In the weeks leading up to a Super Bowl, Peyton Manning was worshiped more than any professional athlete in recent memory. Many said that a win in this game would cement his legacy as the greatest QB to ever play the game.
He had to do something he has not done much of this year: face a legitimate defense.
Manning turned the ball over 3 times. He posted a QBR of 24.4. The greatest offense of all time, loaded with receiving weapons, was in danger of being shut out until the third quarter ended. He played poorly in what became the third biggest blowout in Super Bowl history.
1-2 in the Super Bowl.
The last time Peyton lost a Super Bowl, he played well, until he threw a bad, game sealing pick six in the fourth quarter as he was trying to tie the game.
The Super Bowl that Manning won was over Rex Grossman, and despite receiving an undeserved SB MVP, he was less than spectacular. 25/39 for 247, 1 Touchdown, 1 interception, and 1 lost fumble for a QBR of 60.7. The Colts ran the ball 42 times in this game, for 191 yards, and the Colts defense came up with 5 turnovers. Perhaps the result of this game could be explained by that a little bit more than Peyton's below average performance.
Getting to the Super Bowl is a tremendous accomplishment to begin with, and his 3 AFC Championships are very impressive. But when talking about the legacy of Peyton Manning, its hard to call him the greatest all things considered. Statistically, he may have the best numbers, but the margin by which he does over players such as Montana and Brady is not nearly enough to compensate for his 8 first round playoff losses, his 11-12 playoff record, and his poor performances in the Super Bowl.