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Peyton Manning

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Peyton Manning
refer to caption
Manning with the Denver Broncos in 2015
No. 18
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1976-03-24) March 24, 1976 (age 44)
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school: New Orleans (LA) Newman
College: Tennessee
NFL draft: 1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts: 9,380
Passing completions: 6,125
Percentage: 65.3
TDINT: 539–251
Passing yards: 71,940
Passer rating: 96.5
Player stats at

Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). A five-time league MVP, he played for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons between 1998 and 2011, and then with the Denver Broncos for four seasons from 2012 to 2015. Manning is a two-time Super Bowl winner (XLI and 50), and also appeared in the game two other times, becoming the only quarterback to start the Super Bowl for two different franchises more than once each and the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises.[1] He is a son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Tennessee Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. He was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Manning's playing career and statistics have ranked him among the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.[2] From 1998 to 2010, he led the Indianapolis Colts to eight (seven AFC South and one AFC East) division championships, two AFC championships, and a Super Bowl championship (XLI).

Manning is the first and only quarterback to achieve 200 career wins (regular and postseason),[3] his five NFL MVP awards are a league record,[4] he was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, he was named to a record 14 Pro Bowls, he has 14 4,000-yard passing seasons (NFL record),[5][6] and he is the NFL's all-time leader in both passing yards (71,940) and touchdown passes (539).

In 2009, he was named the best player in the NFL,[5][6] and Fox Sports, along with Sports Illustrated, named him the NFL player of the decade for the 2000s. In May 2011, he underwent neck surgery to alleviate neck pain and arm weakness he dealt with during the previous few seasons before signing a five-year, $90 million contract extension with the Colts in July 2011. Manning had hoped to play in the 2011 season, but in September 2011 he underwent a second, and much more serious surgery: a level-one cervical fusion procedure. Manning had never missed an NFL game in his career, but was forced to miss the entire 2011 season. In March 2012, he was released by the Colts before signing with the Denver Broncos. Before the 2013 season had even finished, SI had named him their Sportsman of the Year.[7]

During a 2009 Monday Night Football game, Manning received the nickname "The Sheriff" from color commentator Jon Gruden due to his tendency to audible prior to the snap,[8] and he was one of the most recognizable and parodied players in the NFL.[9] Teams led by Manning typically utilized the hurry-up offense in place of the standard huddle.[10]

High school career

Manning attended Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana, and led their football team to a 34–5 record during his three seasons as starter. He was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player-of-the-Year and Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club National Offensive Player-of-the-Year in 1993.[11] While at Newman he began wearing the number 18 in honor of his older brother Cooper, who was forced to give up football due to spinal stenosis. Younger brother Eli also wore the number when he became starting quarterback. Newman has since retired the number 18 jersey and it can be seen hanging in the school gym.[12] Manning was among the most sought after high school players in the country and was recruited by about 60 colleges, led by Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, and his father's alma mater, Ole Miss.[13]

College career

Manning chose to play college football for the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Some[who?] were surprised that he did not pick the Ole Miss Rebels, for whom his father Archie played. He became Tennessee's all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns and won 39 of 45 games as a starter, breaking the Southeastern Conference (SEC) record for career wins.[14][15]

As a freshman, Manning began the season as the third-string quarterback. In the season opener against UCLA, Manning was one of three quarterbacks to come off the bench after starter Jerry Colquitt suffered a season-ending injury on the seventh play of the game. However, Manning wasn't able to generate any offense and was pulled from the game.[16] During the season's fourth game, against Mississippi State, starter Todd Helton got injured and Manning took over. The Vols lost 24–21, but Manning was named the team's starter and remained so for the rest of his college career. In his first start, the following week against Washington State, the Vols won 10–9. They won all but one of their remaining games, finishing the season 8–4 with a 45–23 victory over Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.[17][18][19]

Manning and the Vols started off the 1995 season with victories over East Carolina and Georgia, before heading off to Gainesville to play the Gators.[20] Against Florida, he threw for 326 yards and 2 touchdowns, leading the Vols to a 30–21 halftime lead. However, the Gators outscored the Vols 41–7 in the second half, winning 62–37.[21] This was the Vols' only loss of the season, as they won their remaining 8 regular season games, including a 41–14 win over Alabama and then defeated Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl.[22][23] The Vols ended the season ranked third and Manning came in sixth in Heisman Trophy voting.[24]

The Vols opened the 1996 season ranked second behind Nebraska and one of the favorites to win the national championship.[25] However, after winning their first 2 games against UNLV and UCLA, the Vols again lost to Florida 35–29, with Manning throwing 4 interceptions.[26] After winning their next four games, the Vols were upset by Memphis, despite Manning passing for 296 yards.[27]

The Vols won the remainder of their games, including a 48–28 win in the Citrus Bowl over Northwestern, a game in which Manning passed for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns; he was named the game's MVP.[28][29]

Manning completed his degree in three years, a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication,[30][31] and was projected[by whom?] to be the top overall pick in the NFL Draft, but returned to Tennessee for his senior year.[32] In his senior season, the Vols opened the season with victories against Texas Tech and UCLA, but for the third time in his career, Manning fell to Florida 33–20.[33][34][35] The Vols won the rest of their regular season games, finishing 10–1, and advanced to the SEC Championship game against Auburn. Down 20–7, Manning led the Vols to a 30–29 victory. Throwing for 4 touchdowns, he was named the game's MVP, but injured himself in the process.[36][37] The 3rd-ranked Vols were matched-up with second-ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl; if Tennessee won and top-ranked Michigan lost to Washington State in the Rose Bowl, the Vols would win the national championship.[38] However, the Vols' defense could not stop Nebraska's rushing attack, giving up over 400 rushing yards in a 42–17 loss.[39] As a senior, Manning won numerous awards; he was a consensus first-team All-American, the Maxwell Award winner, the Davey O'Brien Award winner, the Johnny Unitas Award winner, and the Best College Player ESPY award winner, among others.[40][41][42] In 2005, Tennessee retired Manning's number (No. 16).[43] One of the streets leading to Neyland Stadium has been renamed Peyton Manning Pass. Manning also excelled academically and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1997[30] and awarded the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award.[44]

In 1996, while attending the University of Tennessee, Manning was accused by female trainer Jamie Ann Naughright of exposing his buttocks during a foot examination.[45] Manning said that he was just pulling a prank by "mooning" another athlete in the room as Naughright bent over to examine him.[45] Naughright settled with the university for $300,000 for its alleged failure in four incidents, and resigned from the school. She had initially made a list of 33 complaints about the school.[45]

