2 Minute Warning
May 21, 2011 Leave a comment
The two minute warning in football is an eternity, if used correctly. If used incorrectly, it can cost a game, a season, a career.
The two minute warning is no time to panic, and there is still plenty of time left to lead a game winning drive. Though no time to panic, it is a time to crack down and make sure you are playing your best football
The Colts are approaching the two minute warning of the career of the greatest quarterback in NFL history: Peyton Manning. Though it is not time to freak out, the Colts need to make sure they use Manning’s final years count big time. Which is why a lockout would be devastating to the Colts franchise, more than any other team.
Manning has probably 5 years left. Those 5 years are critical. Never again will the Colts experience anything like this run they have had. And the majority of the credit is due to number 18. A 141-67 regular season record since 1998 (68%), Manning’s rookie year. Since 2002, they have a stunning 109-35 regular season record (76%), and they have 9 straight playoff berths, which they will look to add to next season. From 2003 to 2009, the Colts won 12 or more games each year, and NFL record (7 straight seasons). They also won the 2006 Lombardi Trophy, the award given to the super bowl champion.
In those 5 years, the Colts will look to win multiple super bowls, as that is the goal every year. However, these are the final few years of their incredible success. I hate to say it, but it is the truth. They are Peyton Manning, and none more so than last year. Manning is the glue holding all the other pieces together, and many of the pieces are broken. They are honestly just not built for success after Manning.
So, essentially, these last few years are the only years that the current Colts will have to win another super bowl. Owner Jim Irsay won’t win another one post-Peyton. General manager Bill Polian won’t win another one post-Peyton. Head coach Jim Caldwell won’t win one post-Peyton. Dwight Freeney, Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, Gary Brackett, DallasClark, Joseph Addai all won’t win another one post-Peyton, if they outlast him. The time is now.
Manning’s final contract of his career is approaching. They are well on their way through the back 9. And for all their success, they want more than just one Lombardi. They want multiple. They have 5 years to do it.
Which goes back to the lockout. The Colts absolutely can not afford to waste one (or more) of the final 5 years of Peyton’s career with him sitting on his couch. He needs to be out there throwing touchdowns and winning games.
Peyton Manning has 399 touchdown passes in his illustrious career. He is 34, and will turn 35 in March. 399 touchdowns by age 34. Only 2 men have ever thrown for more than 400 touchdowns in their career, and will be joined by Peyton in his next regular season game. Those two men are Brett Favre and Dan Marino. By comparison, at age 34, Favre had 346 touchdowns. Dan Marino had 352 at that age. Now, Favre has 508 and Marino has 420. Next year, with 22 touchdown passes, Manning will move into second place all-time. Considering that he has never thrown less than 25 in a season in his 13 year career, that is almost guaranteed.
Drew Brees is the only active threat I see who has a chance to beat Peyton. To get where Peyton is, however, he would need to average 54 touchdown passes a year, which would be an NFL record for a single season. However, he could reach Favre’s pace at age 34 by only throwing 37 a year (only!). So, basically, unless Brees plays absolutely lights out, he won’t reach Peyton.
The time is now for Indianapolis. The two minute warning is upon us. Peyton Manning doesn’t last forever. A lockout would be absolutely devastating to the Colts.