Sundays Super Bowl was supposed to be the crowning moment in Peyton Manning’s career. It was meant to be the moment he won his second ring and solidified his place among the elite quarterbacks. Instead things went horribly wrong from the first snap of the game and Peyton and the Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8. The question now is what is the impact of this dramatic loss on Peyton’s legacy? The answer is not much, Peyton will still be viewed as one of the greatest quarterbacks in history.
Going into this Super Bowl Peyton had one of the best seasons of his career, throwing 55 touchdowns and passing for a record setting 5,477 yards. At the end of the season he won his fifth MVP, and in spite of losing the Super Bowl he completed a record 34 passes eclipsing the record set by another great quarterback, Tom Brady. Peyton is one of the few quarterbacks who calls his own plays and is one of the best offensive coordinators in the game. Throughout this season he was able to lead the Broncos to some tough wins including a 51-48 win over the Dallas Cowboys where their quarterback Tony Romo passed for a career best 506 yards and 5 touchdowns. During the regular season Manning found ways to carry his team to victory in spite of a weak defense but it is hard to do that during the Super Bowl when you are facing a tough team. In addition to being a class act on the field Peyton is known as one off the field. Richard Sherman, Corner Back for the Seahawks who made headlines before the game talking about fellow NFL players in not the nicest way had only good things to say about Manning when he sought out the injured Sherman after the game to find out how he was feeling. Sherman stated, “He was really concerned about my well-being. After a game like that, a guy who’s still classy enough to say ‘How are you doing? To show that kind of concern for an opponent shows a lot of humility and class. He’s a Hall of Fame player, he’s a living legend, he’s a record-holding quarterback, he’s a Super Bowl champion, he’s been a Super Bowl MVP.” This is Manning’s legacy this is what other players see him as a great player with a lot of class no matter how many Super Bowl rings he has.
True Manning’s playoff record is 11-12 with another Super Bowl loss but it is hard to carry a team in the playoffs the same way you can during the regular season. Peyton has had various weapons around him during his career but he has seldom had a complete team making it hard for him to win in the playoffs. The Seahawks are a more complete team as evidenced by their win in spite of their quarterback Russell Wilson, Wilson’s a good but erratic quarterback and in only his second year in the league is nowhere near the leader Peyton is. True in this Super Bowl Peyton threw two interceptions and choose to go for it on a fourth and 2 instead of kicking a field goal a sure three points. I believe he made these mistakes out of desperation. Trying to provide his team with a spark and carry them to victory Peyton tried dangerous plays but they didn’t pay off. When it comes to the lasting legacy of Peyton Manning I believe this loss will be forgotten. Manning will be seen as one of the all-time greats an outstanding player and leader with one Super Bowl, at least 5 MVP’s and countless records. Had he won Super Bowl XLVIII it would have added to his legacy but the loss does not tarnish it.