Professional career


Manning was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick of the 1998 NFL draft.[46] He would start as a rookie and go on to play for the Colts for 13 full seasons before being sidelined by a neck injury, which cost him the entire 2011 season.[47] After recovering from the injury, he joined the Denver Broncos for whom he played from the 2012 season[48] through the 2015 season. Excluding the year lost to injury, Manning played in 17 NFL seasons.[49]

Manning is often referred to as one of the greatest passing quarterbacks of all time.[2] He was named the NFL's most valuable player a record five times (four times as a Colt, once as a Bronco), was named to the Pro Bowl 14 times (a record) and named to the first team All-Pro seven times. As a starter up to the end of 2015 season he had a career winning percentage of .702 in the regular season. He holds the NFL record for career touchdown passes and career passing yards, achieved in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The most commonly cited criticism of Peyton Manning's professional career is that despite great success and gaudy statistics during the regular season, he did not enjoy similar levels of success in the post-season. His career post-season record as a starter was a more modest 14-13, compared to his regular season record through the 2015 season which was 186-79. Manning won two Super Bowls (Super Bowl XLI and Super Bowl 50) and played in two others (Super Bowl XLIV and Super Bowl XLVIII), being named MVP of XLI, while losing XLIV in an upset, and managing just one successful touchdown drive in each of XLVIII and 50. During the early part of Manning's career "his record-breaking stats were written off because of the Colts’ postseason failures"; conversely he posted poor stats in the 2015 regular season and Super Bowl 50 (which would be his final season) but nonetheless won his second league championship thanks to his team's defense.[50]

Indianapolis Colts

1998 season: rookie season

Despite concerns about his arm strength and mobility,[51] Manning was selected first overall in the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.[52] Although many considered Ryan Leaf his rival for the first selection in the draft, and Leaf's quarterback rating was higher, all six experts Sports Illustrated consulted believed that Manning was superior.[53] Five said that they would take him first in the draft; Sid Gillman said of Manning, "this is a pro quarterback".[53] The Colts' scouts initially favored Leaf, but the team's management and coaches were gradually won over by Manning's attitude, particularly as Manning showed up prepared to a scheduled interview meeting with the Colts' staff while Leaf arrived late. Colts general manager Bill Polian who had the final say on the draft selection recalled Manning saying "I'll leave you with this thought. If you take me, I promise you we will win a championship. If you don't, I promise I'll come back and kick your ass."[54][55]

In his rookie season, he passed for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns, set five different NFL rookie records including most touchdown passes in a season, and was named to the NFL All-Rookie First Team.[56][57][58] Manning's first win came against fellow rookie Leaf, 17–12 over the Chargers.[59] Weeks later, Manning faced off against Steve Young; he threw three touchdowns, tying a Colts rookie record, but the 49ers kicked a late field goal to win 34–31.[60] In November against the Jets, Manning threw for three touchdowns in a 24–23 win; he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. It was the first game-winning drive of Manning's career, as he threw the game-winning TD pass to Marcus Pollard.[57][61] Manning was certainly a bright spot in 1998 for the Colts, but he also threw a league high 28 interceptions as the team struggled to a 3–13 record with a defense that gave up more than 27 points per game.[51] The Colts lost many close games, including five games in which they had led by double-digits at some point.[62][63]


The Indianapolis Colts opened the 1999 season with a 31–14 victory over Buffalo, but gave up a 28–7 lead the following week against the Patriots and lost.[64][65] After defeating San Diego 27–19 in a game in which Manning threw for over 400 yards, and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, they lost again, to Miami.[57][66][67] The Colts responded by winning 11 of their remaining 12 games, finishing 13–3 and the AFC East champions. The 10 game turnaround from the previous year set an NFL record.[68] As the second seed in the AFC, the Colts earned a first round bye, and faced Tennessee in the playoffs. The Colts lost 19–16 to the Super Bowl bound Titans and Manning was limited to one touchdown run.[69] Manning finished the year with 4,135 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns, and was named both Second-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl, both firsts for him.[56][70] In the Pro Bowl, he passed for 270 yards with 2 touchdowns.[71]

The Colts started the 2000 season inconsistently[according to whom?]. Following an opening week victory against Kansas City, they blew a 21–0 lead against the Raiders.[72][73] The Colts responded with a Monday Night victory against Jacksonville, a 43–14 win in which Manning threw for 430 yards and 4 touchdowns; Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance.[57][74] The Colts won 4 of their next 5 games, including one against New England in which Manning posted the first perfect passer rating of his career, but then lost 4 of the 5 games following that. The Colts regained their momentum, winning their final 3 games, including a 31–10 win over Minnesota on Week 17. Manning threw for 4 touchdowns in the win and was again named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and the win gave the Colts a 10–6 record as well as a wild card spot in the playoffs.[57][75][76] In the wild card game, the Colts fell to the Dolphins 23–17 in overtime. Manning passed for 194 yards and a touchdown in the loss.[77] He finished the season with 4,413 passing yards and 33 passing touchdowns and was named Second-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl.[56] At the Pro Bowl, Manning threw two touchdown passes.[78][79]

Manning and the Colts introduced their now-signature[according to whom?] no-huddle offense, and used it to great effect[according to whom?] in a Week 1 rout of the Jets, 45–24.[80] Two weeks later (Week 2 games were not played as scheduled due to the 9/11 attacks) the Colts advanced to 2–0 with a win over Buffalo, behind Manning's 421 yards passing.[81] He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this game.[57] However, the Colts lost the following week to New England, and continued their slide, losing their following two games.[82] The Colts briefly rebounded, winning two games, but then lost 7 of their last 9, including a 40–21 home loss to the 49ers.[83] After Manning threw a career-high four interceptions in that game, coach Jim Mora uttered his infamous[according to whom?] "Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me. Playoffs? I'm just hoping we can win a game, another game" press conference.[84] Despite the 6–10 record, Manning finished the season with 4,131 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, and 4 rushing touchdowns as the offense produced the second most points in the league. However, the defense allowed the most points and Jim Mora was fired after the season.[56]

2002 season

Tony Dungy would become Manning's second head coach in the NFL. The Colts started off the 2002 season 4–1, before a 3-game losing streak sent them to 4–4. The Colts responded by winning all but two of their remaining games, including a 35–13 upset of the Eagles in which Manning had a perfect passer rating for the second time in his career, giving them a 10–6 record and a spot in the playoffs.[85] However, the Colts were pummeled by the Jets in the Wild Card game, 41–0, with Manning passing for only 137 yards.[86] He finished the year with 4,200 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl team.[56] In the Pro Bowl, Manning completed five of eleven passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.[87]

