The dreaded Manning-curse strikes again and for Peyton Manning, this one is very hard to swallow. The Pittsburgh Steelers won their sixth straight game Sunday, 21-18 over the stunned Indianapolis Colts, becoming the first sixth seed to advance to a conference championship game.
But, as often happens, the burden fell to Manning, and he couldn’t save his team. Manning did tried his best by guiding the Colts to the Pittsburgh 28 for a chance to force overtime. With his legacy on the line, Manning winced on the sideline as kicker Mike Vanderjagt missed a 46-yard fieldgoal. Vanderjagt was this year’s NFL’s most accurate kicker.
Clearly, this loss was more frustrating to Manning, now 3-6 in the postseason. It was a blown chance, perhaps his best yet of reaching the Super Bowl. When asked about Indianapolis’ blown blocking assignments, Manning looked for a safe word saying he doesn’t want to be a bad teammate. Clearly disappointed, Manning blamed the loss on the Colts “protection problems.”
The Steelers’ blitz that often wrecked Manning’s passing game? "I’m trying to be a good teammate here. Let’s just say we had some problems with protection." "Pittsburgh came in here and played better than us. It’s hard to admit that, it’s hard to accept that. But unfortunately, that’s the truth." [Associated Press]
And now, the loudest noise heard in the RCA Dome was a T-H-U-D. The stigma about him now will sure to grow – the man without a Super Bowl trip. As Manning pointed out, sooner or later, he’ll run out of years. There probably won’t be a next year. This was their best chance and they blew it. Better to lose in the snow in New England than in front of the home customers, who had been lured into expecting something different.
When asked about his reaction as Vanderjagt kick glanced to the right, ending the Colts’ late rally. "It was tough to see," Manning said, his voice wavering and his eyes glistening. "You put so much into trying to get into this position." [Fox Sports]
That was Manning. That was the Colts season. Now, Manning can go home and tell old Papa Archie that life indeed sucks. It takes time to move on from a game like this and we’re not quite sure if Manning can forgive the football gods.
Here are some quotes by fans about Manning:
"You are a sissy. You are afraid to take a hit. You are a soft, spoiled little bitch who folds up like a lawn chair the first time you get jacked. The Patriots proved it, the Chargers proved, and the Steelers proved it. And the next time you blame your lineman for having "problems with protection" remember, YOU are the one that calls the plays, YOU are the one who makes the adjustments at the line, and YOU are the one who is responsible for reading the blitz. So Peyton, just remember that the only thing standing between you and your dream of being a champion is the giant pussy you see every time you look in the mirror. Thank you for your time and please go to Hell." [ironhead54, LIVEJOURNAL]
"There were several occasions where it looked like he was either going to piss down his leg and/or cry (which I think he did cry during the game). I don’t know if it’s because he’s a momma’s boy or what but what a freeking wimp. I Sadly for Peyton, it looks like this complex will haunt him throughout his career." [Why Hockey Sucks]
View Related Story: A Manning denied us of a Manning vs Manning Super Bowl [Oddjack]
More Peyton Manning stories on the WEB:
Manning reflects on life, the game he loves [Indy Star]
Playoff questions resurface for Indianapolis’ Manning [Associated Press]
NE’s curse on Manning, Colts [NY Daily News]
BET on SUPERBOWL XL PROPOSITIONS [Bodog Sportsbook]Comments