All hail Peyton Manning, the greatest to ever play the game. Don’t quibble. Don’t give me some line of bullshit about number of Super Bowl wins.
Championships matter, but football is played by 22 guys, and the greatest football player in the world only plays half the game.
I’m not so old that I have seen every great player in NFL history. I’m too young to remember Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Dick Butkus or any of the Vince Lombardi Packers, but I did see Barry Sanders, Joe Montana, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Reggie White and Dan Marino. Peyton Manning is simply the best, bar none, and now he owns the touchdown record as further proof of it.
This Week’s Sucked And Won
Blake Bortles, QB (JAX). It’s kind of a shame that the kid’s first win came in what was his worst game as a pro to date, going 17-31 for 159 yards and 3 picks. Good thing Brian Hoyer was nearly as bad going 16-41 (whaaaat?!) with an interception. Put the Browns on Manziel-watch. They just blew their season.
Congrats to a handful of players around the NFL who set records this Sunday: DeMarco Murray became the only player to start an NFL season with 7 consecutive 100 yard rushing games, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates connected for their 67th touchdown, that’s an NFL best for any QB-TE combo, and in that same game, Jamal Charles became the Chiefs’ all-time rushing leader, which is remarkable considering this franchise has had Christian Okoye, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson in its history.
Shocking Realization of the Week
Seattle, New Orleans and San Francisco, whom many people had ranked as three of the best five teams in football, are a combined 9-10 and if the playoffs started today, would all watch on TV.
The next time you hear someone complain that a guy was coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win, or that a team hadn’t “learned to win” yet, think of Jeff Fisher and his remarkably gutsy call to run a fake punt in his own territory in the fourth quarter. Fisher believed, correctly I think, that the Seahawks were ready to take the ball, march down the field and win the game if the Rams had simply punted it away. So he made a play to win the game, instead of to not lose it. Way to go, coach.
This Week’s Great But Lost
Russell Wilson, QB (SEA). Maybe last week’s loss was on Wilson, but not this time. Wilson threw for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for another 106 yards and a score, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game. If only he was on the punt coverage team…
Thursday Pick: San Diego (+7.5) @Denver (Westgate Superbook)
Last week’s Jets/Pats game may have clued us into a truism. The Thursday game will be a blowout UNLESS it’s a rivalry game. This game would certainly qualify, and although the Denver Broncos are playing out of their minds great football right now, it is hard to imagine the Chargers not giving the Broncos their absolute best effort in this game. I kind of think San Diego can cover a number this big, but I thought the same thing about San Francisco and look how that worked out. The Broncos are the better team, but I once again think this spread is just too big.
Denver Broncos 27 San Diego Chargers 21
“The worst feeling in professional sports is when you feel like you let your team down, and that’s the way I feel right now.” – Saints QB and in general stand up guy Drew Brees, on his late interception that cost his team a game they had in hand.
“I don’t care who you are as a quarterback, I can imagine having 300-pound men chasing you around probably isn’t fun.” – Dolphins DE Cameron Wake, whose job is to chase quarterbacks around. For the record, however, he is only listed at 262 lbs
“He hasn’t been stopped this year, I don’t think. About five tries, but he doesn’t play the Packers much.” – Packers DT Letroy Guion, on Cam Newton’s unsuccessful QB sneak attempt
“Well, that ought to slow down work on the Brian Hoyer statute in Cleveland.” – Don Banks of SI.Com, commenting on Hoyer particularly poor performance this week.
“I thought we played pretty well. I think we could play better than that. I think we could start shutting out teams.” – Ravens LB Pernell McPhee, on just how good the Ravens defense can get.
““This league is very unforgiving, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to still be able to play.” – Redskins 3rd string QB Colt McCoy, who played the second half in relief of Kirk Cousins on Sunday.
“There’s nine games left. Nobody wins the division in October.” – Giants CB Prince Amukamara. Is that a little shot at the Cowboys maybe?
‘‘Keeping your emotions in is what ends up making people sick. You let them out and change that into positive energy.’’ – Bears WR Martellus Bennett, answering questions about a locker room shouting match that could be heard outside the closed doors.
“Somebody asked me if for my first, did we wear leather helmets? So, that was a nice free cheap shot there. I wouldn’t start that guy on your fantasy team next week. He’s not going to get a lot of balls next week. I’ll leave him nameless.” – Broncos QB Peyton Manning, relaying a teammate’s joke about his age.