Tag Archives: Indianapolis Colts

Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks

With Peyton Manning closing in on becoming the all time touchdown leader in the NFL the debate of who is the greatest quarterback of all talk will spark. So might, as well get in on it, but my rankings will be different. They won’t be judged on stats alone but more on there impact on the game. Meaning if they were innovators, influenced future quarterbacks or brought more eyes to the game, it is not based off top quarterbacks of all time.

George Washington: Roger Staubach. He is part of the reason why the Cowboys are so popular the way they are today. Staubach was arguably the first quarterback to be idolized by millions. Names before him such as Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas could be argued but it was Staubach who brought the name recognition to the Cowboys that gets this honor. He played with the Cowboys during a five-season stretch in which they played in the Super Bowl. He led the Cowboys to victories in Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII. Staubach was named MVP of Super Bowl VI, becoming the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP.

Thomas Jefferson: Joe Montana. Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Four Super Bowl appearances and four Super Bowl wins while also being named MVP in three of those victories (NFL record), that alone would get Montana on the Mt. Rushmore of QB’s but there are more reasons than the Super Bowls for why he is on here. Montana is most noted for his ability to stay calm under pressure in close game situations. Montana has 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind victories. Who could forget in the closing moments of the 1981 NFL Championship Game where he threw the game-winning touchdown to Dwight Clark a play that would go down in history to be simply known as “The Catch.” Then in Super Bowl XXIII with under a minute left scoring a touchdown to secure his 4th Super Bowl championship. Reasons like this are what made Joe Montana be “Joe Cool.”

Theodore Roosevelt: Brett Favre. Nobody innovated the quarterback position more than Favre. He might not have won the most championships during his era, but he was the quarterback that everybody dreamed of being when playing in their backyard. As of right now Favre holds the record for most touchdowns (508) but Peyton Manning will break it unless something catastrophic happens. Favre is the ultimate iron man of football, playing in 321 consecutive football games (regular season and playoffs.) A record that will most likely never happen be broken; Favre would take brutal hits in the pocket just to wait an extra second for his receive to get open to throw the perfect pass. He played in an era where defensive backs where allowed to rough up there receivers and that is why he would wait and take hits, reasons like that are why he is nicknamed “The Gunslinger.” Favre is the only player to three peat the NFL MVP award (1995-97) as he also holds the records of most career passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions, most career victories as a starting quarterback. In the final 2 minutes of a game you were promised to see a result, with Favre there was no three-and-outs. It was either a touchdown or an interception, he always promised you 100% effort and that is what made him truly amazing.

Abraham Lincoln: Peyton Manning. The great debate of our era of football is “Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?” Reasons for me going with Manning are even though Brady has the rings, his numbers during his championship run are nowhere near Manning’s numbers. Peyton has always put up incredible numbers where Brady’s were very average during those championship years even though he did win MVP in two of those Super Bowls. Brady’s number didn’t rise until after winning those championships so that is why I will give the nod here to Peyton. Manning holds a record of winning five regular season MVP’s and also winning a Super Bowl MVP. After undergoing season-ending neck surgery and in doubt of ever playing again “The Sheriff” rebounded and two years later won his fifth MVP and appeared in Super Bowl XLVII. Manning is often considered an offensive coordinator who just happens to play quarterback (as recently just mentioned by Jets head coach, Rex Ryan.) Manning is just two touchdowns away from breaking the all-time record, so most likely this weekend he will be holding that record. For a record like that to be accomplished, the way he has is something that will never go forgotten.

Peyton still reigns, but Luck is on his way

Three early first half touchdowns by Peyton Manning to Julius Thomas put the Denver Broncos safely in the lead, but Andrew Luck continues to prove he’s never out of it. Another season, another Andrew Luck comeback. Peyton still reigns, but Luck is on his way to greatness.

A number of people shook their heads  and wondered why the Indianapolis Colts decided to let Peyton Manning walk away, but it’s obvious now that Andrew Luck represents the Colts future.

Peyton Manning - Andrew LuckHe might not be the superstar Peyton Manning is right now, but Luck’s starting to show signs that he is undoubtedly the future of the NFL.

Luck was given an almost impossible task of replacing the great Peyton Manning and has done a pretty damn good job doing so. He took an ordinary Colts teams to the playoffs his first two years, won the AFC South in 2013 and won a spectacular playoff game in comeback fashion. It took Peyton Manning five NFL seasons to win his first playoff game and Luck’s stats are far superior to Manning’s in his first few years.

How a team became so lucky to find not only one great quarterback, but to have back-to-back stand out quarterbacks is beyond me. Somehow, someway Jim Irsay did something right.

5 greatest comebacks in NFL history

5. St. Louis Cardinals – 25: It was the Cardinals final season in St. Louis before becoming the Arizona Cardinals. The team finished 7-8 and missed the playoffs in the midst of a players’ strike.

By Week 9 things were back to normal when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came to town. Led by Neil Lomax the Cardinals were down 25 points in the third quarter when Lomax connected on three touchdown passes. They would also recover a fumble to complete the 31-28 comeback.

