Peyton Manning explains ‘Omaha’ call by confusing everyone more

Peyton ManningPeyton Manning made the word “Omaha” go viral on Sunday when he said it about 9,756 times during the Denver Broncos’ playoff win over the San Diego Chargers. Manning, who is known for his extensive audibles and pre-snap directions, kept saying “Omaha” while calling out coverages and changing plays. A reporter asked him about it on Wednesday.

As expected, the 37-year-old veteran gave nothing away. In fact, it was obvious he was trying to further confuse everyone.

“Is that like a fan written-in question?,” Manning joked, via Around the League. “I’m not sure. I don’t know how to answer that. I know a lot of people ask what Omaha means, and it’s — Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass depending on a couple things: when, which way we’re going, the quarter and the jerseys that we’re wearing. So it varies, really, play to play, so, that’s — there’s your answer to that one.”

You mean Manning didn’t want to explain the ins and outs of Denver’s playbook in advance of his AFC Championship Game against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots? That’s a shocker.

While some speculated that Omaha was a code word Manning used to alert his team he was going to try to get the Chargers to jump offsides, we highly doubt it’s that simple. Other quarterbacks around the league have used the word Omaha to alert their teammates that they are changing a play. It’s just a word that is easy to say and comes out clearly, and we hear it so much from Manning because he changes plays more frequently than any other quarterback in the league.

The Omaha frenzy is fun and all, but we really want to see Manning bring back the karate kick to alert his teammates of an audible. That would be fun to watch.

Peyton Manning had an audible where he had to do a karate kick

Peyton Manning Karate Kid

Peyton Manning’s seemingly complex audible calls have always been a big part of his game. The MVP quarterback calls out a million things before each play, and defenses have even said trying to study him is almost counterproductive because he’s always changing things. For instance, in the Denver Broncos’ playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, Manning used the term “Omaha” frequently but changed its meaning throughout the game to induce neutral zone infractions by San Diego.

In light of Manning’s audible calls receiving extra attention lately, his former center with the Indianapolis Colts, Jeff Saturday, shared his favorite Manning audible. Saturday explained on ESPN’s “NFL Live” that the audible involved a karate kick.

“We had two calls that kind of paralleled each other,” Saturday said on “NFL Live.” “It was Osaka and Saigon. So those were the calls. But the reason I loved them the most is because [Peyton] had to do a little karate kick behind the line of scrimmage. So his key and signal to the receivers was a little karate kick.

“Now Peyton isn’t the most — he can’t dance — he doesn’t have the most rhythm in the world, so for him to give that little karate, it looked really awkward on the field. I used to love watching game film and seeing him do that.”

Oh man, I wish we could have seen that on film. Peyton doing a karate kick? That must have been beautiful!

Peyton Manning just wanted a Bud Light after beating Chargers (Video)

Peyton-Manning-Bud-LightPeyton Manning had only one thing on his mind after the Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers to advance to the AFC Championship Game on Sunday — an ice cold beer.

During Manning’s postgame press conference, a reporter asked him if he is concerned about his upcoming neck exam after the season and what it means for the future of his career. Peyton said he has not taken any time to think about it.

“Truly not,” he replied. “What’s weighing on my mind is how soon I can get a Bud Light in my mouth after this win. Priority number one.”

The press room erupted with laughter after Manning made the comment. We already knew Manning was hilarious with scripted stuff like his incredible DirecTV commercial or that SportsCenter interview with Ron Burgandy, but who knew he was such a good improviser? That’s why people love Peyton.

Peyton Manning ‘Omaha’ call may be snap count direction

Peyton Manning Omaha

Peyton Manning made “Omaha” a well known part of Sunday’s AFC playoff game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers.

Known for his extensive audibles and pre-snap directions, Manning kept saying “Omaha” while calling plays and barking instructions to his team on the field during the game. The word “Omaha” quickly began trending on Twitter and was mentioned on social media, leading to many jokes and observations. But what exactly does “Omaha” mean?

Our friend Lance Zierlein, who is a host for Sports Talk 790 in Houston and comes from a football coaching/scouting background, shared an explanation for what he believes “Omaha” meant:

To further break that down, Manning/Denver picked a word that starts with an “O” as their code word for when they’re trying to draw the other team offsides. That would let his team know not to jump on the first “hut” he says.

