The Peyton Puzzle: Redskins Week 6 preview
By Evan Bliss
Here’s the thing. On one hand, I really enjoy Peyton Manning’s persona. His SNL appearance excelled beyond all expectations, joining the ranks of a classic Hanks, Baldwin, or Walken set with the United Way faux-mercial by far one of my favorite all-time sketches. Additionally, Peyton is clever and honest in interviews, never giving the usual “110%” or “a win is a win” or “we win and lose as a team” hackneyed cud players seem to be spoon-fed by team PR reps and then regurgitate on command. On the other hand, I friggin’ hate watching this guy play football.
He’s won the Super Bowl, won the MVP four times, has gone to the Pro Bowl nine times, has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in 10 seasons, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I’d list all his records and accomplishments, but I’d worsen my carpal tunnel syndrome and you’d suddenly return to the Post’s World News section. Regardless of how amazing and talented Peyton Manning is, or how much I respect and envy his numerous talents and accomplishments, I want to beat him ‘til he spits out assorted candies when I watch him play on Sundays.
The most obvious intolerable annoyance in Peyton’s play is the check down. The Colts huddle is pure posturing, no need for it, zero practical use whatsoever. Instead, Peyton ‘huddles’ his offense together, has them all crouch down for 5 seconds, then tells them it’ll be fine because he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. He then breaks the huddle, looks at the defense he’s facing, shouts to his left, shouts to his right, backs up, points and shouts, walks around and shouts and points some more, gets a paper cone of Gatorade, runs the play clock down to .5, hikes the ball, then chalks up 400 yards a game.
The other intolerable annoyance is his spastic clunkiness. You’d think in being raised in the land of debutant balls that some of that grace would rub off on its local athletes. Yet, after the halftime show production of Peyton actually hiking the ball, we’re granted with 10 or 15 seconds of him frantically hopping up and down, checking each receiver, with his shoulders and elbows fluttering more than a misled polygraph machine as if Peyton is suffering from withdrawal of a daily dose of two packs of Marlboro Reds and ten espresso shots.
The biggest annoyance is that this spastic clutter of a hyperactive, ultra-communicative, check down time-waster is a first ballot Hall of Fame shoe-in. He rips teams to shreds with his unparalleled quick release, game preparation, and football smarts. It’s torturous waiting and waiting for someone to rip you a new one down after down.
To beat the Colts you need to beat Peyton Manning. You need to resist being lulled to sleep by a long cadence, or being duped into his thirteen half-pump fakes, or his ability to know what you’re doing before you do it. That or rushing for more than 50 yards a game.
Box Seats blogger
| October 15, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Evan Bliss, Redskins | Tags: Evan Bliss, Redskins
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