Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in history to ever step foot on NFL turf. Manning was drafted in 1998 1st overall over quarterback Ryan Leaf, who was also being considered. With 18 years gone by, it’s clear the Colts made the right choice by selecting Manning.
Manning is considered to be the best regular season QB in history and his resume proves his point. In his 18 year career, Manning is a two-time Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl XLI MVP, five-time NFL MVP, 14-time Pro Bowler, one-time All-Pro team selection, Pro Bowl MVP in 2005, two-time Offensive Player of the Year, and the Comeback Player of the Year in 2012. Manning has led the league in passing TDs four times, passing yards three times and has led his the Colts and Broncos to the best record in the AFC twice each. Manning is the Colts all-time franchise leader in career wins, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, pass completions, and passing yards. Manning is also the NFL’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes and passing yards.
Although Manning will finish his career as a sure Hall of Famer, he did not start off like this and had to go through trials and tribulations before he became the elite QB that we have seen over the past years. Manning did not come into the league throwing TD passes every game. He had to struggle first before the success came. Manning will go down as one of greatest QBs to ever play, but these are the moments fans and Manning would like to erase from their memories.
15. Accused of Using HGH in 2015
The media company Al Jazeera accused Peyton Manning of using Human Growth Hormone in 2015. HGH is not illegal, but it has been banned in the NFL since 2011. Although many think this is a rumor and is probably not true, it must’ve raised some questions in your mind, even just for a second. What if his chance of being inducted into the Hall of Fame is in jeopardy?
Manning was just as furious as his fans and teammates, saying “The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never. I really can’t believe somebody would put something like this on the air. Whoever said this is making stuff up.”
14. Manning’s Rookie Season
With the 1st overall pick in the 1998 draft, the Indianapolis Colts had a decision to make between quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. The Colts went with Manning, which was the best decision they made in franchise history, but they could not tell by his rookie season.
In his first year in the NFL, Manning threw for 3,739 yards, 26 TDs and 28 INTs, completing 56.7% of his passes and leading the Colts to a 3-13 record. Manning started off with a few bumps in the road but he would make up for it later on for the Colts franchise.
13. Departure from Indianapolis
After 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning went to the Denver Broncos after the Colts drafted QB Andrew Luck with the 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft. Sounds familiar, right? Instead of thinking about their current team, the Colts wanted to think about the future, which is why they went with Luck over Peyton. Luck has already carried them to the playoffs, so it seems like a solid choice.
Since his departure from the Colts, Manning has been to two Super Bowl in four seasons and came away with his second Super Bowl Championship. Manning has carried the Broncos to the playoffs every single season and since his arrival in Denver, they have a regular season record of 50-14 and a playoff record of 5-3.
12. Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs Regular Season Game in 2015
The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs game started off great for Peyton Manning when he threw a 4-yard pass to RB Ronnie Hillman, breaking Brett Favre’s career passing yards record. The game did not end well, however, as Manning had the worst game of his NFL career. Manning finished the game 5/20 for 35 yards and four interceptions. To make the situation even more embarrassing, Manning was benched and replaced by rookie QB Brock Osweiler, who was 14/26 for 146 yards and a TD and a interception for a QB rating of 72.6. After the game it was revealed that Manning was “injured” causing his poor play. Manning did not play for the next six weeks of the regular season. This is the game Manning fans would love to forget.
11. Lost First Three Playoff Games
Peyton Manning’s playoff woes started early in his career. Manning’s first three appearances in the postseason were not good ones because the Indianapolis Colts got put out early all three times. Manning lost his first playoff game in 2000 to the Tennessee Titans. The following season, the Colts were put out by the Miami Dolphins in overtime. In 2003, the Colts got destroyed by the New York Jets 41-0. Manning did not get his first playoff win until 2004, five years after he was drafted, with a 41-10 win over his future team, the Denver Broncos. The Colts actually made it to the Conference Championship game but lost to the New England Patriots 24-14, starting the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning rivalry.
10. Super Bowl XLIV Loss to the New Orleans Saints
In 2009, the Indianapolis Colts had a stellar season behind MVP Peyton Manning. The Colts went 14-2 and had the best record in the NFL. In the playoffs, they continued their dominance with double digit wins over the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets, en route to their Super Bowl matchup with the second best team in the league, the 13-3 New Orleans Saints. The Colts were the favorite to win, but things did not go as planned.
In the anticipated Super Bowl XLIV matchup, with the Saints up 24-17 with 5:42 left, on a 3rd down play, MVP Manning threw a pass intended for Reggie Wayne but was intercepted by Tracy Porter, who returned it 74 yards for a pick-6. Manning finished the game completing 31 of 45 passes for 333 yards for 1 TD and 1 interception.
9. Super Bowl XLVIII Loss to Seattle Seahawks
The Denver Broncos were ranked top five in both offense and defense in 2013 and were favorites to win Super Bowl XLVIII that season with a record of 13-3. The Seattle Seahawks had one of the best defenses in the league as well that year and they were also 13-3
The Seahawks defense made Manning look like he was a rookie in Indianapolis again. At halftime, the Seahawks led 22-0. The final score of the game was 43-8, making Manning 1-2 in Super Bowl games. Manning finished the game completing 34 of 49 passes for 280 yards, 1 TD, and 2 interceptions, which obviously wasn’t good enough.
