FIRE JOE MORGAN: Football! (I'll Keep It Short)


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Monday, January 15, 2007


Football! (I'll Keep It Short)

This is why everyone hates Peyton Manning. You are why, Peter King.

Did anyone watch the Colts-Ravens game on Saturday? I'll tell you what you were thinking -- boy, this is pretty boring ... hey, Vinatieri is still pretty good ... should I go see Pan's Labyrinth after this? ...

I'll tell you what you weren't thinking: what a damn fine game Peyton Manning is having. Peter King, somehow, was thinking that:

In one of the biggest games of his pressurized nine-year NFL career, Peyton Manning played with the cool detachment of the greatest Colt of them all, Johnny Unitas, on Saturday.

Oh f. Come on. Ol' 6' 5"-Rocket-Laser-Arm has played enough truly amazing games where we don't have to fondle his junk for this one. Baltimore has a tough defense, and he put up a stinker. Not that much more to it than that. But if there is, Peter King, enlighten me.

In beating the Ravens, the AFC's second seed, Manning showed how ridiculous a stat quarterback rating is, compiling a woeful 39.6 rating.

No. He didn't. Quarterback rating is fatally flawed, inscrutable and weird. But Manning didn't play a great game. Is that so hard to see?


But he completed 15 of 30 passes,

That's bad. Why are you bringing that up? That hurts your argument. 15/30 is 50% -- good for an NBA field goal percentage, bad for an NFL quarterback. Manning's completion percentage for the season was 65%, and it was his lowest in five years. 50% is fifteen percent lower than his season average. If he'd posted an 80% rate, we'd be raving about how efficient he was. He's gotta be docked a few points for going 15/30.

Andrew Walter's completion percentage this season was 53.3%.

was sacked only once

This is a point in his favor.

and threw two interceptions (one a Hail-Mary sort of punt)

And the other was a terrible throw that could only have steeled the beliefs of the legion of people who keep calling Manning a playoff choker (I am not one of those people).

while controlling the line of scrimmage throughout and taking away the Baltimore defense's aggressiveness.

Here's where it gets totally subjective and perhaps Peter King has some high level of football knowledge that enables him to make this sort of head-scratching blanket statement. I don't see it, and he certainly doesn't explain himself any further. To quote reader Matty, who tipped me off about this piece, "I don't even know what that means. Wouldn't an offensive or defensive line control the line of scrimmage more than some guy standing behind it? To the extent that he decides when the ball gets snapped, I guess he controlled it."

Again, did anyone watch this game? Seemed to me like Peyton played a pretty mediocre sixty minutes. Now he's controlling the line and taking away Ray Lewis' aggressiveness?

He outplayed his co-2003 MVP, Baltimore quarterback Steve McNair, who threw two terribly inopportune interceptions in Indianapolis territory.

This sentence is probably true, but McNair was embarrassingly bad. Their lines:

Manning: 15-30, 170 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
McNair: 18-29, 173 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT

I'll give King the benefit of the doubt because McNair's interceptions were on the balance more costly than Manning's. But to me that looks like two lousy quarterback performances on a day when defense and field goal kicking dominated. And that's what I saw when I watched the game, too.

Just a reminder of what Pete saw:

Peyton Manning played with the cool detachment of the greatest Colt of them all, Johnny Unitas, on Saturday.

That is infuriating.

I guess we should amend the lines:


P.S. One last piece of evidence King marshals:

"Stats mean nothing in a game like this,'' Indianapolis quarterback coach Jim Caldwell said. "Peyton controlled this game.''

Yes, that does sound like a thing his own personal coach would say.

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posted by Junior  # 1:56 PM
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