Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

The Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts Mt. Rushmore

Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts home since 2008. Photo Courtesy: Josh Hallett

In 2016 the Indianapolis Colts will play their 63rd season as a member of the National Football League. 30 of those seasons in Baltimore (1953-1983) at Memorial Stadium before moving to the “Circle City.” In that span they’ve won 4 League Championships (Does not include the AFL or NFL Championships won during the same seasons as the AFL–NFL Super Bowl Championships prior to the 1970 Merger),3 NFL Championships—pre 1970 AFL-NFL merger, 2 Super Bowl Championships, 7 Conference Championships and 16 Divisional Titles. All those accomplishments make them one of the most successful franchises in Pro Football History. And the following are the four guys who are mostly responsible for these accomplishments. If the Colts ever created their Mount Rushmore, these are the four men you’d likely see on it.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives.  Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday.  I will make a separate list for them soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them?

Manning hold over 40 Colts records. Photo Courtesy: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Peyton Manning (1998-2011) is in the discussion to be on the Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time Mount Rushmore, I think that alone makes his case to be on the Colts’ Mount Rushmore. Manning holds nearly every passing record in the Colts history; most wins by a QB (141), most passing yards (54,828), most passing touchdowns (399) and most completions (4,682) among forty-four others. “The Sheriff” led Indianapolis to 2 Super Bowl appearances (XLI, XLIV) winning his first title in Super Bowl XLI to go along with the game’s MVP award. Manning won 4 of his 5 NFL MVP’s (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009), 11 of 14 Pro Bowl selections and 8 of 10 All-Pro team honors with the Colts. He is on the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team. The recently retired Manning had his jersey number 18 retired by the team, and the Colts will honor him with a statue outside of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. There’s no doubt he will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee when his eligible in 2022.

Johnny “U” was the prototype QB in the early stages of the passing era. Photo Credit: Gannett News Service

Johnny Unitas (1956-1972) was the standard at the QB position with the Colts, and the NFL for that matter. “Johnny U” led the Baltimore Colts to 3 NFL Championships (1958, 1959, 1968) and their first Super Bowl (V) victory. A 10-time Pro Bowl and 7-time All-Pro selection, Unitas was under center for the Colts in what has been called “The Greatest Game Ever Played” versus the Giants, beating New York in overtime 23-17 for the NFL Championship. It was the first game that ever went into sudden death. Four times the man with the flat top and black high top cleats won the NFL MVP Award (1957, 1959, 1964, 1967). Unitas is a member of the NFL 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, as well as the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team. In 1979 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Colts retired his number 19 jersey.

Harrison reaped the benefits of being Manning’s go-to-guy.

Marvin Harrison (1996-2008) was Peyton Manning’s number one option during their time in “Naptown.” Harrison is the Colts all-time leader in receptions (1,102), receiving yards (14,580) and receiving touchdowns (128). The 8-time Pro Bowl and 8-time All-Pro selection holds, or is tied for 33 individual NFL records. The combination of he and Manning holds the NFL Records for most completion between quarterback and wide receiver (953), passing touchdowns (112), passing yards (12,756) and completions in a season (143). The Colts inducted him into their ring of honor in 2011, and he is a member of the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class.

Berry was to Unitas, what Harrison was to Manning. Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Raymond Berry (1955-1967) helped the Baltimore Colts win back-to-back NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. The 6-time Pro Bowl and 5-time All-Pro wide receiver has the record for most catches in a league championship game (12), and is a member of the NFL’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, as well as the NFLs 1950s All-Decade Team. The team retired his number 82 jersey and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973. Sporting News ranked him the 40th player on their list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Colts fans let me know what you think. Do you agree with these four? Or is there someone I’m missing? I want to hear from you.

Steelers-Broncos: Divisional Preview

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round. And with two hobbled starting quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger with the injured right throwing shoulder, and Peyton Manning with plantar fasciitis that limited him to only 10 games this season.

Pittsburgh won the first meeting of the 2015 season in Heinz Field, 34-27 in week 15 after coming back from a 27-13 halftime deficit. Roethlisberger was threw for 380 yards on 40/55 with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. But, the Mile High City has been sort of a house of horrors for him and the Steelers in recent memory.

The last time the Steelers were in Denver was back in 2012. Peyton Manning passed for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns on 19/26, leading the Broncos to a 31-19 win in his first game with his new team, after missing all of the previous season. That meeting, came eight months after the Steelers lost to the Broncos 29-23 on the first play of overtime on an 80 yard pass and catch from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas. That was the day in which the Pittsburgh D gave up a career high 316 passing yards and 2 touchdowns to Tebow. See, giving up career high games to quarterbacks has been the norm for the Black & Yellow for a handful of seasons now. Not just the four they allowed this season to Russell Wilson, Johnny Manziel, Aaron McCarron and Ryan Mallet.

Ben Roethlisberger is 3-4 vs. Broncos as a starter in his career. That includes the 2005 AFC Championship victory in Denver. Head coach Mike Tomlin is 2-3 vs Denver in his tenure.

But it’s not all bad for Tomlin, Roethlisberger and company. #7 is 4-0 in divisional games, and moved to 5-0 as the 6th seed with last Saturday’s victory. They’re also the only team to score 30+ points this season on the Broncos fourth ranked scoring D and first ranked in total yards in the NFL.

There are some nuggets that should have Peyton Manning and Bronco fans concerned. Manning, who hasn’t started a game since November 15th against the Kansas City Chiefs when he was benched after throwing 4 interceptions, has been held under 300 yards passing in 4 of 5 meetings all-time against Pittsburgh. Nine times he’s lost the first playoff game, six of them at home. That includes the 2005 Divisional loss to Roethlisberger and the Steelers when Peyton was with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning is 3-2 all-time vs. Steelers, that includes playoffs.

Also, the coaching edge in this matchup has to go to Mike Tomlin. He’s not only a Super Bowl Champion and 2-time AFC Champ, he’s 6-4 in the postseason. While his counterpart on the other sideline, Gary Kubiak is just 2-2 in his postseason career.

At the time of this post, wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had 16 receptions for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns in the week 15 matchup, still hasn’t passed the concussion protocol which would keep him out of Sunday’s game. Running back DeAngelo Williams hasn’t practice since injuring his right ankle against the Cleveland Browns in the regular season ending victory, and could also miss this game. Roethlisberger has yet to test his ability to throw with that injured shoulder in practice. Injuries has been the theme to this Steeler team all season going back to training camp. If their season is to continue, they’ll have to overcome this hurdle once again.

The Steelers are 7 point underdogs, and the over-under is 39.5.  Kickoff is scheduled for 4:40 pm on Sunday.