No one can argue logically that Peyton Manning is a mediocre QB. Or that heâ€™s not a great QB. He is one of the best of the best. But the Lombardi Trophy has managed to elude the man with the rifle-accurate arm, competitive spirit and QB pedigree. Is this Manningâ€™s time finally?
It certainly could be. But the irony here is that it may be Peyton Manningâ€™s time to take it to the limit not so much because of changes he has made but due to alterations instigated by the Colts.
WRs Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are tough to beat. Add in TE Dallas Clark and youâ€™ve got a great triumvirate. TE Ben Utecht offers valuable protected and the ability to break away from the line and make timely catches. This is a rich group of guys with great speed and hands.
Adding RB Joseph Addai has given the Colts a respectable running game, taking pressure off of Manning and giving him more options on offense. This was especially helpful in this years playoff game against Kansas City, when Manning threw three interceptions and Indy switched to a running game in the second half.
The Colt offensive line has steadily improved over the last two years. This means more time for Manning to throw and better holes for the running game.
Indy has improved its â€œD,â€? especially its secondary. Itâ€™s even tougher for teams to match their point production and more difficult for opponents to catch up once they fall behind.
Adam Vinatieri is now the Coltsâ€™ field goal specialist and not Mike Vanderjagt. Vinatieri is about as reliable in big game situations as anyone.
Finally, Manning has more experience and that has also helped. He continues to improve as a leader and decision maker.
In the final analysis, itâ€™s not all up to Manning. He has a lot more guys who can carry the burden of winning. In the past it seemed as if the only one Peyton Manning could or would rely upon was Peyton Manning. Heâ€™s got a team of talent and then some.
Super Bowl? This may be the year. Lombardi Trophy? This “team” can do it. Don’t you think so?