Peyton Manning Takes Subtle Shot at Brett Favre, Brad Childress

The huge debate that arose this week came after the Colts pulled their top starters in the middle of the third quarter against the Jets. The team was up 15-10 at the time and wound up losing 29-15, ending their unbeaten season. Indy is now 14-1 and coach Jim Caldwell and president Bill Polian are getting plenty of heat for their decision to protect their players. Peyton Manning was seen with a disappointed look on his face on the sidelines and admitted as much after the game. He even got in a subtle shot at Brett Favre and Brad Childress when asked about being pulled:

“I was not surprised,” Manning said. “I knew potentially that was part of the plan. There was not a head coach-quarterback argument of any sort. I’m on the same page as coach Caldwell. I was told before the game to be flexible and go out and score as many points as we could. I’m disappointed we didn’t score more.”

It’s hard to understand how that comment was a shot at the Vikings just by reading it; you had to see Manning’s face to see the grin he had on his face to know he was taking a jab at Favre and Childress. If you saw him, you would have recognized that he put emphasis on the head coach-quarterback argument part. Now that the Colts have lost and their perfect season is over, the questioning has come. I weighed in on the debate for The League panel at the Washington Post. Check it out here to read where I came out on the issue.

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  • Gene

    You are right on target with this one. The goal of every NFL team is to win the Super Bowl. Miami, in 1972, remained perfect but did use two quarterbacks. Earl Morrall replaced Bob Griese after the latter suffered a bad injury. Griese missed a lot of the season but returned for the playoffs and started the Super Bowl. However, those days are over because of the NFL salary cap. You can no longer stockpile QB’s like the 49ers did with montana and Young. One injury and all is lost.

    As a Patriot fan who thought I was being teased when I first heard that Tom Brady went down in the first quarter of the first game last season, I can fully appreciate protecting top quarterbacks. Many Colt fans are disappointed that their run at perfection has been ruined. However, the top brass would have taken infinitely more heat if Peyton Manning went down with a knee or right shoulder injury in the second half of a relatively meaningless game.