2003 season: first MVP

The 2003 Colts began the season 5–0, including a 55–21 blowout of the Saints in which Manning played his third perfect passer rating game and threw a career-high six TD passes, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.[57] On Monday Night Football against the defending champion Buccaneers, Manning and the Colts trailed 35–14 in the final five minutes. After one short TD drive, the Colts recovered the onside kick. Manning threw a 28-yard TD pass to Marvin Harrison on 4th & 6 to make it 35–28. With 1:41 remaining, Manning got the ball back and drove the offense 85 yards for the game-tying TD. He set up the winning 29-yard field goal in overtime for a stunning[according to whom?] 38–35 win. It was the only time in NFL history a team won a game after trailing by 21 points in the final 4 minutes of regulation. Manning passed for 386 yards in the game.[88]

After an overtime loss to Carolina, the Colts won all but three of their remaining games, finishing 12–4.[89] On November 30 the Colts hosted the 9–2 Patriots in what would be the beginning of the NFL's top rivalry of the 2000s. The Colts trailed 31–10 late in the third quarter before Manning threw three TD passes in a span of six minutes to tie the game. Trailing 38–34 in the final minutes, the Colts had 3 plays at the 1-yard line to try and score the winning TD. Edgerrin James was stopped on 4th down by Willie McGinest and the Patriots won.[90] In a Week 14 win against Atlanta, Manning threw for five touchdowns and was named player of the week a second time.[57][91] He also earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for the month of October.[57]

In the Wild Card playoff round Manning and the Colts defeated the Denver Broncos 41–10 for his first playoff win. He passed for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns in the game, earning him a perfect passer rating, his second of the season and the fourth of his career.[92] After the game, Manning was awarded Player of the Week honors for the third time that season.[57] In the divisional playoffs, Manning led the Colts to a 38–31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Neither team punted in the game.[93] In the AFC title game Manning was shut down by the New England Patriots top-ranked defense and posted the third lowest passer rating of his career at 35.5. The Patriots defense intercepted Manning four times and sacked him another four, as the Colts lost the game 24–14.[94][95]

During the season, Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September and was named the AP NFL co-MVP along with Titans quarterback Steve McNair.[57][96] Manning also received the ESPY Award for Best NFL Player.[41] Manning led the league with 4,267 passing yards and threw 29 touchdowns; he was named first-team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl.[56][97] He passed for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Pro Bowl, a 55–52 loss.[98]

2004 season: second MVP

The 2004 Colts opened the season with a 27–24 loss to the Patriots, after Mike Vanderjagt missed a game tying field goal in the closing seconds of the game.[99] The Colts won their next four games including a 45–31 win over Green Bay in which Manning threw 5 touchdowns, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, but then lost their next two games, to Jacksonville and Kansas City, despite Manning throwing for 840 yards combined in the two games.[57][100][101][102] The Colts responded well, winning their next 8 games before losing their final regular season game to Denver, a game in which Manning played only the first series.[103] During the month of November, Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice; once for his 5 touchdown performance in a 49–14 blowout of Houston and once for his performance in a 41–9 win at Detroit on Thanksgiving in which he threw 6 touchdowns in less than three quarters.[104][105] Due to his performances in November, Manning earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors.[57] He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for a fourth time in the week 16 game against San Diego[57] where he led the Colts to a 34–31 victory after trailing by fifteen in the fourth quarter. With the Colts facing a 4th & 4 at their own 26, Manning waved the punt team off the field and completed a 19-yard pass to Reggie Wayne for the first down. He finished the drive with a 21-yard TD pass to Brandon Stokley, his 49th TD pass of the season, breaking Dan Marino's record of 48. After the two-point conversion to tie, Manning got the ball first in overtime and set up the winning field goal. The Colts clinched the AFC's third seed with the win.[106]

During the season, Manning threw for 4,557 yards, had a then record 121.1 passer rating and a then-record 49 touchdown passes while throwing only 10 interceptions.[56][107] Manning's 2004 season was voted the second greatest passing season of all time by ESPN in 2013. He achieved this despite the 2004 season being his only season of his career where he attempted less than 500 passes. His 9.9% touchdown passing percentage is currently the highest in NFL history. His 49 touchdown passes is currently the third highest ever and his 121.1 passer rating is the second highest ever. He was selected as the 2004 NFL MVP drawing 49 of 50 votes, was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Best NFL Player at the ESPY Awards for the second consecutive year; Manning also received the ESPY Award for Best Record-Breaking Performance for his 49 touchdown passes.[41][96] The Colts finished the season with a 12–4 record and their second straight AFC South title.[108] The Colts scored a franchise record 522 points. Three Colts receivers had 1,000 yard seasons with at least 10 touchdowns that season, also a record. Sports statistics cite Football Outsiders calculates that Manning had the best season ever by a quarterback, play-for-play, in 2004.[109][110][timeframe?]

In the Wild Card game against Denver, Manning passed for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns.[111] However, the Colts' 2004 season ended in Foxborough for a second straight year with a 20–3 loss against New England, when Manning recorded a season-low passer rating of 69.3. It was Manning's seventh consecutive loss to the Patriots in Foxborough and the Colts' three points were their lowest single game point total since their opening game of the 2003 season.[112] Manning was named a Pro Bowl starter; in the Pro Bowl, he threw 3 touchdowns in a 38–27 victory and was named the game's MVP.[113] Manning was also a unanimous first-team All-Pro selection.[114]

2005 season

Manning at the 2006 Pro Bowl

In 2005, the Colts had a greatly improved defense over that of recent years. Combining this with their offense, they won their first 13 games, including a 40–21 rout of the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions, New England. This was Manning's first road win against the Patriots in 8 attempts, and his 3 touchdowns passes earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.[57][115] By week 15, the Colts had a perfect 13–0 record, and had secured the AFC South and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Nevertheless, Tony Dungy made the decision to play all of his regular starters against the Chargers. However, the Colts played a sub-par game against the Chargers and fell short of the win; the score was 26–17.[116] Manning finished the season with 3,747 passing yards, the first time he had thrown for under 4,000 yards since his rookie season of 1998, largely because Manning sat out much of the final two games with the top AFC seed clinched. His quarterback rating of 104.1 was the highest in the league for the season.[56]

In the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers visited the RCA Dome for the second AFC divisional playoff game of the 2005 season. In the 4th quarter with only a few minutes left in the game, Manning threw what looked to be the game-ending interception to Troy Polamalu, but the interception was overturned (a call the NFL later admitted was incorrect).[117] The Colts went on to score, and were able to get the ball back down three points near the end of the game. On 4th down, Manning was sacked near his own goal line, and the game seemed to be over as the Steelers were one yard from a touchdown. On the next play, the ball was fumbled by Jerome Bettis and picked up by Colts defender Nick Harper who appeared to have a clear path down the sideline for what might have been the game-winning score. However, Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to dive in front of Harper and tackle him by the leg, saving a touchdown. Then the Colts drove down the field to the Steelers 27-yard line, before Mike Vanderjagt missed a field goal as time ran out.[118]

Manning came in second in voting for the MVP award to Shaun Alexander ending his streak at two years.[119] He was named the 2005 winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and nominated for the FedEx Air Player of the Year Award, along with Tom Brady and Carson Palmer.[120] Manning was also named first-team All-Pro for the third consecutive year and named to the Pro Bowl squad; in the Pro Bowl, he threw one touchdown pass and three interceptions.[121][122]

2006 season: First Super Bowl championship

Manning and the 2006 Colts visit President George W. Bush at the White House.

