The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs 24-13 knocking out quarterback Peyton Manning. This was the ninth time a team quarterbacked by Manning lost in its opening round of the playoffs. This lost felt different. Did this defeat signal a passing of the torch?
You might hear that “passing of the torch” phrase a lot after this game, since Manning and the Broncos lost to the young signal-caller that replaced him in Indianapolis. Third year man Andrew Luck certainly looked like the better quarterback on the field Sunday, but Luck has a long way to go before he can surpass Manning. For Luck to carry the torch, he will have to remain consistent throughout the better part of 15 NFL seasons. That’s how long Manning has been able to remain consistent in dominating the league.
While Manning’s future is uncertain, Luck is clearly headed in the right direction. Only time will tell, however, if Luck can take the torch and run with it for as long as Manning did.
Colts owner Jim Irsay may have been right in allowing Peyton Manning to leave when the Broncos signed him just before the 2012 season. Irsay certainly made the correct call in drafting Luck over Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft. If Luck can play for a decade, the Colts will be fortunate enough to have two great quarterbacks play for them over 22-years.
Not sure if we have seen the last of Peyton Manning on a football field, but if we have, it certainly was great to watch.