Where is the next home for Peyton Manning?

With the Colts achieving a negative 8 wins from their previous season, they’ve locked up the #1 overall draft pick next month, and will take Andrew Luck, as all coaching and administrative staff have stated. The 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback is being kicked to the curb, but will he go out as Joe Montana, Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas, playing for different teams?

Manning, who will turn 36 later this month, will perhaps become the most prized free agent in NFL history. The decision is not a surprise. Manning spent his 14-year career in Indianapolis, but he became expendable after a neck injury forced him to miss the 2011 season and the Colts collapsed without him, finishing tied for the worst record (2-14) with the St. Louis Rams. That put the Colts in position to select Manning’s successor, Andrew Luck, who will have as many lofty expectations to meet as Manning did. Luck will join a franchise that is substantially different from the one Manning elevated to greatness. Since the end of the season, the Colts’ owner, Jim Irsay, has cleaned house of most of the coaches and front-office executives who worked with Manning.

Peyton Manning has been the Colts’ quarterback for so long that the last quarterback to start a game before he got there was Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, who could be among the teams that try to bring Manning in.  Continue reading “Where is the next home for Peyton Manning?” Where is the next home fo…

Peyton Manning or Not, that is the question

We knew what this season was coming down to. Why the Colts signed Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks of all time, to a 5-year 90-something million dollar contract after 2 recent neck injuries, is beyond me. But with Andrew Luck from Stanford “Luck-ily” falling into their laps, what happens to their veteran?

Nearly four years ago, when the NFL announced that Indianapolis would host the Super Bowl in 2012, you couldn’t blame fans for being excited. Back then, Peyton Manning was 32, and had never missed a game in his dominant NFL career. He was coming off another stellar season, in which the Colts finished 13-3 and took their fifth straight division title. His Colts had won the Super Bowl the prior year, over the Chicago Bears. The dream of Manning marching off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, hoisting the Lombardi trophy in front of an adoring home crowd, seemed very real.

Now, the dream has been shattered, in a way that no one saw coming. The only Manning who might be winning a Super Bowl in Indy is Eli, Peyton’s little brother, whose Giants will play my San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the NFC Championship game (New England hosts Baltimore in the AFC title game). And just as the city he turned into an NFL powerhouse enjoys the spotlight that comes with a Super Bowl, it’s entirely possible that Peyton may have already played his last game for the Colts.  Continue reading “Peyton Manning or Not, that is the question” Peyton Manning or Not, th…

After a week off, the 49ers are still on top

In fact, the 49ers increased their lead across the entire division and they didn’t even play this past weekend, all thanks to the Cardinals, Rams, and Seahawks losing their games.

Seattle Seahawks (2-4) – A new quarterback, but still old problems. They lost to the Cleveland Browns (next up, Niners!) 6-3 in a game that looked more like a baseball score than an NFL game. From Tavaris Jackson to Charlie Whitehurst, the Seahawks are lost. So much for rolling off that playoff season last year.

Arizona Cardinals (1-5) – Larry Fitzgerald can’t throw the ball to himself, guys. You threw your defense away for an unproven quarterback in Kevin Kolb, and where has that gotten you? Patrick Peterson, your top pick cornerback replacement, has been burnt so many times that I’m running out of bread.

St Louis Rams (0-6) – One of the true contenders in the Suck for Luck contest (but let’s be honest, they’d be better off trading the pick away and to stick with Sam Bradford), the hapless Rams are worse off than every other team. They even traded for pro bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, they have an excellent running back in Steven Jackson, and they still can’t put it together. Heck, the New Orleans Saints scored more points on Sunday night than the Rams have scored all year.

No, rest assured, the San Francisco 49ers (5-1) are not only stuck with the inability to draft Andrew Luck next year, but they’ll have to face the Green Bay Packers and likely the Saints in the playoffs. Fortunately however, they’re looking like a lock to win 2nd/3rd in the conference, with a possible first-round bye for the wild card games. The Niners still have to play their divisional rivals twice each, and that’s going to be an easy 6 wins (11 total), plus the Cleveland Browns this weekend (12 wins), and have to face the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens. Even if all three of those games are a loss, the 49ers are projected to end with a 12-4 record, which surely will be enough for a top 3 spot.