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What one game can do

February 7, 2014

 

MERRITT

MERRITT

Chad Merritt
Sports Editor

 

The Seattle Seahawks decimated the Denver Broncos in a matchup of the NFL’s number one defense (Seattle) and offense (Denver).

 

In the process of claiming their first Lombardi Trophy, the Seahawks also proved true the adage that defense wins championships.

 

One of the largest storylines following Super Bowl XLVIII is the impact it has on Peyton Manning’s legacy.

Pundits and fans alike have stated that Manning has now become a choke artist or someone who cannot perform when it matters. I have seen some people even ask why he won the league MVP honor.

 

The thought that one, albeit terrible, game mars your legacy permanently is preposterous.

 

Jim Kelly, Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton are a combined 0-8 in Super Bowls. Roger Staubach went 2-2 and John Elway went 2-3 in Super Bowls. Tom Brady has lost his last two Super Bowls, just like Manning.

 

Not only does Manning have one ring, at least he made it to the big game for a third time. Warren Moon is among the great quarterbacks who never even made it to the Super Bowl. It seems that Manning is criticized much more than these other legendary quarterbacks after losing a game.

 

Manning broke the single season record for touchdowns and yards this year while leading the most prolific offense in NFL history, scoring the most points and touchdowns ever for a team in one season. Manning is four days removed from the greatest season for a quarterback in NFL history, and people are questioning his legacy.

 

Statistically speaking, three of the five greatest quarterbacks of all time, Drew Brees, Brady and Manning, are still playing today, and the all-time leader in passing statistics, Brett Favre, just retired.

 

The fact of the matter is that we love to have a scapegoat. We need to find someone to blame whenever something doesn’t go the way we intended. Had Manning won he’d be the greatest ever, and Richard Sherman would be the goat.

 

Legacy is a strong word. It cannot be defined in one moment.

 

People need to take a step back and avoid the knee-jerk reactions we have become all too accustomed to making following a huge game or moment.

 

Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of all time.

 

Chad Merritt is a senior journalism major from Livingston. Email comments to cam059@latech.edu.

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