There’s no avoiding the talk now, no matter what John Elway says.
We’re about to have an entire offseason to discuss Peyton Manning’s legacy.
Manning broke a Super Bowl record for completions when he hit 33, and he finished 34-of-49 for 280 yards. But ultimately, his night was a disaster, with two interceptions in Denver’s 43-8 loss in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
That’s going to trigger months and months of discussion of what it means in a historical context, such that it’s an important question to ask.
When Manning is finished, he’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and the discussion won’t take a minute. His individual accomplishments are brilliant beyond description.
But he’s made it easy on his critics with his 11-12 playoff record, which includes eight one-and-done appearances.
Until or unless he adds a second title, there will be those who consider him behind the Tom Bradys and Joe Montanas and Steve Youngs and Terry Bradshaws of the world, though his individual brilliance as a passer exceeds theirs.
While it might not be a completely fair criticism, since he’s one of 11 on the field for the Broncos, it’s one he invited upon himself, with postseason performances that never matched those in the regular season.