“Mann Of The Year”

The fun thing about the Saturday before the Super Bowl is finding out who will be joining “football heaven” as Cris Carter calls the Hall of Fame. There are some guys when they retire that you know are a clear lock to make it to Canton, Ohio five years from when they decide to call it a career. The man I’m about to discuss is no stranger to the headlines. Peyton Manning was the face of the NFL at one point. When discussing quarterbacks, he was always one of the first two or three names to come up in the conversation. We all knew he would be the recipient of a gold jacket eventually. As expected, the legendary quarterback has been elected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Peyton is one of the two best quarterbacks I’ve seen play this game. He’s also the smartest football player I’ve had the pleasure of watching along with breaking down each week. No quarterback was better at reading coverages or exploiting mismatches better than number 18. From 2003 to 2010, he was the most dominant player in the league. A wide receiver could be covered down the field and he’d fit the ball into the tightest of windows. If you didn’t hit him early on as a defender, it was going to be a long day at the office for you. With quarterbacks like that, you must get them off their rhythm early and rattle them up. However, when he was locked in, there was no stopping him. He made every pass, read every coverage and capitalized on it. 2004 is a year I remember like it was yesterday. Peyton broke Dan Marino’s record of 48 touchdown passes in a single season. This is a record that was broken three years later by Tom Brady.

He’s a 14-time Pro Bowler, a five-time league MVP and a two-time Super Bowl champion. I still remember his 2013 season. Peyton threw 55 touchdown passes that year which is still a record that holds. In 2014, he surpassed fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre and became the all-time leader in touchdown passes. He’s one of two quarterbacks ever to win the Super Bowl with multiple franchises. It was such an honor and a pleasure to have the chance to break him down for many years. What a career. Now, he’s in Canton forever.

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