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Aqib Talib: Peyton Manning is better than Tom Brady

Aqib Talib chillin

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib made the NFL Network’s list of the 100 Top Players of 2014. Talib landed at No. 79 on the annual player power rankings, and he recently joined NFL Network to discuss his place on the list and a variety of other topics. Naturally, he was asked for his thoughts on the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning debate.

“You gotta go Peyton Manning,” Talib said, as transcribed by Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com. “Tom is a good friend of mine, what’s up Tom, baby. (Manning) had an awesome year. He tore it up. He like set the record for touchdowns. He beat Tom in the AFC Championship. You gotta give it to Peyton. Tom know that’s my dog man, he know.”

What else can he say? Talib and Manning are teammates now, and Manning is coming off the best season of his career. In reality, Brady and Manning are 1A and 1B at the moment. Manning lights up the stat board and has most of the records, but the blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl stings badly. His playoff record of 11-12 hurts his legacy.

While Talib said he is friends with Brady, he did not seem to be all that fond of Bill Belichick.

“Bill sure didn’t want to give me that money so hey man, he gave it to Revis,” Talib said when asked about his contract. “It is what it is.”

Most feel that Revis is a better cornerback than Talib, and Talib himself even agreed. The Patriots invested more money over a shorter deal for Revis, so in a way there is less risk involved. Plus, Talib has a history of off-field issues and Revis does not.

Bottom line — Talib has jumped right into the rivalry. The Broncos and Patriots could very well meet again in the AFC Championship next year. Talib’s former team is now public enemy No. 1.

Peyton Manning passes neck exam, cleared for 2014

Peyton Manning BroncosPeyton Manning had his annual neck exam on Monday, and Denver Broncos fans will be relieved to hear that it went well. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Manning was fully cleared following the physical and is not expected to have any restrictions heading into next season.

During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, word surfaced that Manning would have his neck examined after the season and could potentially contemplate retirement. While we can’t say for sure if he will suit up in 2014, it would now be borderline shocking if he retired after not suffering any setbacks with the neck injuries that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season.

Manning will turn 38 this month, but he obviously has plenty left in the tank. All he did last season was rewrite the NFL record books en route to the best statistical season of his career. While we all saw what the Seattle Seahawks did to Denver in the Super Bowl, there’s no reason to believe the Broncos could not duplicate their 2013 success next season.

The multiple neck surgeries that once threatened Manning’s career do not seem to be giving him any issues. He also passed his exit exam with the team after the Super Bowl. It should be business as usual for the future Hall of Famer.

Joe Theismann wants Peyton Manning to retire

Peyton ManningThere were rumblings leading up to the Super Bowl that Peyton Manning would retire after the big game, but the 37-year-old quarterback has not indicated any plans to retire. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann is one person who would like to see the Denver Broncos quarterback hang up the cleats.

“I personally would love to see him retire,” Theismann told “Amani and Eytan” on NBC Sports Radio Monday. “I think that what he can do is take a look at the offseason, figure out what you want to do — because remember now, he’s going to be a year older — I don’t know what the physical beating is like for him. I’m not sure exactly where he is in that situation, but I do know one thing — his arm is not going to get any stronger going forward.”

Not only does Theismann believe things will get more difficult for Manning physically, but he thinks opposing defenses will improve their schemes against him.

“You have to look at what happened (for him) with Seattle and say, ‘how many more teams are going to want to try and attack him that way? And will the Denver Broncos be able to do the things they want to do?’

“I think Peyton still has gas in the tank. It’s not like it’s over for him. It’s just that he’s done so much. I don’t believe his legacy was affected at all in this game. I think if he won it, his legacy would be enhanced. But I don’t believe that we should look at Peyton Manning and think anything less of what he accomplished.”

Theismann is saying that Manning has nothing left to prove even though he played poorly in the game. Some probably would agree with him, while others, such as Deion Sanders and myself, believe it negatively affects his leacy.

I don’t know much about Manning’s thought process at this point, but I can’t imagine he would want to go out in this manner. Maybe he would have given serious consideration to retirement had he won the Super Bowl, but after that disaster, I bet he comes back. And one point of disagreement with Theismann. Even if opposing defenses will try to do what Seattle did to Peyton, none of them have the personnel to replicate what the Seahawks did. Why do you think Peyton carves most of them up?

Richard Sherman: Seahawks figured out Peyton Manning’s audibles, hand signals

Peyton Manning Omaha

The Seattle Seahawks completely shut down the Denver Broncos in the first half of Super Bowl XLVIII. They held Denver to 11 yards in the first quarter, intercepted Peyton Manning twice in the half and didn’t allow any points. Richard Sherman says that’s because the Seahawks figured out Manning’s hand signals and audibles in the first half of the game.

Sherman told Monday Morning Quarterback’s Robert Klemko about how they got the mental edge on the Broncos.