Manning opened the 2006 season against his brother Eli's New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. It was the first NFL game with starting quarterbacks that were brothers, and Peyton's team won 26–21.[123] Manning passed for 400 yards against the Texans in a 43–24 victory, which earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors (he also won the award for his 345 yards and 4 TD passes against the Redskins in week 7). A second trip to New Jersey, this time to play the Jets, produced another Colts win. After taking the lead twice in the fourth quarter, Manning had to lead a third scoring drive, this time finishing with a 1-yard QB sneak rushing TD in the last minute for a 31–28 win.[124]

At Denver, Manning again led three scoring drives in the fourth quarter in a 34–31 shootout win. He completed 32 of 39 passes for 345 yards and 3 TDs.[125] Following a second straight season with a win at New England, then a home win against Buffalo, the Colts were the NFL's last unbeaten team at 9–0. Their first loss would come in Dallas. Plagued by a run defense that would allow over 100 yards in every game, the Colts were 11–4 heading into their final game.[126] Against Miami, Manning threw for 282 yards, 2 TDs and rushed for another TD. The Colts won 27–22, were AFC South division champions, and clinched the third seed in the AFC playoffs. Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He ended the regular season with 4,397 passing yards and a league-leading 31 touchdown passes. His passer rating (101.0) was the highest in the league for the third year in a row.[56] Manning helped the offense set an NFL record for third down conversion rate in a season (56.1%).[127]

Despite three interceptions, Manning completed 30 out of 38 passes as the Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card playoff game by a score of 23–8.[128] The following week they were limited to five field goals and no touchdowns, but defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 15–6.[129] In the AFC Championship game against the rival Patriots, the Colts trailed 14–3 when Manning threw an interception that was returned for a TD by Asante Samuel to give New England a 21–3 lead. Manning led the Colts to 32 points in the second half for a 38–34 victory, the final score coming late in the fourth quarter as Manning led the Colts on an 80-yard TD drive to take the lead for the first time in the game. He finished the game with 349 yards passing and two touchdowns (1 rushing). The comeback was the largest deficit ever overcome in a conference championship.[130]

Completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards with a touchdown and one interception, Manning led the Colts to a 29–17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted Super Bowl MVP.[131] Manning, who had been criticized for failing to win big games[by whom?], exorcised his big-game demons with the win. "In years' past when our team's come up short, it's been disappointing", he told reporters. "Somehow we found a way to have learned from some of those losses and we've been a better team because of it."[132] For his role in the Colts' championship run, Manning was awarded the ESPY for Best Championship Performance.[133] Manning was again named to the Pro Bowl and was also named Second-team All-Pro; in the Pro Bowl he played only two series, passing for 67 yards.[56][134][135] Following the Super Bowl win, Manning agreed to restructure his contract to save the Colts $8.2 million in salary cap space.[136]

2007 season

File:Manning cropped.jpg
Manning during his tenure with the Colts

Manning's Colts opened the NFL season with 7 wins, pitting them against an undefeated Patriots squad in a match-up that was being called "Super Bowl 41 1/2".[137] Manning and Addai helped the Colts to a 13–7 halftime lead, and an early fourth-quarter touchdown upped the lead to 20–10. However, Brady led the Patriots to two late touchdowns, to hand Manning his first loss of the season, 24–20. Manning finished the game with 225 yards passing, including a passing touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown.[138]

Manning did not bounce back from the loss well. Against the San Diego Chargers he threw for a career-worst and franchise-record 6 interceptions. Despite this, he was able to rally the Colts from a 23–0 deficit to 23–21, and gave Adam Vinatieri an opportunity to take the lead with a 29-yard field goal. Vinatieri's miss sunk the Colts to 7–2. Manning did not play particularly well against the Kansas City Chiefs either, throwing no touchdowns. However, he managed to lead the Colts on a late drive for a game-winning field goal, rushing for two yards on 4th and 1 in the process. Manning finished the game with 163 passing yards, allowing him to overtake 40,000 in his career.[139] The victory was Manning's 100th.[140] The Colts won their next 5 games, securing yet another AFC South title, as well as the AFC's number two seed in the play-offs.[141] In the final game of the regular season, Manning played only two series before being replaced with back-up Jim Sorgi; the Colts lost the game to the Titans, 16–10.[6] Manning finished the season with 4,040 passing yards, 31 touchdown passes, and a quarterback rating of 98.0.[56] In the divisional round of the playoffs, Manning and the Colts lost to the Chargers, 28–24. Manning helped the Colts to 4 different leads but could not lead a final touchdown drive for the win. Manning finished the game with 402 yards passing and 3 passing touchdowns.[142] Peyton was widely viewed during Super Bowl XLII as he cheered on brother Eli and the New York Giants in their upset of the New England Patriots. Manning was named a Pro Bowl starter and passed for 147 yards and a touchdown in three series.[143]

2008 season: third MVP

On July 14, 2008, Manning had surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his left knee.[144] Manning, who had worn a knee brace due to problems since he was in college, sat out all four preseason games and missed most of training camp.

In the first regular season game at new Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts lost 29–13 to the Chicago Bears. The following week they fell behind 15–0 to the Minnesota Vikings in the second half before rallying to win the game on Adam Vinatieri's 47-yard field goal. Manning passed for 311 yards as the Colts avoided their first 0–2 start since Manning's rookie season.[145] Week 3 matched the Colts with division rival Jacksonville. Manning threw 2 interceptions in the game, including one that was returned for a TD by Rashean Mathis. Jacksonville rushed for 236 yards and held the ball for over 41 minutes. Still, trailing by 6 late in the game Manning led the Colts on a 77-yard TD drive to take a 21–20 lead. Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee made a 51-yard field goal to win the game and drop the Colts to 1–2.[146]

For the third week in a row, Manning used the 4th quarter to bring the Colts back from a 27–10 deficit in the last 5 minutes against the Houston Texans to a 31–27 victory. It was the first time an NFL team had won a game in regulation after trailing by 17 points in the last 5 minutes.[147] Manning threw a 7-yard TD pass on 4th & 6 to rookie tight end Tom Santi to make the deficit 27–17. Houston QB Sage Rosenfels, starting for the injured Matt Schaub, then fumbled the ball on a scramble, and it was returned 68 yards for a TD by Gary Brackett. After another Rosenfels fumble, Manning threw the 5-yard game-winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne. The Colts scored 3 TDs in 2:10.[148]

Manning drops back to pass.

