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AFC Championship Articles - Leave the good ones here

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  • AFC Championship Articles - Leave the good ones here

    "As he basked in the adulation coming his way from the crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, you could tell this one was even more special than his first two trips to the Super Bowl.

    "Playing quarterback there are a number of things that come along with it," Manning said of the criticism aimed his way. "You have to try to keep a level head. You have to eventually focus on doing your job. Nothing more than that."

    That's his way of saying he doesn't pay attention to the doubters. But he's a piٌata for the many legions of critics out there, led by a vocal media that loves to tear him to shreds. How can he avoid it? Publicly he might say that he doesn't care, but privately it bothers him to the core. He's too much of a competitor for it not to, and over the years we've had many a conversation about just that.

    Why is he not appreciated like some others?

    Coming back from neck surgery that could easily have ended his career to get to his third Super Bowl should silence some for a few weeks. Manning took everything Bill Belichick and the Patriots threw at him and made it look like a 7-on-7 drill broke out. New England may as well have set the cutlery out for the carving up that Manning did

    The turnover the critics expected never came. Instead they saw Manning dominate the Patriots and rival Tom Brady.

    So who's the big-game loser now?

    Since Brady last won a Super Bowl in 2004, Manning will now play in more Super Bowls (3-2), won at least one more (1-0) and right now he's even lost one fewer since then, with Brady losing two. Yes, Brady has the edge in rings, but Manning has now beaten him the last two times they have played in an AFC title game.

    "This should shut up some people about that," one Broncos player said"

    Kick ass article is continued at -
    Last edited by Gutless Drunk; 01-20-2014, 08:35 AM.

  • #2
    He was awesome today.


    • #3
      "Tight end Jacob Tamme and Decker ride to the games with Manning each week."
      How crazy would it be to be driving around on Sunday and pull up to a red light and have these three guys in the car next to you.


      • #4
        "He made Belichick and his coaching staff look silly. He was two steps ahead of them all day.

        "As always, he did an excellent job of reading the defense and he got us into some situations that were less than ideal with his astute play calling and recognition," Belichick said.

        It took Manning and the offense two series to get a feel for the Patriots. It didn't help New England that corner Aqib Talib went down with a knee injury in the first quarter. He was going to play Demaryius Thomas man-up the entire game.

        But I've got news for you: It wouldn't have mattered.

        Manning was in one of those zones where he knew what the Patriots were doing before they did. A couple of plays summed up Manning best...


        • #5
          Manning has been fantastic in the playoffs this year
          Anyone who still throws around the "he's a choker" argument after today is brain dead


          • #6
            "Sunday didn’t exactly turn out to be a new chapter in the Brady-Manning saga, but it was pretty close. For just the second time in their 15 starts against one another, Peyton Manning whooped Tom Brady’s ass. His five wins include three victories in once-score games, a 40-21 score in Manning’s first win over Brady back in 2005, and this 26-16 win, a final score that undersold the chasm in performance between the two teams. New England’s win expectancy fell to 6 percent within four minutes of the second half starting and never got back into double digits. The Broncos left points on the field with an uncalled holding penalty on Devin McCourty, a dropped touchdown catch by Julius Thomas, and two hyper-conservative calls from John Fox; this very easily could have been a 40-point day for the Broncos. New England had no hope of stopping Manning..."

            Continued at -


            • #7
              "So, about that beatdown of the dreaded Patriots … Before he rejoined his family to celebrate the win, Manning stopped in a hallway outside his locker room to relive some of what made this game go so well.

              Manning knew this was going to be a good day. He knew most of the week it would be. One thing that’s happened here is the trust he’s built with rookie offensive coordinator Adam Gase this year. “I really like Gase,” Manning said. “It’s a compliment to him. I like playing for guys that are smarter than me and work as hard as me. Gase is there before I get there in the morning.

              This week, Gase decided to put a play in the game plan that raised eyebrows in the offensive meeting room. The fourth tight end on the team, Virgil Green, had played in 47 games for the Broncos over his three Denver seasons. He’d never run the ball once. In his 48th game, Sunday, Green had a running play in the plan. “Pretty different,” Manning said. “You know, Belichick prepares them for everything. But a run by Virgil Green was not on their hit chart anywhere. We have some formations with three receivers and two tight ends where you had an empty set and throw and Gase said We’re just going to put Virgil back there and run it. And he really made a heck of a run.” Gain of six, midway through a 93-yard touchdown drive..."

              Continued at


              • #8
                The Denver Broncos have owned this NFL season since the moment quarterback Peyton Manning dropped seven touchdowns on an unsuspecting Baltimore Ravens defense in Week 1. It's only appropriate Manning will dominate the conversation for two more weeks.

