I ask this question not to start a flame war, but to try to explain what my lying eyes seem to tell me. There is little room to argue Peyton is one of the greatest Quarterbacks ever, but I some times wonder if he is just a little too cerebral. Is a he true leader or is he just a really, really good manager. A manager oversees an offense, coordinating all the various components, ensuring all the right parts are in all the right places. They know the operation inside and out, and backwards and forwards, and can generally tell you how each piece fits with every other piece. A really good manager makes the entire team better by instilling confidence that everything will be alright. They provide correction when needed, and are always looking for ways to get the edge and increase efficiency. They tend to be some of the hardest workers in a successful organization and are often really good folks to hang out with. The problem is a manager is not necessarily a leader.
Ray Lewis is a leader of men. Say what you want about him personally, but he wills his team to rise above what they think they are capable of. He does not just direct the defense, he leads the defense. He tells his teammates that if they will just believe and fight they can overcome any obstacle. No analysis required. No deep thinking or strategy. Just one man exerting his will over reality. One man who looks at the odds and smiles and says who is with me. I am not a fan of the man Ray Lewis, but I think if there is anything we can take away from the game it's this.
When the team is tired and it is cold and the stakes are highest, a great manager will rarely beat a great leader. A conservative cerebral approach will lose out to an aggressive sold out belief in the impossible. I worry that Peyton's curiously bad stats in the biggest situations mean that he is a great manager, but may not be a great leader. What do you think?