On October 12 Manning led the Colts to a 31–3 blow out win at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens to avoid their first 0–3 start at home since 1997. Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 17th time in his career for his effort of 3 TD passes and 271 yards passing.[149] It was revealed during the game by CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms that Manning had a second surgery on his knee before the season started. Colts coach Tony Dungy confirmed this report the day after the Baltimore game.[150]

The Colts suffered their largest margin of defeat, 34–14, in Green Bay the following week. Manning threw 2 interceptions that were returned for touchdowns (for the second time in his career; the first was on 09/30/01 vs. New England Patriots).[151][152] The next week the Colts went into Tennessee on Monday Night Football to face the 6–0 Titans. They led 14–6 in the 3rd quarter, but Tennessee scored 25 unanswered for a 31–21 victory and almost assured the Colts they would not win the AFC South division title for the first time in 6 seasons.[153] At 3–4 the Colts opened up November with their annual showdown against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Tied at 15 in the 4th quarter, Manning set up Adam Vinatieri for a 52-yard field goal that proved to be the winning points in an 18–15 victory. Manning completed 21 of 29 passes for 254 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.[154] The Colts were 4–4 halfway through the season and still alive in the AFC playoff race.

In week 10 the Colts traveled to Pittsburgh, who had the league's No. 1 defense. They trailed 17–7 in the second quarter before Manning found Dallas Clark for a 2-yard TD to end the half 17–14. Down 20–17 in the 4th quarter, Manning found Dominic Rhodes uncovered for a 17-yard TD pass that would put the Colts up 24–20 for the rest of the game. It was Manning's 4th game-winning drive (35th of his career) this season. He completed 21 of 40 for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns (the 50th game of his career with 3+ TD passes). It was the first time the Colts have won in Pittsburgh since 1968 (12 straight losses before this win).[155] Against Houston, Manning passed for 320 yards and 2 TDs while leading 5 consecutive scoring drives in a 33–27 victory, the third in a row for the Colts.[156] Manning won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season (18th time, career).[157]

At San Diego, Manning threw for 255 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT in a 23–20 victory. The interception snapped a career-best streak of 140 pass attempts without an interception. After the Chargers rallied from a 10-point deficit in the 4th to tie the game, Manning led the game-winning drive by completing a 14-yard pass to Marvin Harrison on 4th and inches at midfield. Adam Vinateri kicked the winning 51-yard field goal three plays later. It was Manning's 5th game-winning drive this season.[158] Manning passed for a season-low 125 yards at Cleveland, but the Colts won their 5th straight game, by a final of 10–6.[159]

In a 35–3 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, Manning threw 3 TD passes while completing 26 of 32 passes for 277 yards. It marked the 11th straight season Manning had thrown at least 20 TD passes, the second longest streak ever.[160] Against the 0–13 Detroit Lions, the Colts found themselves in a 21–21 game in the 4th quarter. Manning led his 6th game-winning drive of the season and the Colts pulled away 31–21. It marked their 7th straight win, 7th straight season with 10+ wins, and they became the only team in NFL history to have a winning streak of at least 7 games in 5 straight seasons. Manning completed 28 of 37 passes for 318 yards and 1 TD.[161]

Needing a win to clinch the 5th seed in the playoffs, Manning had one of his best career performances[according to whom?] in Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football. He completed his first 17 passes of the game. In addition to completing his last 6 against Detroit, Manning's 23 straight completions fell one shy of the NFL record (Donovan McNabb – 24). The Colts trailed 14–0 in the first half and 24–14 to start the 4th quarter. Manning led his 7th 4th quarter win of the season and the Colts put the game away with a defensive TD for a 31–24 victory to clinch a 7th consecutive playoff berth. Manning completed 29 of 34 passes (85.7%) for 364 yards and 3 TDs. It increased his NFL record streak of seasons with 25 TD passes to 11. Manning and the Colts tied an NFL record by winning 3 games in a season in which they trailed by at least 14 points.[162] For his efforts Manning won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in 2008. It was the 19th time he has won the award, passing Dan Marino for the most all-time since the award was originated in 1984.[163] He also was selected as the FedEx Air Player of the Week. With the playoff seed secured, Manning only played the opening drive in a shutout against the division-leading Titans in Week 17. He completed all 7 of his passes for 95 yards and a TD, extending his NFL record to nine seasons with 4000 yards passing, and also extended the record to a sixth straight season he led the Colts to at least 12 wins.[164] At the end of the 2008 season, Manning was named NFL MVP for the 3rd time, tying Brett Favre for the most MVP awards in NFL history.

The day following the MVP award, the Colts played their 2007 nemesis, the Chargers, in their wild-card playoff game. Down 14–10 at the half, Manning put the Colts ahead 17–14 in the third quarter as he completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne. But the Chargers tied the game in the fourth quarter as kicker Nate Kaeding nailed a 22-yard field goal. When San Diego won the coin toss, they scored on the first possession, ending the Colts season.

2009 season: fourth MVP and second Super Bowl appearance

File:Peyton Manning huddle.jpg
Manning and his teammates in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars

Under new head coach Jim Caldwell, Manning started the 2009 season with a victory by throwing for 301 yards.[165] In week two Manning led his 29th fourth quarter comeback (38th game-winning drive) by throwing for 303 yards and 2 TD passes, despite only having the ball for 14:53, the lowest time of possession for a winning team in the NFL since they began tracking the statistic in 1977.[166] Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for the fourth time in his career in September.[167] Against the Seattle Seahawks Manning passed for 353 yards and 2 TDs for his fourth consecutive 300-yard passing game set a new franchise record.[168]

Against Houston Texans in week 9 he became the first quarterback to pass for over 40,000 yards in a decade. He threw a career-high 25 passes in the 1st quarter (most in any opening quarter since 1991), and had a career-high 40 pass attempts in the first half. He set a franchise record for most 300-yard passing games in a season with his seventh 300-yard effort of the season (also an NFL record through the first 8 games of a season[169]). Against Houston 3 weeks later Manning claimed his 34th comeback win in the 4th quarter, tying him with John Elway and Johnny Unitas for the second most in NFL history.[170] On week 15 against the Jacksonville Jaguars Manning won his 23rd consecutive regular season game breaking Jim McMahon's NFL record of 22 straight wins with the Chicago Bears from 1984–87.[171] At the end of the regular season Manning was awarded his fourth MVP, breaking the NFL record for most MVPs by a single player. He was also selected to the AP All-Pro team for the fifth time in his career.[172]