“All we did was play situational football,” Sherman told Klemko at the team party after the game. “We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes. Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half.”

Klemko says Sherman then demonstrated how they figured out Peyton’s hand signals and said they were calling out his plays and getting them right.

“Me, Earl [Thomas], Kam [Chancellor]… we’re not just three All-Pro players. We’re three All-Pro minds,” Sherman says. “Now, if Peyton had thrown in some double moves, if he had gone out of character, we could’ve been exposed.”

So Sherman says they took gambles, but that was because they were confident they figured out Peyton’s signs. Looks like they were right.

This would actually be the second time in a Super Bowl that a defensive player beat Manning by learning about his tendencies. You may recall that Tracy Porter said he jumped the route in the Super Bowl between the Saints and Colts because of what he had studied of Manning on film. That led to a game-clinching pick-six for Porter.

And for all the talk about Peyton Manning being an offensive genius and smarter than most players — and that sure seems to be the case most of the time — it’s obvious he is not invincible. It sounds like Seattle’s defense simply outsmarted him. That’s not surprising considering what a student of the game Sherman is.

We also encourage you to read Klemko’s entire article on Sherman from after the Super Bowl. It’s loaded with great information and details.

H/T Business Insider

Richard Sherman explains what inspired his praise of classy Peyton Manning

Richard Sherman Peyton ManningIf there’s one thing about Peyton Manning that you can say about him that can’t be taken away, it’s that he’s as classy of a player as there is. He is humble, respectful and he doesn’t really act like he knows he’s one of the best players of all time. His sportsmanship is also pretty incredible — few players act better in victory or defeat than him. That sort of humility goes a long way and is a big part of the reason why he’s so well liked. It also explains why Richard Sherman was moved to tweet about Manning after the game on Sunday night.

Shortly after winning the Super Bowl, Sherman tweeted to his followers calling Peyton the classiest player/person he’s ever met and urging them not to bash Manning. What prompted the tweets? Something Peyton did after the game.

“I was crutching my way up to the press conference,” said Sherman, who was on crutches after the game. “I got tapped on the shoulder and tried to turn around as quick as I could. Just saw a hand out, extended out, and somebody asked me how I was and how I was doing, how I was feeling. It happened to be Peyton Manning.

“It takes an incredible amount of class and humility to do that after a game like that, on such a big stage. He has the utmost respect for me and my teammates in how he handles himself. He’s still a Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP. It was really one of the most incredible moments of my life to see that kind of class shown after a game.”

I don’t know if Peyton’s behavior is enough to convert Sherman from a loudmouth trash talker into a humble player, but we sure appreciate the story. It’s just another reason to like Peyton, and another reason why it’s so hard to criticize him.

Should Peyton Manning be insulted by question about ‘embarrassing’ team performance?

Peyton Manning BroncosTo say that Peyton Manning did not put together the best performance of his career on Sunday night would be a massive understatement. The Denver Broncos began their Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks by giving up a safety. The game never felt close from that point on. Plenty of Broncos fans were embarrassed by the result. Was Manning?

After the game, a reporter asked Peyton if Denver’s performance was “embarrassing.” He seemed bothered by the question.

“It’s not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word,” Manning replied, via ESPN.com. “The word ‘embarrassing’ is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.

“We played a great team. We needed to play really well in order to win, and we didn’t come anywhere close to that.”

[Related: Deion Sanders has harsh criticism for Peyton Manning's performance]

Several other Broncos, including Knowshon Moreno and Wes Welker, specifically used the word “embarrassing” when speaking with reporters. Manning threw two interceptions in the first half that basically eliminated any chance his team had of getting back in the game. Maybe he’s just disappointed and embarrassed isn’t an emotion he’s capable of feeling?

Personally, I don’t see how the Broncos can’t be embarrassed. The Seahawks were a far better team and earned the victory, but that doesn’t mean Denver couldn’t have put forth a better effort. Does anyone really think Seattle is five touchdowns better than the Broncos? Neither do I. The only reason the final score was 43-8 is because Manning and company put an embarrassing game together. There’s really no silver lining.

Eli Manning takes off mask, reveals he was playing in Peyton’s body

Eli Manning face

Eli Manning looked more miserable than anyone on Sunday night as he watched his older brother Peyton and the Denver Broncos embarrass themselves in the Super Bowl. Peyton threw two interceptions in the first half and was never able to get comfortable, and you could tell baby bro was feeling for him. Or, wait, was it actually baby bro wearing No. 18 for the Broncos?

Ironically, Eli is 2-0 in his career in Super Bowls and has thrown just one interception and three touchdowns. Peyton has thrown three interceptions and four touchdowns in three Super Bowl starts. He’s 1-2.

This particular meme was likely directed at Eli’s play in 2013, which included a career-high 27 interceptions. Given all the graphics we have already seen mocking Peyton on social media, I’m sure Eli doesn’t mind taking a cheap shot or two to soften the blow.