Peyton Manning was unable to get a second Super Bowl ring, but that should not change the way people look at him.
According to Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk, Manning is “the greatest quarterback that has ever played the game.” Faulk said this last week while sitting down with a group of bloggers, courtesy of SAP.
SAP has been working with the NFL to create new technology to help revamp the fan experience and Faulk has been a big part of that.
Faulk was also a big part of Manning’s rookie season. In 1998, the two shared a backfield in Indianapolis. During Faulk’s fifth year the veteran and rookie had constant conversations “with about ten seconds on the play clock ‘I think that’s Cover 2, Marshall. I think you’re right, Peyton. It looks like 3 to me. Yeah, just make sure that safety drops down in the box as you get under center, that’s probably gonna happen but let’s just see.’ It’s casual conversations like that while walking up to the line of scrimmage that he and I would have on a play-to-play basis.”
Faulk saw how passionate Manning was and that helped build their relationship. The running back relentlessly worked with the quarterback on and off the field.
“Peyton and I, we’re football junkies. I’ve been an addict of two things in life and that’s football and golf. We’re the same kind of person. We saw football through the same set of eyes. Our passion for football is bar none and I think for him to know that that resided in another person it allowed him to live his life the way that he lives it and be okay with it and be okay with having a film room at your house. To have your kids watching film with you and consider that as spending time with your kids.”
Although the Colts only won three games in 1998, Manning’s teams have won at least ten games in 13 of the 15 seasons he has played. Every single team in the league would love to have that kind of consistency and that’s just part of the reason Faulk feels he’s the greatest of all time.
“He has changed our game…Your quarterback needs to be able to identify a defense, get you in the right play, get you from run to pass or pass to run based on what the defense is giving you…And the whole postseason argument of his postseason record or his record in playoff games and stuff like that or not making it to Super Bowls, well those sixteen games to get you there matter. They do matter cause if you don’t play those well you don’t get there. So when people only talk about postseason obviously those are a lot of people whom didn’t have to play those sixteen to try to get to the postseason to understand how hard it is to get there…It’s a lot for one man to carry that burden by himself. All but one year that’s all Peyton has done.”
By breaking the NFL single season record for passing yards and touchdowns this year Manning had the greatest statistical season of all time. He also won his record setting fifth MVP and led his team all the way to the Super Bowl, which four organizations have never even been to. Losing in the championship game definitely stings, but it should in no way tamper Manning’s legacy and his place in history among the all-time greats.
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Written by Matt Brody