8. Manning Benched for a Chunk of a Season
Peyton Manning fans saw something from him that they never thought they would see, Manning getting replaced and benched during a game. In week 10 of the 2015 season, Manning was benched after having a terrible game and was replaced with backup QB Brock Osweiler. After his benching, the Broncos revealed that Manning had been playing injured. Manning would go on to miss the next six games but replaced Osweiler in the last game of the regular season, leading the Broncos to a win, getting them home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Broncos would of course take advantage of that and go to Super Bowl 50 and beat the Carolina Panthers.
7. Actually… The Entire 2015 Regular Season
Peyton Manning decided to come back and play another year instead of retiring this past season. Throughout the 2015 regular season, Manning looked terrible and not like the Manning we have seen in past years. Manning threw for 9 TDs and 17 interceptions for 2,249 yards, equating to a passer rating of 67.9, the worst of his career.
Seeing Manning play like this made everybody think it was time for Manning to hang it up and call it quits. He did inevitably win the Super Bowl, but that was on the back of an incredible defense. Memorable playoffs, forgettable regular season.
6. Manning Getting Surgery and Missing 2011 Season
During the 2011 offseason, Manning had neck and spinal fusion surgery, causing him to miss the entire 2011 season. This was Manning first missed game/season after playing in 227 straight games (including the playoffs). Due to the surgery, doctors told Manning that he could possibly never play in the NFL again. This was a shock to people all around the world, with the idea of Manning ending his career early seemingly like a real possbility. The Indianapolis Colts went 2-14 without Manning. The following season, the Colts released Manning and the Denver Broncos signed him to a five-year deal.
5. 44-13 Loss to New England Patriots in 2001
In 2001, the Indianapolis Colts came into week three against the New England Patriots 2-0 after two dominant victories. The Colts got annihilated by the Patriots and Manning played a big part in that. Manning threw three interceptions, with two of them being returned for a TD. The Colts were down 20-0 at halftime and did not get any better as the Colts lost 44-13 to the Pats. Manning finished the game 20/34 for 196 yards, 1 TD, and 3 interceptions.
4. 2003 Wild Card Playoff Loss to New York Jets
After two playoff losses, Peyton Manning was trying to get his first playoff win in 2002 against the New York Jets. Things did not go as planned for the Colts. The Colts got shutout by the Jets 41-0, with Manning having one of the worst playoff losses and individual performances of his career. Manning was 14/31 for 137 yards and two interceptions for a QB rate of 31.2. To make things worst, the Jets QB Chad Pennington actually outplayed Manning and had one of the best games of his career. Pennington was 19/25 for 222 yards and 3 TDs for a QB rating of 142.
3. Colts vs. Chargers in 2007 Regular Season Matchup
In 2007, the Indianapolis Colts had just come off their first loss of the season to the New England Patriots. They were 7-1 entering the game against the San Diego Chargers and were trying to get back on track. The Chargers had other plans in mind as they went up 23-0 in the 2nd quarter. The Colts made an amzing comeback by scoring 21 unanswered points and only lost to the Chargers 23-21. The Colts would probably have won if it wasn’t for Manning throwing 6 interceptions, yes six. Manning threw a career high 6 picks, but also threw for 2 TDs and 328 yards. This was one of Manning’s worst regular season games which fans would like to forget about.
2. 2004 Conference Championship Game Against the New England Patriots
Peyton Manning won his first playoff game in 2003 with a 41-10 win over the Denver Broncos. Manning continued his success by winning his second playoff game with a 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Manning now had to face his new rival in Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for a trip to the Super Bowl. Things were not looking up for the Colts as they were down 15-0 at halftime. The Colts looked to Peyton Manning to lead them to victory, but he did not. Manning thought the Patriots CB Ty Law was a Colts receiver as he threw three interceptions to him and four overall. Manning finished the game 23/47 for for 237 yards, 1 TD, and 4 interceptions for a QB rate of 35.5 and a missed opportunity at the Super Bowl.
1. Alleged Sexual Assault
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Peyton Manning was accused of sexually assaulting a University of Tennessee trainer in 1996. Manning addressed the situation at his retirement press conference on ESPN by saying:
“This is a joyous day, and nothing can take away from this day. I think it is sad that some people don’t understand the truth and the facts. And I did not do what has been alleged. And I’m not interested in re-litigating something that happened when I was 19 years old. Like Forrest Gump said, ‘That’s all I have to say about that.'”
The lawsuit was filed on Feb. 9, 2016, against the University of Tennessee by six unnamed women that accused the school of violating Title IX regulations by creating a “hostile sexual environment” through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.
Tennessee athletic trainer Dr. Jamie Naughright alleged that Manning placed his naked genitals on her face while she was examining him for a foot injury.
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