Peyton Manning “The Sheriff”
Peyton Manning played quarterback for 17 seasons in the NFL and is the son of former NFL quarterback, Archie Manning, and the brother of two-time Super Bowl champion Giants quarterback, Eli Manning. Peyton Manning is often referred to by his nickname, “The Sheriff”, due to his tendency to call audibles prior to the snap. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He was named the league’s most valuable player a record five times and won Super Bowl titles with both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.
Career with the Indianapolis Colts (1998 – 2011)
Manning played college football at the University of Tennessee and led the Volunteers to the SEC Championship during his senior season. Manning was selected as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts and became the team’s starter during his rookie season. In 2003 Manning was named league MVP for the first time in his career and during the 2006 season, he led the Colts to the Super Bowl XLI title where they beat the Bears 29-17. Manning was also named MVP of Super Bowl XLI, making him the first ever Colts player to receive the award. Manning led the Colts back to the Super Bowl during the 2009 season where they lost to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Overall, during his 13 seasons with the Colts, Manning led the team to eight AFC South division titles, two AFC championships, and two Super Bowl appearances, with one Super Bowl title.
2011 would be Manning’s last season with the Colts. During the Spring prior to the 2011 season Manning underwent what was expected to be a routine neck surgery. However, following the procedure, Manning was unable to achieve his natural throwing motion and his arm strength had significantly diminished. Ultimately, doctors told Manning that he needed spinal fusion surgery and there was no guarantee he would be able to continue his playing career. Manning underwent an additional surgery in September of 2011 and was ultimately ruled out for the entire 2011 season. This ended a streak of 227 straight starts (including the playoffs) for Manning. The Colts struggled without Manning at the helm and had a 2-14 record during the 2011 season. With the first pick in the upcoming 2012 draft and top prospect Andrew Luck available, the Colts decided to release Manning in March of 2012.
Career with the Denver Broncos (2012 – 2015)
Despite the injury concerns, Manning was a highly sought after free agent during the offseason and he eventually chose to sign with the Denver Broncos. Under Manning, the Broncos enjoyed plenty of success as they clinched the AFC West division title for four consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2015. During his first season with the Broncos Manning amassed over 4600 passing yards and 37 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. The Broncos made the playoffs and earned a first round bye, however, they lost their first playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. That season, Manning was a first-team All-Pro selection and finished second in MVP voting. During the 2013 season, his second with the Broncos, Manning was named league MVP for a fifth time in his career. He also led the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII but they were dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8. Nonetheless, Manning’s career ended on a high note. During his final season in 2015, Manning ultimately led the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl 50 where they beat Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 24-10.
Retirement and Career Achievements
Manning officially announced his retirement from the NFL on March 7, 2016. Manning has broken numerous NFL records and is still the leader in: regular season MVP awards (5), Pro Bowl appearances (14), passing touchdowns in a season (55), 4,000+ passing yard seasons (14), most passing yards in a single season (5,477), and consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes (13), among others. Manning is also tied for the most first-team All-Pro selections for a quarterback (7), and is third all-time in career passing yards (71,940) and passing touchdowns (539). Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to appear in four Super Bowls with a different head coach each time. Manning was named as a nominee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021, the-first time he has been eligible for the recognition, and he is widely expected to be a shoo-in.
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