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Eric Thomas: Peyton Picks the Broncos? Dumb Move

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 07: Peyton Manning speaks during a press conference announcing his release from the Indianapolis Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 07: Peyton Manning speaks during a press conference announcing his release from the Indianapolis Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

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I never in a million years thought Manning would end up in Denver. Especially when you consider how many other great options there were! If he would have picked the 9ers they would be favorites for the Superbowl next year without question.

Manning probably doesn’t understand how tone deaf this comes across. Sure I guess you become BFFs with John Elway, but you are going into an organization where “disorganized” would be generous! How many franchises openly groused about their starting quarterback? How many franchises last year announced a starting quarterback in the off season then unseated him then reasserted him again after a couple of games? How many coaches openly downplayed the success of a player in their organization?!

I haven’t even mentioned Tebow’s name yet but its baffling to me. Tebow did NOT deserve as much credit as he got last year but the guy won a playoff game. Funny how many Detroit Lions fans chortle at Tebow yet with one pass he did what they have done once in 60 years. Football purists (admittedly, myself included) openly guffawed, sarcastically retweeting #TEBOWTIME and largely engaging in backslapping cynicism. For all of that one thing is undeniable, Tebow piled up an impressive number of wins.

Already my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been jammed. “Hey”, they exclaim with total confidence “at least he is better than Tebow!” Is he? How many games did Manning win last year? Let’s not forget that he was under contract with the Colts and injury held him out. Tebow is healthy and has the luck of a thousand four leaf clovers. Beer swilling fans point their chunky figures at Tebow’s lines of statistics. They point out that he only threw the ball for 50 yards in certain games. They don’t point out that those games were wins and 30 of those yards were on the winning drive. The only sin that Tebow committed last year was losing to Tom Brady. Peyton Manning has made a career of losing to Tom Brady.

Statistics don’t matter in football unless you have a stupid fantasy team. I wasn’t interested in Dungeons and Dragons either. The only stats that matter is wins and losses in the NFL and in that column, Tebow did well. He didn’t fold under pressure. When the game was on Tebow, he delivered. He certainly didn’t blow anybody out but if it came down to the offense they got it done almost every time.

The Broncos are giving up the winning drive QB for exactly the opposite. I swear that the football punditry is on heavy drugs some times. Only junkies and the elderly have shorter memories than those in sports media. It seems that people have forgotten Peyton Manning was the ultimate example of a big game choker. Granted he largely silenced that claim with the 2007 playoff run and subsequent Superbowl. But in both college and the NFL Peyton has long wore the label of “regular season quarterback”. When the game is on the line he tends to fall apart.

This is the point: Why not go to the 9ers and replace a guy that choked in the NFC Championship game? Why not go to the Texans and play with better talent? Why not go to Miami and … uh … live in Miami? I am baffled by this decision! Not just because the lack of offensive weapons around him and the suspect offensive line, that is just part of it. Why would you want to go to a city and upset a fan favorite QB that displayed yards of guts when it counts?! Everyone in the Mile High City bought a new jersey last year and its useless now. Tebow left on a legacy of winning a playoff game and now Peyton has to do better or he is a waste. He also has to now demonstrate to Denver than he has the same constitution as the guy he just booted and he has historically lacked in that department. If the game is on the line next year and you fold like a card table, everyone will ask “Would Tebow have done the same?”

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