While Peyton Manning has a career record of 16-2 against the Texans, Peyton Manning seems to, physically, have lost his touch that has kept the pesky Texans at bay during his tenure at Indianapolis. Manning still has a very sharp football mind, we can take a look back at his recent two games, against the strong defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Manning displaying his still sharp, attentive football mind, calling audibles, and making blocking adjustments as Troy Polamalu was creeping ever so closely, eagerly awaiting the snap of the football. Manning, obviously still very much in touch with the game, called time out to throw off the familiar foe.
With that being said, Manning has never seen this Texans defense before, while he may have seen a few of the players, Manning has never seen Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ defensive schemes on the field since 2005.
Taking a look at ProFootballReference.com Manning’s Colts finished 5-4 in previous match-ups with Phillips. He posted a passer rating of 83.7. He had 15 touchdowns and 10 picks, mind you, two of those meetings were during Manning’s rookie season.
Despite all this number crunching, comparing Manning of yesteryear in his prime against types of defenses, to Manning now versus Houston’s defense is like comparing apples to oranges, both Manning and Phillips have changed drastically over the course of seven years.
Manning has not had the time to implement the type of system he had in Indianapolis, and does not have the high profile receivers such as Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark, and he does not have as strong an offensive live has he had in Indianapolis as well. No matter how much Peyton and Denver Broncos fans may think they got the primed 2006 MVP Peyton Manning, it may be safe to say that his better days are behind him.
Let’s spin this differently, I’m taking this idea from one of my mates Sully, who compared an old athlete to a movie star, both are exiting the prime. of their career, if they haven’t passed it already Peyton Manning is like John Travolta. Indianapolis fans got Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Pulp Fiction, John Travolta. After 94, Travolta
was forced decided to go to Denver, and Denver fans are expecting more box office smash hits like his previous works, and they may get a taste of greatness every once in awhile like Be Cool, but they’ll be stuck with Battlefield Earth, Wild Hogs, and Hairspray Travolta. He’s still John Travolta, but he’s not THAT John Travolta.
Manning could be the greatest football mind to ever grace the world of football, but as we all know, the human body can only do so much for a certain amount of time. Peyton he is still a threat with the ability to read defenses like a book, but he certainly has the deck stacked against him after his, let’s just say, career altering neck surgery.
– Richard Perez