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Old 10-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #86
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 19,734

Q: You trashed Peyton Manning last week and picked the Raiders to win. Insanity, Bill. Manning went 30 of 38 for 338 for three touchdowns and no picks. Say you're sorry. Say it. We deserve that much. We're coming to your house next. Tell me you're not the least bit worried about Manning. I dare you. —Matt Beaudin, Boulder, CO

SG: Of course! Manning could be wearing Steve Grogan's 30-pound neck brace from the '89 season and moving around like Hugh Hefner and I'd still be worried. He's Peyton Manning. Just seeing the "18," seeing the audible-ing at the line, seeing that giant red splotch on his forehead after every series … that stuff will always make me uneasy no matter how old he is. But right now, every Manning throw wobbles in the air with barely enough juice to get where it needs to go. It's just a fact. My buddy Gus (die-hard Broncos fan) and I have been joking about it for weeks — he keeps texting me, "You don't want the Noodle!" and I keep texting back, "GIVE ME THE NOODLE!" Even the Broncos fans know. Deep down, anyway. But as Greg Schiano would say, that doesn't mean it's not not fun.

Q: Peyton nearly brought his team back from 20 twice after his coaching staff finally lets him off the leash and runs his type of offense. His passes have looked weak at times but somehow they still end up in the right place at the right time. You won't see that though. That's what's so charming about you, Sports Guy! You commit to your biases and hold onto them like Commandments, regardless of facts. You're kind of the ideological sports equivalent of Bill O'Reilly! —Soren The Solipsist, Augusta

SG: Now that's not fair! Take that back! I said this in Thursday's podcast and I'll say it again: Peyton's passes look absolutely awful, but clearly, there are larger forces at work here. Watching him thread the needle at 40 mph or squeeze sure interceptions through three guys and somehow find the open man … I mean, it reminds me of when I used to play golf with my father, who was the master of the "drive that hit a tree and somehow bounced right into the middle of the fairway" shot. I used to call it "Dad Luck." Manning has enjoyed an awful lot of Dad Luck with some of these throws so far. I can't imagine the Patriots letting him pick them apart with short stuff — they're going to make him throw over the top on them. I don't think he can do it against them or any other good team. We will see. (I've been wrong before. Thousands and thousands of times, actually.)

Q: When I think about Sunday's Broncos-Pats game, I keep thinking back to the scene at the end of Rocky III in the empty gym. Rocky in his mangled voice "Wanna ring the bell?" Apollo in his annoying arrogant voice, "Ding, Ding." —Brian Clark, Dudley, MA

SG: Couldn't agree more. Here's the part that everyone keeps forgetting about Sunday: Brady shredded Denver's defense 10 months ago. That defense is a little better this season, but not by much. So Denver needs to score 30-plus to win AND get some breaks to win. Seems farfetched. Throw in another breakout performance from star Patriots running back Branvan Boldley and I'm thinking 37-27, Patriots.
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