By Tom Quiner
Peyton Manning looked awful in yesterday’s 24-13 loss to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts.
In fact, he hasn’t played very well the past month after starting the season with one outstanding performance after another. In fact, he led the league in passing halfway through the season, before his year-end fall-off.
Football fans and pundits are buzzing if yesterday’s thumping means the end of the line for the storied Manning. After all, he will be 39 years old in a couple of months. That’s old by NFL standards where your body receives brutal punishment.
After this disappointing loss, Mr. Manning was classy as usual as reporters grilled him on whether he was going to hang ’em up:
“My mindset right now is just disappointment after [Sunday’s] game. I’m disappointed, I kind of need to process this game, we’ll meet [Monday]. I’m disappointed I need to process this game.”
Good honest answer.
In further remarks, he blamed no one but himself, as is customary for this guy:
“Not good enough, didn’t play well enough. I give them a lot of credit … Their defense forced us into some bad execution, but we have some chances as well and thought I could have played better.”
Observers have noted that Manning seems to have less arm strength than he had earlier in the season, not surprising in light of the wear and tear the game puts on the arm of a 38 year quarterback.
But here is what no one knew: Peyton Manning was playing with a torn quad. He’s had it for three weeks, when his team won but once against two losses.
When asked about it yesterday, he said the injury was a non-factor.
Lesser men would have pointed to the injury as a legitimate excuse for poor play.
Not Peyton Manning.