense, top defense

Chiefs recap:

Scoring opportunities were frequent for the Colts in the 1st half, but only resulted in 3FG's. One PM INT deep in Chiefs territory ended one promising drive. The Colts defense played tough and forced 6 three and outs in this 1st half. The Chiefs didn't score until late in the 3rd to cut the lead to 16-8. Manning to Wayne for a 6yd TD sealed the deal.

Ravens recap:

The #1 D in yardage and points lived up to its billing allowing only 5 Colts FG's. They also managed to pick off PM twice. With a 12-6 lead late in the 4th, the Colts offense went on a long 13-play drive that ate up the clock, resulted in a FG, and sealed the deal.

Patriots recap:

I remember watching this night game in the dorm cafeteria I worked in at the time. Worked the shift with an avid Pats fan, was awesome to see him transform from smack-talking annoyance to self-pitying denial;) . This is probably PM's greatest comeback of all time. 17 4th Q points rallied the Colts into the Super Bowl.

Bears recap:

A very interesting game to say the least. Played in Miami in heavy rain, Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff for a TD and the Bears led 7-0. After a 53-yd TD pass from PM to Reggie Wayne (and botched extra point) the Bears still had the advantage. A few Colts mishaps ( fumble in Bears territory, and Vinatieri missed FG to end the half) kept it closer than it should have been. The after alternating FG's in the second half, the clinching play saw Kelvin Hayden pick Rex Grossman off and run it back to the house. That was all she wrote.

Manning Watch:

v. Chiefs 30-38 (79%), 268 yds, 1/3 too many turnovers on deep passes but was very efficient, Average C

v. Ravens 15-30 (50%), 170 yds, 0/2 the Ravens have a habit of making good offenses look foolish, nonetheless, Piss Poor Performance F

v. Patriots 27-47 (57%), 349 yds, 1/1, as a stand alone, the numbers aren't great. I also don't know many QB's that could have come back to win with this game with the Pats firmly in control at hafltime. On pure guts and finally getting over the hump to the Super Bowl, this was Peyton Manning's version of "The Drive" absolutely Masterful Performance A

v. Bears 25-38 (66%), 247 yds, 1/1 also not a stellar game and he might have been the sentimental MVP pick here. It was however not only on him to win the game. The defense stepped up and caused key turnovers including the game sealing pick 6. The running game mashed the tough Bears defense to the tune of 190 yards. It was a team effort a la SB 32. Above Average B

Playoff game 14

January 13th, 2008 Divisional Round

Chargers 28 Colts 24

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 5th 18th 6th 2nd 3rd 15th 2nd 1st
Chargers 20th 7th 26th 5th 14th 16th 14th 5th

The Colts went 13-3 #2 seed---top offense, top defense...Chargers went 11-5 #3 seed, average offense, average defense

Recap:

The Colts started off fast with a PM 25-yd TD pass to Dallas Clark. They were on the march once again when Marvin Harrison fumbled. All momentum was killed after a long 10 play SD TD drive. Colts led at halftime 10-7. Coming out of halftime the Chargers got into the endzone, and were answered promptly by a PM TD to Reggie Wayne. This game was back and forth the whole way. Going into the 4th with a 24-21 lead, Billy Volek in for an injured Phyllis led the team on a drive and capped it off with a 1yd TD run. PM had a chance to win it but threw 3 consecutive incompletions from the Charger 7 to turn over on downs.

Manning Watch:

33-48 (69%), 402 yds, 3/2 Above Average B

Playoff game 15

January 3rd, 2009 Wildcard Round

Chargers 23 Colts 17

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 15th 31st 5th 11th 11th 24th 6th 7th
Chargers 15th 20th 7th 2nd 25th 15th 31st 15th

The Colts went 12-4 #5 seed---average offense, good defense....The Chargers went 8-8 #4 seed---average offense, below average defense.

Recap:

The kicking game for SD helped out immensely. Several Colts drives began inside their own 10 yard line due to great Charger punts. This game was evenly matched throughout, and the Colts had opportunities off of several Charger turnovers. Tied at 17 after regulation, the Colts never saw the ball as the Chargers marched down the field and capped off the victory with a 22 yd TD run by Darren Sproles.

