Nine Surprising Facts About Peyton Manning
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While in the NFL Peyton Manning captured the hearts of fans while racking up numerous league records throughout the quarterback’s 18-year career. At or near the top of the passing statistics nearly every season Manning became known for transferring cerebral preparation into spectacular athletic feats. Manning’s astute knowledge of opposition defences led to numerous headaches for NFL defensive coordinators.
Learn more by reading through the following surprising Peyton Manning facts. We guarantee even the most dedicated Manning fan will learn something new.
- Manning was extremely difficult to sack! Whether under center or back in the shotgun formation, defenders would continually come up empty handed in attempts to collar the quarterback who threw the ball 9,380 times in those 18 years. Defensive end Mario Williams of the Houston Texans was the most successful rusher to tackle Manning. Williams is credited with sacking Manning six times, the most for any NFL player. Manning and Williams faced each other 12 times in six years which makes the low sack total even more impressive.
- Manning was essentially a Player-Coach. Due to the diligent preparation leading into a game, Manning was like another coach – one who was directly involved in the action. “He was totally prepared so during time outs you always felt good about his suggestions,” ex-Colts Tony Dungy has said about the quarterback.
- Peyton was not the most athletic Manning. Michael Keck, a Newman High School teammate a year ahead of Peyton has stated the NFL’s glamor QB wasn’t even the most athletic among the Manning children. That distinction was bestowed upon older brother Cooper, who due to injury had to give up football. During an interview with Fox Sports, Keck also said younger brother Eli (a number one draft pick himself) was also athletically better than Peyton.
- The ‘Manning Bowl.’ Brother Eli may have been considered a better overall athlete than Peyton at the high school level, but the elder Manning can lay claim to being undefeated in the three regular season NFL games where the siblings squared off. In 2006, Peyton’s Colts beat Eli’s New York Giants, 26-21. The 2010 brotherly matchup proved even worse for Eli, the Peyton-led Colts winning 38-14. A different color jersey for Peyton (Denver orange) changed nothing for Eli as the Broncos blasted the Giants, 41-23 in 2013.
- Taking the ‘Tennessee Two-step.’ Manning was highly recruited coming out of high school. He won a couple of prestigious awards after his senior year (National Player of the Year by the Gatorade Circle of Champions and the Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club). His stellar play, which led Newman to a three-year record of 34-5, brought recruiting interest from over 60 colleges. Since Manning’s father Archie had played collegiately for the University of Mississippi fans of Ole Miss thought Peyton would be going there. Michigan, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee were among his suitors. Manning decided to become the quarterback of the Volunteers.
- It ‘Pays to be On Time.’ In preparation for the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff and scouting department had started to feel Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf was a better quarterback than Manning. They had determined Peyton’s arm strength and mobility were not of the same level as the QB from the Pacific Northwest. However, timeliness apparently won out. When conducting pre-draft interviews, the Colts had to wait for Leaf to arrive. He was late. When interviewing Manning, the Colts became initially impressed that he had arrived on time and he had conducted himself in a more professional manner than Leaf.
- Records, records and more records. Retiring after the 2015 season Manning found his career performances solidly among the all-time best in the NFL. He holds the record for the most seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing (14), most games with a perfect passing rating (4, including 1 playoff game), the only quarterback with seven straight 12+ wins as a starter and most Associated Press NFL MVP awards (5).
- A ‘rocky’ start at ‘Rocky Top.’ Headed into his freshman season with the University of Tennessee Manning was the team’s third string quarterback. Due to an injury to the starting quarterback Manning did get into the season’s first game against UCLA but he only handed the ball off a few times before being pulled from the game. Manning’s first touchdown pass as a college QB came during the team’s 24-21 loss to Mississippi State. The next week, his first after being named the starter, Manning and the Vols beat Washington State, 10-9. He remained the starter. Tennessee finished with a record of 8-4 and topped off the season with a 1994 Gator Bowl win.
- No-huddle is no problem for Manning. Switching to the no-huddle offence fans became accustomed to watching Manning orchestrate over the years didn’t occur until his fourth year in the NFL. Booming out to a 2-0 start, the Colts and Manning would see the ebb and flow of learning to manipulate the no-huddle approach. Indianapolis finished a dismal 6-10 but Manning threw 26 touchdown passes, throwing for over 4,100 yards.