Peyton Manning delivers super dud

By Rob Parker - Sports Columnist
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DETROIT - Eight points?

Archie Manning, Peyton Manning's dad, could have produced that. Not when he was an NFL quarterback, but now, at age 64.

Talk about a super dud. But that's what Peyton Manning delivered in the Super Bowl Sunday night as the Seattle Seahawks beat Manning's Denver Broncos, 43-8, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

It may not be fair, but the narrative won't be about how Seattle dominated from the word go. It will be about Manning's epic fail in yet another big game.

Let's face it: Coming in, the Super Bowl was all about Manning.

After all, it appeared Manning, a quarterback machine like never seen before, was all but done a few years ago after neck surgery, a missed season and being dumped by the Indianapolis Colts.

Heck, even his brother, New York Giants' QB Eli Manning, thought his career was done, too.

But here was Peyton Manning, at exit 16W off the New Jersey Turnpike, playing in the first cold-weather Super Bowl in NFL history.

And make no mistake. All the chips were in. This is a Floyd Mayweather bet, big and confident. There would be no do-over, no licking wounds or saying maybe next year.

Manning, now the Broncos' Messiah, had a chance to do what most never thought possible, to tie his remarkable career in a bow.

Better yet, he could silence all his postseason critics and cement his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.

But to have done that, Manning would have had to play well. It didn't happen. Instead, Manning was brutal, throwing two interceptions, including a back-breaking pick-six with less than four minutes to go in the first half. Seattle LB Malcolm Smith took Manning's pass and went 69 yards for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 22-0 lead at the half.

Manning was asked after his latest postseason debacle if he was embarrassed.

"It's not embarrassing," he told the media after the game. "Embarrassing is an insult word."

For all the great moments we have seen from Manning, coming in, it was still hard to shake the bad moments, the blunders, the huge disappointing moments when he blew it in the postseason.

This added to the legend of Bad Postseason Peyton.

Fans, even the hometown fans who love him, had to flashback to the Super Bowl against the New Orleans Saints when Manning threw that pick-six. Instead of a game-tying drive for the Colts, Manning secured the Saints' 14-point victory.

Even last year against Baltimore in the divisional playoffs, Manning was, well Manning, and threw a terrible pick on his side of the field that led to a Ravens' game-winning field goal in double overtime.

Fans in Denver were crushed.

Those same fans had to be doubly crushed this time around.

Some will always say it isn't just the quarterback who wins or loses the game. Yeah, we get it.

And in this game, there was plenty of blame to go around. Denver had four turnovers, the defense was bad and so was special teams. And that safety just 12 seconds into the game didn't help, either.

Nonetheless, this is a quarterback league. They get the most hype, the most loot and the most blame. It comes with the territory.

Hence, it's only fitting Manning will get beat up for this. He wrote another chapter in his legacy of failing in the postseason.

It's the reason why Manning didn't even want to address the legacy issue at media day.

"I'm not 100 percent what that word even means," Manning said on Tuesday.

Manning added, "I've been asked about my legacy since I was 25 years old, which I'm not sure you can have a legacy when you are 25 years old, or even 37. I thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy."

Oh no, folks knew Manning's legacy late Sunday evening. He's now 1-2 in Super Bowls.

The bottom line remains is that Manning needs that second Super Bowl championship. I've always said when it comes to championships that anybody can win one.

The second one confirms that it wasn't a fluke, the stars just didn't align and you just happened to be under center.

Joe Montana won four Super Bowls, throwing 11 TDs and no interceptions. That's a legend, a legacy not up for debate.

The same can't be said about Manning.

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