Peyton Manning’s legacy was one of the biggest storylines for Super Bowl XLVIII. With a win in the game, he’d have two rings to go along with his record five regular-season MVPs and countless other passing records. There really wouldn’t be much of a knock against him if he won the second ring. But Manning lost, is now 1-2 in Super Bowls, and continues to be viewed by detractors as a player who doesn’t play well in big games. Some say Manning’s legacy should be unaffected by his performance, while others say his performance — and the manner in which his team lost — keeps him from being the best of all time.
One person who firmly believes Manning’s legacy is negatively affected by the Super Bowl is Deion Sanders. The NFL Network analyst says Manning did not live up to his standard.
“Unfortunately, a few of us guys sitting up here have gold jackets, and we hold people to a criteria unlike others,” Sanders said, speaking on behalf of himself, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin.
“This is not good. What we saw tonight is not good. I can’t even tell you one thing that I saw that I can take home and say ‘man, that was alright.’ This was horrible. And it started from the first snap.”
Rich Eisen suggested that most quarterbacks would have struggled against Seattle’s defense, but Deion disagreed. He feels like Peyton should be criticized for the loss the same way he’s praised for wins.
“This is the problem. We praise Peyton — we should — for calling everything, taking his team to depths, broke every record known to man — then we give him all the credit. So now when they lose, it’s not his fault. Whose fault is it? It’s a team, right? But is it the team’s fault when you win? No, Peyton’s calling everything at the line.”
Sanders didn’t exactly explain himself in the most eloquent way, but he’s right.
Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. It’s impossible to dispute that. But for as great as he’s been in the regular season, there has always been a consistent pattern of disappointing performances in the postseason. That is every bit a part of his legacy as his regular season dominance.