Monday, January 20, 2014


Peyton Manning played as perfect a game as a quarterback can play in yesterday's 26-16 victory over the Patriots and Tom Brady.  It did not hurt that the contest was played in perfect conditions and that the Patriots best defender was injured in the first half.  Yet perfect conditions etc or not, the play of Manning in both his passing skill and intelligence was something for a museum.

I've often said to any who will endure listening to my wisdom, that the most important skill for a quarterback is not arm strength or passing accuracy.  If you don't have a sophisticated brain, you can not excel at quarterback.  Football, more than any other sport, is a game that requires chess like decision making.  And no position requires more decision making than the quarterback spot.  Many times yesterday Manning saw a defense and called a play that would be successful given how the Patriots were lined up.  Of course, his ability to throw the passes so precisely made the plays he called effective. But it was his brain, not his athletic prowess, that was the key ingredient.

And Manning was not playing against the village idiots. Unlike last week when Manning was able to get San Diego to jump offsides because of his shouting, the Pats did not budge offsides once. Of course, neither did they get to the quarterback once. Not one sack all day. But the Pats played intelligently too, yet Manning really was able to outsmart a smart defense all day long. Had his receivers made a couple of additional plays they should have made the score could have been more lopsided.

So, hats off to the Broncos who beat my Pats.  As a fan I will point out that (a) on third down of the first series of the game, Austin Collie was held like an accosted bank robber, but the referees did not make the call requiring a punt on the first possession, and (b) there was a completely bogus offensive interference call against the Pats later on that even the tv announcers considered peculiar, and (c) there was a defensive holding called against the Pats that was pure home cooking and led to the Broncos first touchdown. However, belly aching aside, the Broncos were the better team and Peyton Manning's performance was one of the best of all time.

On another note, I went one and one on my predictions, losing the Pats game, but winning at Seattle. (Quite a contrast watching that game and the young whippsersnapper quarterbacks for both teams after the cerebral chess match in Denver).  My wisdom in the post season now guarantees a winning record. 1-3 wild card weekend, 4-0 division playoffs, 1-1, championship week.  I go into the super-bowl 6-4.  I'll wait until I hear the weather report for NY before I make the super bowl prediction. If the weather is mild like it was in Denver yesterday, nobody is going to top Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

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