Jim Kelly-Todd Collins4. Buffalo Bills – 26 Points: 1997 was the beginning of the end for Hall of Fame players’ Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith as quarterback Todd Collins took over the reins. The Bills would miss the playoffs for only the second time in ten years but the bright spot was the second-largest comeback in NFL regular season history when they overturned a 26-0 deficit. The Bills trailed the Indianapolis Colts, 26-0, with six minutes left in the second quarter. Buffalo’s hopes for a victory that fall afternoon against a team that was 0-3 appeared less than bleak.

“Orchard Park High School kids could have beaten us in the first half,” defensive end Phil Hansen said to Vic Carucci of The News. “I don’t even have an answer for the way we looked in the first half. It was not a team that deserved or demanded respect.”

Buffalo started the rally late in the first half with 10 quick points, including a touchdown pass from Todd Collins to Lonnie Johnson. In the second half, Antowain Smith ran for three touchdowns, while Collins threw another scoring pass to Quinn Early. Marvin Harrison caught a TD pass for the Colts with 14 seconds left, but the two-point conversion failed and the Bills had a victory.

Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck

3. Indianapolis Colts – 28 points: In one of the most entertaining playoff games of the 2013 season, the Colts erased a 28-point deficit in the 2013 AFC Wild Card Game.

Led by Andrew Luck, the second year quarterback threw three early interceptions and was down 31-10 at halftime.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Colts until Luck found his stride. Luck finished 29-of-45 for 443 yards, four touchdowns and those three early three interceptions.

“He’s a second-year guy, so technically he’s still a kid in the league, but he plays like a grown man,” Colts linebacker Robert Mathis said. – ESPN.com

With less than five minutes remaining in the game Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for a 64-yard touchdown.  “He kept telling us, even at 38-10, ‘We’re going to win this game,'” offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo said.

The remarkable comeback was the second greatest playoff comeback in NFL history.

Joe Montana
Joe Montana

2. San Francisco 49ers – 28 Points: It was Bill Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana’s second season with the 49ers, but they failed to make the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. The bright spot? The greatest regular season comeback in NFL history against the New Orleans Saints.

It was December 7th, 1980 at Candlestick Park and only 48 degrees. The Saints came out early and struck with three touchdowns. The 49ers would strike back but only to allow the Saints to score twice more and go into half down 35-7.

Not many realized this would be the first of many 4th quarter comebacks by Joe Montana, but after four consecutive touchdowns and holding the Saints scoreless, the game was brought to a tie. Ray Wersching would end the game with a 36-yard field goal. It still stands as the largest comeback during the regular season.

Frank Reich1. Buffalo Bills – 32 Points: To this day it is still hard to believe that the Bills found a way to beat the Houston Oilers that January 3rd in 1993.http://thepenaltyflagblog.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

A cold and windy day at Rich Stadium both the Bills and Oilers came in as wild card teams.

Both teams faced off just the week before as the Oilers defeated the Bills, 27-3 in Houston. The real story was the injury to star and now Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. He would suffer strained ligaments in his knee which left backup Frank Reich to start the wild card game.

The first half was dominated by the Houston Oilers, now the Tennessee Titans. Warren Moon was on fire completing 19 of 22 passes for 220 yards and 4 touchdowns. The high-powered Buffalo offense was left off the field and only managed 3 points trailing by 25 at the half.

Most thought it was over and started to leave the stadium at that point. Little did anyone think things could get worse, but they did.

In the third quarter, Reich threw a pass that bounced off the hands of tight end Keith McKeller and went into the arms of defensive back Bubba McDowell, who returned the interception 58 yards for a touchdown.

Houston had a commanding 32-point lead, 35-3 and to make matters worse the Bills also lost star running back and future Hall of Famer, Thurman Thomas with an injury.

The Bills were left without the two focal points of the entire franchise and the famous statement was made by a Houston radio announcer. “The lights are on here at Rich Stadium, they’ve been on since this morning, you could pretty much turn them out on the Bills right now.”

That is when things started to miraculously change.

Buffalo began their rally with a one-yard run by Kenneth Davis and when Christie recovered the ensuing onside kick, Reich took over the show. He calmly directed the offense as he connected first with Don Beebe and then hooked up with Andre Reed for three more touchdowns. The Bills’ flurry put them ahead 38-35 with just under 3 minutes to play. With seconds left in regulation, the Oilers’ Al Del Greco tied the score with a 26-yard field goal kick to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, defensive back Nate Odomes intercepted a Moon pass which set the stage for Steve Christie and the game winning kick.

Fans could not “Bill”eve what had just happened that day in Buffalo. From screaming profanities at the team and walking to the parking lot to attempting to climb back over fences just to get into the stadium to see NFL history.

In commemoration of the game, Steve Christie’s kicking shoe from the game has been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

GB Bongiovanni is the owner of TPF and can be contacted at GB@GMAEnterprises.com or @GBBongiovanni