Manning Faces Super Bowl Snow to Silence Critics
Napoleon had Waterloo. Superman had Kryptonite. Peyton Manning has the snow, and his final showdown awaits him in New Jersey.
Inclement weather games and playoff losses give critics ammunition to detract from Manning’s nearly immaculate professional football career, but he will have a chance to rectify both shortcomings if all the weather predictions prove true.
Manning defeated the elements this year in Denver, throwing for 397 yards and four touchdowns against Tennessee in freezing temperatures, but is still only 4-7 career in cold weather games. Last week’s AFC Championship game was chilly, but it was nowhere close to the conditions Manning and the Broncos will face in The Meadowlands.
Unfortunately for Manning, the snow isn't the only super-villain he will face in New Jersey. Looming in the shadows of the stadium, there lies the whispers of his inability to get it done in the playoffs.
Going into this year’s playoffs Manning carried a losing record (9-11) in the postseason, but his two wins against the Chargers and Patriots brought the ship back to even keel. With a win in the Super Bowl, his playoff record would become a winning one with two Super Bowl rings to boot.
Surely a snowflake crusted victory would remove Manning from the Dan Marino category of quarterbacks and vault him into the driver's seat in the conversation regarding the best of all time.
Win or lose, Manning's numbers will still rank him as the best statistical quarterback to play the game, but another ring would go a long way to help him sleep at night. The win would add him onto the short list of multiple Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, which is a list that already hosts his little brother, Eli.
Nobody wants to lose bragging rights at the dinner table, and I'm sure giving noogies is more fun with two rings.
The final super-villain for Manning to overcome will be the team itself, the rough and tough underdog Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman proved their squad performs best when they're expected to lose, and questions about their ability to score will serve as fuel for their fire.
The stage is set. Peyton versus the elements. Peyton versus history. Let's not forget though, it's really just Peyton versus the Seahawks.