Haunted: Manning’s legacy in limbo after another Super Bowl loss

This could be the game that hurts Manning's legacy

This could be the game that hurts Manning’s legacy

What defines a legacy? For most athletes it’s the numbers on the back of their player cards that usually justifies their greatness. But for the truly great, the cream of the crop, stats aren’t enough. Peyton Manning is one of those athletes. If you were to judge him on statistics alone, without question he is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. However, after being named the NFL’s most valuable player for the fifth time in his career, Manning would enter Metlife Stadium with the chance for NFL immortality. A few hours later, the almighty quarterback looked like something we haven’t seen in 2013, a mere mortal.

Losing is one thing, but what the Broncos did was an even bigger disgrace, they didn’t show up. Can someone check did they even get off the plane or bus? Despite two weeks to prepare, the Broncos didn’t even put up a fight. Sure, the botched snap resulting in a safety swung momentum early, but despite two early trips to the red zones the Broncos still were only down 8-0. The stage was set for Manning, a chance to come back and prove his greatness to the world. But that didn’t happen. Manning’s turnovers at key moments of the game would finish off the illusion of a comeback as the Broncos were embarrassed by a 43-8 whopping by the Seahawks.

Once again, Manning, the best quarterback in the game fell short. This time he didn’t fall short, he tripped right out of the gate and seemingly damaged his reputation in one game. Ā It doesn’t matter how many yards, touchdowns, or wins Manning has in his career. The only way to exorcise the critics or questions about his legacy is to hoist another Lombardi trophy. But now at the age of 38, with already declining health, Father Time is catching up to Peyton Manning. If he wants to be considered the greatest quarterback ever the only way to do this is to win another Super Bowl. When you are the best in the sport you are expected to win. Is it fair? Not necessarily but it is expected.

With such a miserable performance on his resume, and millions of NFL fans who are upset about the lack of a game on the field, Manning needs a win so that people forget this. If not, it will be the defining moment in a career of futility and what could have been. He might be a great quarterback, but Manning’s post season demons are keeping him from being one of the greatest players in NFL history.

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Time to put up or shut up

Richard Sherman has written a huge check with a mouth, but can he cash it in on Sunday?

Richard Sherman has written a huge check with a mouth, but can he cash it in on Sunday?

Instigator, playmaker, ball hawk, controversy, and an A$% hole are just a few adjectives that describe Richard Sherman. While he may be one of the most beloved person in Seattle, his comments and antics have made him an NFL villain everywhere else. He’s the arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, and if you disagree he would probably go into a rant about how he is the best in the game. However, unlike most divas who are all flash and no substance, Sherman backs his talk up with even bigger plays. With eight interceptions this season, and countless passes defended, Sherman is the boisterous leader of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” defense.

However, The Legion will face their toughest opponent yet

Controversy and talent that go hand in hand

Controversy and talent that go hand in hand

in the upcoming Super Bowl against Peyton Manning and his vast arsenal of playmaking receivers. Sure Sherman could take one of those receivers out the game, but with so many options and Sherman only being one man, the Seahawks’ secondary will be put to the ultimate test. Sherman is putting an even bigger target on this group after his controversial post game comments following the NFC Championship game. It also doesn’t help when he calls Michael Crabtree a “sorry receiver”. But in the midst of the his rants and comments could Sherman be actually helping the Seahawks by shining the spotlight on himself?

Whenever someone has mentioned the Seahawks have been mentioned these past two weeks the name that always pops up is Richard Sherman. However, the cornerback may be doing a huge service for his team. Think about it. No one has talked about Russell Wilson’s post season slump

It's time for the Legion's leader to step up

It’s time for the Legion’s leader to step up

or the fact that he’s a second year pro. Instead of the media burning a spotlight on the young quarterback and his flaws, the cameras and media have all been focused on Sherman. If anything, Sherman has been putting all the pressure on himself rather than have his teammates take on the enormous media scrutiny.

With all this talking, it’s time for Sherman to start walking. Should he struggle or give up big plays during the Super Bowl, his reputation will take a major hit. It’s like the Jets a few seasons ago. When Rex Ryan was winning, that bravado and swagger was accepted because they could back it up. But when the losses start to pile up, that swagger and bravado crashed harder than a lead balloon. It’s not about talking in the NFL, it’s about getting the job done. So Richard Sherman, you think you’re the best cornerback in the NFL? It’s time to prove it on the biggest stage in the world, Super Bowl XLVIII.

Last Hoorah: Should this be it for Peyton Manning?

If Peyton Manning wins should he retire?

If Peyton Manning wins should he retire?

It was a season to remember. With fifty-five touchdowns and over five thousand passing yards, Peyton Manning crafted the most masterful season in NFL history. Many experts may say this is the best that Manning has ever been, the pinnacle of Mount Everest for the quarterback position. Now only one win away from a Super Bowl and football immortality, the question is if Peyton Manning hoists the Lombardi Trophy, should this be it?

At the age of 38, Peyton Manning isn’t exactly a spring chicken. True he probably could continue to play a few more seasons given the lack of punishment he has endured being hit as a quarterback. Still, there is one important aspect that tends to get overlooked. Peyton Manning’s neck is a cause for concern. Two years after major neck surgery, Manning has already said that he will visit doctor’s this offseason to see how much his neck has deteriorated. If Manning wins this Super Bowl, and the doctor’s tell him that his neck has deteriorated significantly, then I think he will strongly consider retirement. He will have finally won multiple Super Bowls, and a Super Bowl for two different franchises. This is a feat that has never been done before. Plus, would another Super Bowl really mean that much? He’s in an elite club with only a few quarterbacks that have won multiple Super Bowls. Add in his regular season success, Manning would have to be considered one of if not the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

What would be a more fitting end to Manning’s career then a Super Bowl victory? If he loses this sunday I have no doubts that he will be back under center, even with the health concerns. He needs one more Super Bowl victory. Let’s say they win this Super Bowl and he comes back. What if he gets hurt next season and can’t play again? What if he can’t win another Super Bowl? Wouldn’t it be better if Manning if Manning left in the prime of his career rather than limp out pathetically at the end? While many football fans want to see Manning continue his career, me included, there is a time where even the greats have to make the difficult decision to retire. Don’t be surprised if the Broncos win the Super Bowl, that Peyton Manning may not be under center for them in 2014.