                This was a season full of power teams. The conference title games featured four 12-win teams for only the third time in history. Perhaps we shouldn't be that surprised that the two No. 1 seeds made it through to the Super Bowl for only the second time since 1993.

                This was a historic season by Manning and he finished it off with a historic beatdown Sunday. The Broncos dropped 507 yards of offense on the Patriots, the most a Bill Belichick-led Patriots squad has given up.

                And now Manning faces perhaps the best defense since the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. We heard all last offseason that the Seahawks' defense was going to be great. And then the unit backed it up by leading the league in yards allowed, points allowed, turnovers forced and every imaginable stat...



                • #9
                  What's that you say? Peyton Manning is playing in the big game? He's about to cement his legacy and all? Sure, yeah, I heard that. And, like the rest of the country, I watched his brilliance on Sunday as the Broncos thoroughly outperformed the Patriots and eased, for the most part, to the AFC crown. Manning will be crowned and championed and there will be no shortage of column inches and Internet bandwidth or whatever else devoted to chronicling his remarkable career over the next two weeks.

                  In his own way, Knighton is a similar sort of lynchpin on the defensive side. And let's face it, that's where the deficiencies are for the Denver Broncos. They are beyond loaded and historically excellent on offense. Their proficiency was clearly on display in the AFC Championship Game, with the Patriots unable to slow them down or force a few punts or get a stop on third-and-long. Manning was at his very best...



                  • #10
                    Terrance Knighton's overwhelming size, Peyton Manning's undeniable skill, and John Elway's quiet little decisions have the Broncos headed to the Super Bowl

                    Knighton had just finished the type of game that turns a mostly anonymous defensive tackle into a featured star in the NFL’s starriest week. With four tackles (two for loss), a drive-ending sack of Tom Brady, and a knack for chewing up both space and offensive linemen in the Broncos’ 26-16 win, Knighton was the leader of a defense that suffocated the Patriots. The third-highest scoring team in the NFL managed three points in the first three quarters, and a running game that looked dominant in New England’s past two games finished with 64 yards. The clock-eating drives that were supposed to keep Peyton Manning at bay never even started.


                    “It starts with Elway,” Knighton said.

                    The same can be said about nearly every great moment in Broncos history. John Elway’s own playoff heroism aside, allusions to this image and Denver’s first great quarterback securing its second are bound to dominate the next two weeks. This team is what it is because of Peyton Manning. But yesterday’s win featured cameos from nearly every small choice Elway, the executive vice-president of football operations, and Denver’s front office made last spring.



                    • #11
                      Sorry Seattle, this is Denver's year

                      "The deeper the Denver Broncos play into this season, the harder it is to pick against them.

                      There's simply something to this team that goes far beyond its mind-boggling offensive statistics or the star power of its quarterback. It's the Broncos' mental toughness, their unyielding belief that they can weather whatever challenges come their way. Now that they've drawn the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos are looking even more like a team about to claim its third championship in franchise history.

                      For all the great things Seattle has accomplished this season, the Seahawks are arriving at the wrong place at the wrong time. This is the year when Peyton Manning and the Broncos get to savor being the team of destiny, the squad that can thrive even when chaos hovers all around them. They've lost key starters on their offensive line. They watched their best defensive player tear his ACL before the regular season ended and their best defensive back suffer the same fate in their first playoff game. Oh yeah, Broncos head coach John Fox also missed a month of work after undergoing open-heart surgery.

                      The Broncos also have a chance to face a Seattle team that they should beat. There's no question the Seahawks have a great defense: relentless pass rush, speed and athleticism at linebacker and aggressive ball hawks on the back end. What they don't have, however, is an offense that is dynamic enough to exploit a Broncos defense that has been depleted by injuries to players like Pro Bowl outside linebacker Von Miller, defensive end Derek Wolfe, safety Rahim Moore and cornerback Chris Harris. That unit surprisingly has played well in the postseason and that means Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson could face more issues than you'd expect..."

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                      • #12
                        "The monkey may not be off Peyton Manning’s back unless he wins Super Bowl XLVIII in two weeks but certainly Bill Belichick now is.

                        The long-standing myth that the Patriots’ coaching Yoda was mystifying Manning into submission game after game was shredded yesterday as the Denver Broncos’ often maligned quarterback picked Belichick’s defense apart for 400 passing yards and two touchdowns to win the AFC title, 26-16, sending home frustrated and beaten arguably one of the grittiest Patriot teams ever assembled.