In the AFC Divisional against the Baltimore Ravens Manning threw 2 TD passes late in the first half to build a 17–3 halftime lead. He completed 30 passes for 246 yards in leading his eight straight victory over the Ravens.[173] In the AFC Championship against New York Jets Manning overcame a 17–6 deficit late in the second quarter to lead the Colts to 24 unanswered points in a 30–17 win. The 11-point comeback was the third largest in a championship game. Manning set a playoff record with his seventh 300-yard passing game in the postseason.[174] In Super Bowl XLIV against New Orleans Saints, Manning led the Colts to a 10–0 lead after their two first quarter drives, throwing a TD pass to Pierre Garcon to cap off a 96-yard drive (tied for longest in Super Bowl history). After running just six plays in the second quarter, the Colts led 10–6 at halftime. The Saints recovered an onside kick to start the second half and took their first lead, 13–10. Manning led a go ahead TD drive to regain the lead. Leading 17–16 at the start of the 4th quarter, Matt Stover missed a 51-yard field goal for the Colts. The Saints scored the go ahead TD and two-point conversion to take a 24–17 lead with 5:42 left. Manning took over and moved the Colts to the Saints' 31-yard line. Facing a 3rd & 5 with 3:24 left, his pass intended for Reggie Wayne was intercepted by Tracy Porter, who returned it 74 yards for a critical TD and 31–17 Saints lead. Manning drove the Colts down to the 5-yard line in the last minute, but his 4th & goal pass was dropped by Reggie Wayne at the goal line. The Saints won their first Super Bowl, dropping Manning to 9–9 in the postseason (1–1 Super Bowl record). Manning passed for 333 yards on 31/45, with 1 TD and 1 interception.[175]

2010 season

Manning pregame vs. Denver in September 2010

In a season-opening loss in Houston, Manning set career highs in pass attempts (57) and completions (40), throwing for 3 TDs and 433 yards, the fourth highest opening-weekend total ever.[176] In his third game Manning passed for 325 yards, 3 TDs and no interceptions, marking the first time since 1960 a QB began a season with three consecutive games of at least 3 TD passes and zero interceptions.[177][178] Against the Kansas City Chiefs Manning failed to throw a TD for the first time in 2010, but led the Colts on a game-winning drive in the 4th quarter (45th of his career) to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season.[179] In week 6 against the Washington Redskins he passed for 307 yards and 2 TDs. Including the playoffs, that was 68 career games with 300+ yards passing, moving him ahead of Dan Marino (67) for the most in NFL history.[180] Week 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles marked his 200th consecutive regular season start.[181]

Against the New England Patriots Manning passed for 396 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions, the second time Manning threw 4 TDs in a game and breaking a tie with Dan Marino for second-most all-time.[182] The next week was resulted in the largest margin of defeat at home in his NFL career, 36–14 to the San Diego Chargers.[183] Against the Tennessee Titans he went over 4000 yards passing for the 11th time in a season, and tied Dan Marino with his 63rd regular season game with 300+ yards passing. Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this game.[184] The Colts ended up winning the AFC South for the seventh time in eight years, and Manning became the first QB in NFL history to lead his team to nine consecutive postseason berths (2002–2010). It was the 208th consecutive regular season start of his career, breaking Gene Upshaw's record. For the season, Manning finished with an NFL record 450 completions on 679 attempts (third most in history), and a career-high 4700 yards passing.[185] The season ended in a one-point defeat to the New York Jets in the play-off.[186]

In 2010, he was chosen as the 14th-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.[187]

2011 season: Lost season

To me, he's the greatest of all time. He's a friend of mine, and someone that I always watch and admire, because he always wants to improve, he always wants to get better, and he doesn't settle for anything less than the best. So, when you watch the best and you're able to learn from the best, hopefully that helps me get better.

Tom Brady, on Peyton Manning in 2011.[188]

The Colts placed their franchise tag on Manning on February 15, 2011.[189] On July 30, 2011, the Colts signed Manning to a 5-year, $90 million contract after negotiations in which he made it clear that he did not need to be the highest-paid player in the NFL.[190]

After a May 23 neck surgery, Manning could not use the Colts' facilities for practice and workouts due to the NFL lockout. Reluctant to have witnesses to his recovery, he used the Colorado Rockies baseball team's trainers at Coors Field in Denver. Manning was unable to complete his throwing motion, and his arm strength had significantly diminished. Based on an MRI, doctors told him in the late summer that he needed spinal fusion surgery and that at his age they could not guarantee his return to the NFL.[191] On September 7, the Colts officially ruled Manning out for the season opener against Houston, ending his consecutive starts streak of 208 games (227 including playoffs); the team signed Kerry Collins out of retirement and named him interim starting quarterback.[192] After seeking other opinions, Manning had the second surgery on September 8.[193]

Manning stated that while he did intend to play during the 2011 season, he would not "fight" the front office to stay off injured reserve if his roster spot was needed.[citation needed] Manning started practicing throwing footballs again in mid-December, with teammate Joseph Addai even claiming his passes looked "game ready."[194] Ultimately, Manning did not play a single game in 2011, and the Colts went 2–14 without him; only the third season since Manning was a rookie that the Colts did not win at least 10 games.[195]

With the Colts having the first overall pick in the upcoming 2012 draft (which contained highly rated quarterback Andrew Luck) and with Manning due a $28m roster bonus, he was released on March 7, 2012. Earlier, the Colts had dismissed vice-chairman Bill Polian (who in his previous capacity as general manager had drafted Manning), general manager Chris Polian, and head coach Jim Caldwell, as a precursor to the rebuilding of the team.[196]

In an emotional press conference, Manning told Colts fans, "Thank you for letting me be your quarterback."[197][198][199] Upon his release, Colts owner Jim Irsay announced that no Colt will ever wear the No. 18 jersey again, and it was formally retired on March 18, 2016.[200]

Denver Broncos

Manning at a scrimmage in Denver in August 2012

As one of the most highly sought-after free agents, Manning selected the Denver Broncos after meeting with John Elway, a retired Broncos Hall-of-Famer quarterback who was now the team's Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager, and Broncos head coach John Fox.[201] Manning reached an agreement with the Broncos on a five-year contract worth $96 million on March 20, 2012.[202][203] Although No. 18 is retired in honor of Frank Tripucka, he gave Manning permission to wear it.[204]

2012 season

On Thursday, August 9, 2012, Manning made his first appearance as a Bronco in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears,[205] where he completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards, and was intercepted once by Bears safety Major Wright.[206]

Manning made his regular season debut as a Denver Bronco in the prime time game on the first Sunday of the 2012 NFL Season, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the game, Manning completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He posted a 129.2 QB rating in the 31–19 win, and made history in the third quarter when he connected with Demaryius Thomas on a 71-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown was Manning's first in the NFL with a team other than the Colts, and marked the 400th of his career, making him the third quarterback, after Dan Marino and Brett Favre, to accomplish the feat and the fastest of the three to reach that mark.[207] Despite the preseason concerns about his recovery, by late October ESPN stated that Manning "has silenced the critics" about his arm strength.[208] Manning was later named to the 2013 Pro Bowl, his twelfth.[209]

The Broncos made the playoffs, but lost 38–35 in double overtime to Baltimore, who went on to win Super Bowl XLVII that season.[210]

On February 2, 2013, Manning was awarded the AP National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award[211] and was named a first-team All-Pro selection, in addition to finishing second in MVP voting.

