The big game is behind us. It was not super. But the defense certainly was. Especially Denver`s. It was proven once again that defense wins championships. And that a defense can stop even the MVP.
Going into the game, two statements hyping the quarterbacks proved to be false. Cam Newton is currently the best quarterback in football. Not even close. And not because he lost, or his poor performance. Any quarterback in the league may have had a day like that against a determined, talented, and relentless defense like the Broncos have. Its not just touchdown passes and 20 or 30 yard runs that make you great. Its about leadership, attitude, and desire to win. All it took was one play to prove he lacked all three. With the biggest game in his life still in the balance and a loose ball on the ground in front of him, Cam chose to avoid contact and quit rather than dive in to save the day. He lost not only the game, but more importantly the respect of his team mates.
If Peyton Manning wins another super bowl he goes down as the greatest quarterback in history. Not even close. Aside from not doing anything to lose the game, he did not do much to win the game either. But that`s not why. Two super bowls, five MVP`S, and most of the important passing records certainly make him one of the best all-time players. But he also lost the big game 3 times. Two names stand out that surpass him immediately : Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Joe cool started and won four Super Bowls, and was MVP in three of them. Who can forget the 92 yard come from behind, game winning drive to beat the Bengals in the 1989 game. Brady started a record six super bowls, won 4 of them, and was named MVP in three of them. He won the big game and played a huge part in both in an incredible 13 years apart. Neither of them has all of Manning`s regular season career numbers, but they both have way better super bowl career numbers. And they have one other thing Peyton does not. They both won a super bowl very early and late in their careers. Sustained success in a career defines historic greatness.
Two final thoughts: Here`s hoping Cam Newton learns from the experience. That his showboating, sore loser act, and lack of leadership will not take him where he wants to be. I would welcome seeing the talent he has, coupled with a new found humbleness and tough as nails desire to win. And that when discussing the greatest, Peyton Manning will finally not be mentioned in the conversation.
Championships are King!