                        In his last six games against Belichick dating back to 2008, Manning has completed 68.1 percent of his passes (169 of 248) for 1,864 yards with 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He has posted passer ratings in those games of 121.9, 97.4, 96.3, 115.4, 70.4 and yesterday’s 118.4. Worse, the last two times they have met with the AFC title on the line (2006 and yesterday) Manning is 2-0, completing 65.5 percent of his passes (59 of 90) for 749 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and two trips to the Super Bowl.

                        So for those in New England who kept counting on Belichick to come up with something to befuddle Manning yesterday it’s time for a new script. Manning was not only immense on a perfect day for passing, he seemed a step ahead of Belichick all afternoon, scoring on six consecutive drives after stalling out on his first one. He was, in a word, unstoppable...



                        • #13
                          Richard Sherman said something shocking. Bill Belichick said something disgusting. Not a subtle difference, that.

                          Sherman? He gloated. He was a poor winner. He didn't show much any class by erupting on national television after the Seahawks beat San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday night, but it was seconds after the biggest moment of his career. Testosterone and adrenaline were coursing through his veins. The game had just ended. He had delivered the winning play. And he has a history with 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. Add it up, and while I'm not impressed with Richard Sherman, I can't get mad at him. What he said was shocking, but that's about as far as it goes.

                          What Belichick said? Appalling. Mean-spirited. Classless, even dangerous.

                          Yet most of us are talking about Richard Sherman instead of Bill Belichick. On Twitter, Richard Sherman is trending around the world. Not just nationally, though he is. But as I write this on Monday afternoon he's trending in a country as far away as Poland, and as pervasively as worldwide, and he's trending primarily because people think he's a jerk. They're calling him worse stuff than that, of course, racially loaded terms like "thug." Because he's just so scary!

                          Meanwhile, more than 12 hours after his team lost to the Broncos in the AFC title game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick very calmly sat down behind a microphone and without even a drop of emotion accused Broncos receiver Wes Welker (an ex-Patriot) of trying to injure another player.

                          Welker did injure another player, Patriots defensive back Aqib Talib, but injuries happen in football. Intentionally inflicting an injury? That doesn't happen nearly as often, and when it does happen we as a sports-loving society -- as decent people -- recoil from it. Because intentionally hurting another player is about as low as an athlete can go in the course of competition.

                          One of the few things more despicable? Unfairly accusing a player of intentionally hurting someone else. That's what Belichick did, and what he said is worse than what Richard Sherman said, and if this were a mathematics equation it would look like this:

                          Awfulness of Belichick comment > awfulness of Sherman comment.

                          Actually, it would look like this:

                          Awfulness of Belichick comment > awfulness of Sherman comment (times 50).



                          • #14
                            The greatest quarterback of all time was just beginning to celebrate one of his greatest victories and the drumbeat was already starting. After a week's worth of discussion about the importance of Sunday's AFC Championship Game to Peyton Manning's legacy, the storyline for the next two weeks begins to take shape: Manning must win the Super Bowl to cement that legacy and be considered the greatest ever.


                            We find ourselves, sadly, in the nothing's-ever-good-enough era of sports. We talk more about who didn't get into the Hall of Fame than about who did. We obsess over every officiating mistake. We wring our hands about a word like "legacy" when it comes to deciding which brilliant player is better than which other brilliant player and by how much. It's paralysis by analysis, where the victim is our ability to enjoy.

                            So I'm here to say it right now, at the start of two weeks' worth of Super Bowl hype: Manning doesn't need to win this next game to be the greatest quarterback of all time. He already is. The results of one football game on Feb. 2, 2014, won't change that. And we all need to do a better job of appreciating what we're watching...



                            • #15
                              Both Manning and Wilson joined their new teams in the spring of 2012, so that provides a good line of delineation to compare them. Here's the first thing that jumps out at you: They're the two winningest quarterbacks in the league since then, even if won-loss records for QBs don't really convey that football is the ultimate team game.
                              Manning is 26-6 in the regular season over 2012-13, with a 2-1 playoff record that makes him 28-7 overall (.800). Wilson is 24-8 in the regular season, with a 3-1 playoff record, making him 27-9 as a starter (.750).
                              Manning has thrown a ridiculous 92 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in his 32 regular-season games as a starter in Denver, with seven more touchdowns and three picks in the postseason. Wilson has 52 touchdowns and just 19 interceptions in his 32 regular-season games, with four more scoring passes and one more interception in the playoffs. Those are spectacular stats for a second-year veteran.
                              In his record-breaking 2013 season, Manning is now up to 59 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, including the postseason. Wilson has less than half as many touchdown passes, 27, but fewer interceptions, nine.

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