2013 season: fifth MVP and third Super Bowl appearance

On the opening game of the 2013 NFL season, Manning became one of only six players in NFL history to throw seven touchdowns in a game, doing so against the defending Super Bowl XLVII champions, the Baltimore Ravens. He added to this feat by not throwing an interception, tying Y. A. Tittle as one of the only two players to have a 7:0 touchdown to interception ratio in a single game (although Nick Foles would later match that feat in week 9 of the same season).[212] Against the Oakland Raiders in week three, Manning broke the record for most touchdown passes in the first three games of a season after throwing 12, surpassing Tom Brady's 2011 record.[213] In Week 5, Manning threw his first interception of the season, in a win against the Dallas Cowboys. He was intercepted by Morris Claiborne. Two weeks later, Manning returned to Indianapolis for the first time in the regular season since being released by the Indianapolis Colts. In an emotional pregame ceremony, the Indianapolis Colts showed a tribute video to Manning.[214]

In Week 16 against the Houston Texans, Manning broke Brady's record for most touchdown passes in a season with 51 on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Julius Thomas,[215][216] he finished the regular season with 55 touchdown passes, in addition to throwing for a league record 5,477 yards. His 450 completions are tied for second most all time. The Broncos scored an NFL record 606 points, becoming the first team ever to eclipse 600 points in a season. They had more 50-point games in a season than any other team in NFL history, with 3. Four Broncos receivers recorded at least ten touchdowns—an NFL record—and Manning set a season record with nine games with four or more touchdown passes. His 115.1 passer rating ranks fifth all time and he joined Tom Brady as the only two quarterbacks to achieve a passer rating of 110.0 or higher in more than one season. The Broncos went on to win their divisional round playoff game against the San Diego Chargers by a score of 24–17. They beat the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game by a score of 26-16. Manning became the third starting quarterback to reach the Super Bowl two different teams, after Craig Morton and Kurt Warner.[217]

In Super Bowl XLVIII, Manning's Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 43–8.[218] Manning was up against the Seahawks' young starting quarterback Russell Wilson, who idolized Manning and attended one of Manning's passing camps as a teenager, and later met Manning at a Broncos pre-draft interview.[219][220] The Seahawks' number one ranked defense proved too much for the Broncos' number one ranked offense to overcome, while the Broncos' defense also struggled due to injuries. The Broncos' first play from scrimmage set the tone for the game.[221] While Manning was stepping forward to call an audible, center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball too early and it flew past Manning's head into the end zone, where running back Knowshon Moreno downed it for a safety. Manning set a Super Bowl record with 34 completions (broken by Tom Brady the following year in Super Bowl XLIX), but the record-setting offense didn't record a first down until the 2nd quarter, and didn't score any points until the final seconds of the 3rd quarter. While Manning threw one touchdown pass, he also threw two costly interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.[222]

2014 season: NFL all-time leader in passing touchdowns

Manning (left) throwing his record-breaking touchdown pass number 509, October 19, 2014

On August 28, 2014, Manning was fined $8,268 for taunting D. J. Swearinger during a preseason game against the Houston Texans. With the Broncos' win in their opening game of the 2014 NFL season against the Indianapolis Colts, Manning became, along with Brett Favre, one of only two starting quarterbacks in NFL history who have beaten all 32 teams.[223] On October 5, 2014, Manning threw his 500th career touchdown pass to Julius Thomas against the Arizona Cardinals, and also tied Dan Marino for the most 400 yard games by a quarterback.[224]

On October 19, 2014, against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning threw his 509th career touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, passing Brett Favre to become the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns.[225] By the end of the regular season, Manning would be selected to his 14th Pro Bowl appearance, tying him with Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews, and Merlin Olsen for most Pro Bowl selections in a career. However, his season ended after the Broncos lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, 24–13.[226]

2015 season: Final season and second Super Bowl championship

Manning in Super Bowl 50

After much speculation, Manning announced in the offseason that he would return for his 18th season in the NFL. In the season opener, Manning's play seemed to have deteriorated, going 24–40 for 175 yards and 1 interception, but a pick-6 by cornerback Aqib Talib allowed the Broncos to win 19–13.[227] The Broncos got off to a dominant 7–0 start to the season; however, the streak ended in a loss at Indianapolis, losing 24–27.[228] During that winning streak, and the loss in Indianapolis, Manning played better, putting up over 250 yards in 6 of the 7 games, and he scored 9 touchdowns.[229] However, he never had a game without an interception bringing his 8-game TD–INT ratio to 9–13 and the Broncos needed a hardworking defense to contribute for victories.[230]

In Week 10 against Kansas City, the game's biggest highlight was Manning breaking Brett Favre's record for career passing yards with a 4-yard pass to Ronnie Hillman in the first quarter.[231] Despite the accomplishment, however, Manning went 5-for-20 for 35 yards and four interceptions with a 0.0 passer rating before head coach Gary Kubiak benched him during the third quarter. Brock Osweiler filled in for Manning for the rest of the game as the Broncos would eventually lose 29–13.[232] A day later, sources said that Manning had suffered a bout of plantar fasciitis. It was later announced that this injury would keep him out of Week 11, marking the first time Peyton had missed a game in a season he played. Osweiler replaced Manning and performed well in a 17–15 win over the Chicago Bears, leading to questions about whether Manning would retain his role when healthy in a Week 12 showdown against the New England Patriots. The next day, head coach Gary Kubiak, citing Manning's injuries, announced that Osweiler would start against New England. On December 15, it was announced that Osweiler would make his fifth consecutive start, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, even though Manning had returned to practice and the Broncos had gone seven straight quarters without scoring a touchdown on offense.[233] Overall, the Broncos went 4-2 in six games without Manning, giving them an 11-4 record heading into the final week of the regular season.