Manning Watch:

25-42 (60%), 310 yds, 1/0 Solid numbers, not enough to win Above Average B

Playoff games 16-18

January 16th, 2010 Divisional Round

Colts 20 Ravens 3

January 23rd, 2010 AFC Championship

Colts 30 Jets 17

February 7th, 2010 Super Bowl

Saints 31 Colts 17

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 9th 31st 2nd 7th 16th 24th 14th 8th
Ravens 13th 5th 18th 9th 3rd 5th 9th 3rd
Jets 20th 1st 31st 17th 1st 8th 1st 1st
Saints 1st 6th 4th 1st 25th 21st 26th 20th

Colts 14-2 #1 seed, top offense, average defense

Ravens 9-7 #6 seed, above average offense, top defense

Jets 9-7 #5 seed, average offense, top defense

Saints 13-3 #1 seed, top offense, bad defense

Ravens recap:

After a 3-3 1st Q stalemate, the Colts jumped on top of the Ravens for good after two 1st half PM TD passes. The defense played tough and didn't allow a Ravens TD.

Jets recap:

This is another solid Colt comeback playoff win. The Jets led 17-13 at halftime. What ensued was a surgical dissection of the top defense in the second half as the Colts scored 17 unanswered behind stout defensive play and a pair of PM TD's.

Saints recap:

I think this game for Colts fans can be summed up in 2 plays. A dropped Pierre Garcon pass deep in Saints territory on 3rd down that could have put the Colts up 17-0, the game clinching Tracy Porter pick 6. Disappointing for the Colts for sure, they easily could have won this game and it was closer than the final score for sure.

Manning Watch:

v. Ravens 30-44 (68%), 246 yds, 2/1 Above Average B

v. Jets 26-39 (67%), 377 yds, 3/0 Masterful Performance A

v. Saints 31-45 (68%), 333yds, 1/1 Have to ding him for the pick 6, can't do that in a big game Average C

Playoff game 19

January 8th, 2011 Wildcard Round

Jets 17 Colts 16

Team Tot O Rush Pass Pts Tot D Rush Pass Pts
Colts 4th 29th 1st 3rd 20th 25th 13th 23rd
Jets 11th 4th 22nd 13th 3rd 3rd 6th 6th

The Colts went 10-6 #3 seed---top offense, below average defense...The Jets went 11-5 #6 seed---above average offense, top defense.

Recap:

The Colts had the lead going into the 4th Q, PM led them to a go ahead FG, then Antonio Cromartie returns the ensuing kickoff 44 yds to put the Jets in great field position with 54 seconds and two timeouts. The Colts defense couldn't hold and the Jets kicked the game winning FG.

Manning Watch:

18-26 (69%), 225, 1/0 Needed 1 more TD Above Average B

PM Final Report Card (19 grades possible):

A=5 (26%)

B=5 (26%)

C= 4 (21%)

D= 2 (11%)

F= 3 (16%)

Overall GPA: 2.32 C average...a bit above average

Overall assessment:

I've taken a lot of twists and turns through this study. At the beginning I said that the predominant thoughts out there about Peyton Manning and the playoffs were "he's great but not so great in the playoffs." Well as a quarterback, you're saddled with wins and losses and his record is 9-10---not so great. He's had more good games and average games than bad, but he's had some stinkers, so that sentiment is absolutely correct IMO except I would reword it to more accurately reflect the results "He's great but he's not great consistently in the playoffs."

In my opinion, Peyton Manning has something else to prove, and that is he can be great consistently.

What this means for our Broncos:

While this primarily focuses on one player, I think we all need to remember one thing. A great QB can help a team do a lot of good, but only a TEAM wins. We witnessed it last year---everyone had a hand in it, we witnessed it in the SB years. Elway could get us there, but we couldn't win until the entire TEAM contributed.

I suppose that is why I am excited for our TEAM this next year. I see the pieces coming together. You don't upgrade the secondary with Porter, Florence, Adams and others because you expect to play defense with a lead, you get them because elite QB's torched us up and down the field and it was a weakness. You don't draft Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson because you were reaching, you draft them because our front 4 had difficulty creating pressure consistently and these guys improve a weakness. You go after Tamme, Dreessen, Caldwell, Stokely and even Hillman because along with Decker, Green, Thomas, and Bay Bay they give Manning plenty of knives to carve out the secondary with.

We are a deeper team with better depth, and trust me if and I say IF we win the Super Bowl in the next few years it won't just be because of Peyton Manning, it will be because our TEAM came together and helped each other out. Imagine if PM had a better, more consistent running game or defense throughout his Colts tenure, I guarantee they would be better than 10-9....just ask Tom Brady how important a team effort is.

Let us discuss, please ;)

This is a lot of information for everyone and it is a long post, but I'm glad because now it's there and we can all pull information from it and discuss things with each other. So what say you MHR, Colts fans, PM fans, football fans? What are your thoughts and observations from this information?---see you in the comment thread, GO BRONCOS!!!

P.S.

I figured I should include some playoff highlights, so here's a few:


This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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