Interestingly, right after Zierlein tweeted that, Manning drew the Chargers offsides. San Diego had five neutral zone infractions at that point. However, after Zierlein tweeted that note, I observed that on the Broncos’ four-quarter drives, the snap came immediately after Manning yelled “Omaha.” Perhaps he changed the code word’s meaning at that time to keep the Chargers off-balance. It seemed like “Omaha” then began to mean snap the ball on my next sound.

In fact, Manning’s former coach Tony Dungy said on Twitter that Manning even got the Chargers to jump twice with fake Omaha calls.

Omaha, Dungy noted, is a term universally used by football teams. Quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Tony Romo and even Eli Manning have all used it, as have many more. In simple terms, Omaha is just a code word that generally means the team is changing something about the play called in the huddle. On Sunday, it seemed like Omaha was a code word for the snap count.

Whatever the case, the city in Nebraska sure appreciated all the extra publicity:

Peyton Manning could lose NFL passing yardage record


Peyton Manning has rewritten the history books once again with an incredible season with the Denver Broncos. His 55 touchdown passes easily broke Tom Brady’s NFL single-season record of 55. He also just barely bested Drew Brees’ record for passing yardage, finishing with 5,477 yards on the season. The previous record was 5,476. However, Manning’s passing yardage record is under review.

ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold reported on Monday that the league’s record-keepers are reviewing a 7-yard completion that Manning threw to Eric Decker in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders. When looking at replays of that pass, it appears that it was actually a lateral. The screenshot above shows the ball out of Manning’s hand while Decker is deeper in Broncos’ territory than he is. Here’s another look:

[Read more...]

Wade Phillips: NFL says Peyton Manning’s 50th touchdown pass should not have counted

Peyton Manning BroncosPeyton Manning is officially the NFL’s record holder for most touchdown passes in a single season. His 51st touchdown pass of the year was reeled in by tight end Julius Thomas on Sunday and allowed him to surpass Tom Brady’s previous record of 50. However, Houston Texans interim coach Wade Phillips said the NFL informed him this week that Manning’s 50th touchdown pass shouldn’t have counted, though the stats will not be changed.

Manning’s record-tying touchdown came on a 20-yard strike to Eric Decker in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans. Here is the best angle we have of the play, which looked like a pretty clean catch.

According to the NFL, it was not a clean catch. Phillips said the league acknowledged that the ball was juggled and should have been ruled an incomplete pass.

“Poor Manning,” Phillips joked, per ESPN.com. “He thought he broke the record.”

To make matters more interesting, the pass came on third down. That means you can’t argue that Manning would have throw a touchdown pass on another play during that drive, as the Broncos would have settled for a field goal.

Manning still has credit for 51 touchdown passes this season, so he’s not losing any, but it’s interesting that the NFL says one of the TDs should not count. Manning has a chance to add to his record total this weekend.

Julius Thomas nearly lost Peyton Manning’s record-breaking touchdown ball

Peyton-Manning-Julius-ThomasPeyton Manning set an NFL record for touchdown passes in a single season on Sunday with a beautiful 25-yard strike to tight end Julius Thomas, who deserves credit for making a nice over-the-shoulder grab. However, Thomas almost blew one of his most important assignments after scoring.

[WATCH: Peyton Manning breaks Tom Brady's TD pass record]

When Thomas got back to his feet after securing the touchdown, he dropped the ball on the ground and went to celebrate. Fortunately for the third-year player out of Portland State, teammate Eric Decker was quick to scoop it up. Decker stuffed the ball under his jersey and headed toward the sideline to give it to Manning.

“I dropped the ball so fast to do my usual thing and Deck picked the ball up so fast,” Thomas said, via Anwar S. Richardson of Yahoo! Sports. “I was like, ‘Why did Deck picked the ball up so fast?’ I’m not paying any attention and I came back to the sidelines and I’m sitting down on the bench and somebody said, ‘That was the one!’ Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped it so carelessly, I should’ve kept it.”

Crisis averted. Manning, who said he didn’t see Decker scoop the ball up and hide it under his jersey, joked that he was glad Thomas was unaware of the situation.

“Julius, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had handed it to some babe up in the stands and tried to get her phone number in exchange for the ball,” Manning said. “That’d be right up Julius’ alley. That’s pretty in line with his thinking often times. Great catch, great route by him and, like I said, Decker’s catch was awesome, that’s probably one of the best ones of the year in my opinion.”

The fact that he used the word “babe” is so Peyton Manning it hurts. Kudos to Decker for paying attention. Thomas almost learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

Photo via @cjzero