Manning was listed as active for the Week 17 regular season finale against the San Diego Chargers, but for the first time since his freshman year at college, he was listed as a backup.[234] In the third quarter, with the Broncos down 13–7, Manning entered the game in relief of Brock Osweiler, who had been intercepted twice and fumbled once. The Broncos went on to beat the Chargers, 27–20, and secure the top seed in the AFC. Despite the Broncos' 12–4 record (and Manning's 8–2 record in games that he played in), Manning had the worst season statistically of his career, as he threw a career low 9 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions in just 10 games, and posting a quarterback rating of 67.9, the lowest rating of his career, and first time he had a rating below 84 since his rookie season. Manning's 59.8 completion percentage was the second lowest of his career, only behind his rookie season. Manning's 17 interceptions were second to Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, who threw 18 interceptions but started all 16 games.

The Broncos, by virtue of having the AFC's #1 seed, earned home field advantage throughout the NFL playoffs. The Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional round to advance to the AFC Championship game to host the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. It was the 17th, and ultimately final, meeting between Manning and his longtime rival Tom Brady. Despite a late comeback from the Patriots, the Broncos won 20–18 to advance to Super Bowl 50. Manning threw two touchdowns and no interceptions in the win.

On February 7, 2016, the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24–10 in Super Bowl 50 as the Broncos' defense shut down the heavily-favored Panthers' top-ranked offense and regular season MVP Cam Newton. Manning finished the game 13 of 23 for 141 yards with one interception while being sacked five times, scoring his only passing points with 3:08 left in the 4th quarter when he connected with Bennie Fowler for a 2-point conversion, which ended up being the final pass of his career. Manning became the oldest starting quarterback to both play in and win a Super Bowl.[235] Manning also became the first quarterback to start two Super Bowls with multiple franchises, with different head coaches each time (Dungy, Caldwell, Fox and Kubiak) and the first quarterback to lead two different franchises to a Super Bowl victory.[236][237] The victory gave Manning his 200th overall win including regular season and playoffs, making him the starting quarterback with the most combined regular season and postseason wins in NFL history, snapping a tie with Brett Favre.[238]


Manning announced his retirement, after 18 seasons, on March 7, 2016.[239][240] Manning's final words of his retirement speech were, "I’ve fought a good fight. I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football."[241][242]

"The Manning Bowl"

Peyton and Eli Manning played against each other three times in their professional careers. These encounters were colloquially dubbed "The Manning Bowl",[243] and Peyton's teams (twice with the Indianapolis Colts, once with the Denver Broncos) held a 3–0 record over Eli's team (three games with the New York Giants). The first Manning Bowl was held on September 10, 2006, and Peyton's Colts defeated Eli's Giants by a score of 26–21.[244] The second Manning Bowl was held on September 19, 2010, with Peyton and the Colts besting Eli's team again by a score of 38–14. The third and final Manning Bowl took place on September 15, 2013, and Peyton and the Broncos beat Eli's Giants, 41–23.

Career statistics

College career statistics

NCAA collegiate career statistics
Tennessee Volunteers
Season Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yards Pct. TD Int QB rating Att Yards Avg TD
1994 89 144 1,141 61.8 11 6 145.2 21 -28 -1.3 0
1995 244 380 2,954 64.2 22 4 146.5 41 6 0.1 0
1996 243 380 3,287 63.9 20 12 147.7 42 -131 -3.1 0
1997 287 477 3,819 60.2 36 11 147.7 49 30 0.6 0
NCAA career totals 863 1,381 11,201 62.5 89 33 147.1 153 -123 -0.6 0

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Bold - Super Bowl championships
^* - NFL MVP Award
^† - League leader
Year Team Games Starts Wins Passing Rushing Rating
Comp Att Pct Yds YPA TD Int Att Yds Avg TD
1998 IND 16 16 3 326 575 56.7 3,739 6.5 26 28 15 62 4.1 0 71.2
1999 IND 16 16 13 331 533 62.1 4,135 7.8 26 15 35 73 2.1 2 90.7
2000 IND 16 16 10 357 571 62.5 4,413 7.7 33 15 37 116 3.1 1 94.7
2001 IND 16 16 6 343 547 62.7 4,131 7.6 26 23 35 157 4.5 4 84.1
2002 IND 16 16 10 392 591 66.3 4,200 7.1 27 19 38 148 3.9 2 88.8
2003* IND 16 16 12 379 566 67.0 4,267 7.5 29 10 28 26 0.9 0 99.0
2004* IND 16 16 12 336 497 67.7 4,557 9.2 49 10 25 38 1.5 0 121.1
2005 IND 16 16 14 305 453 67.3 3,747 8.3 28 10 33 45 1.4 0 104.1
2006 IND 16 16 12 362 557 65.0 4,397 7.9 31 9 23 36 1.6 4 101.0
2007 IND 16 16 13 337 515 65.4 4,040 7.8 31 14 20 −5 −0.3 3 98.0
2008* IND 16 16 12 371 555 66.8 4,002 7.2 27 12 20 21 1.1 1 95.0
2009* IND 16 16 14 393 571 68.8 4,500 7.9 33 16 19 −13 −0.7 0 99.9
2010 IND 16 16 10 450 679 66.3 4,700 7.0 33 17 18 18 1.0 0 91.9
2011 IND Did not play due to injury
2012 DEN 16 16 13 400 583 68.6 4,659 8.0 37 11 23 6 0.3 0 105.8
2013* DEN 16 16 13 450 659 68.3 5,477 8.3 55 10 32 -31 -1.0 1 115.1
2014 DEN 16 16 12 395 597 66.2 4,727 7.9 39 15 24 -24 -1.0 0 101.5
2015 DEN 10 9 7 198 331 59.8 2,249 6.8 9 17 6 -6 -1.0 0 67.9
Career 266 265 186 6,125 9,380 65.3 71,940 7.7 539 251 431 667 1.5 18 96.5


Year Team Games Wins Passing Rushing Passer rating
Comp Att Pct Yds YPA TD Int Att Yds Avg TD
1999 IND 1 0 19 42 45.2 227 5.4 0 0 2 22 11 1 62.3
2000 IND 1 0 17 32 53.1 194 6.1 1 0 1 −2 −2 0 82.0
2002 IND 1 0 14 31 45.2 137 4.4 0 2 1 2 2 0 31.2
2003 IND 3 2 67 103 65.0 918 8.9 9 4 4 3 0.8 0 106.4
2004 IND 2 1 54 75 72.0 696 9.3 4 2 2 7 3.5 1 107.4
2005 IND 1 0 22 38 57.9 290 7.6 1 0 90.9
2006 IND 4 4 97 153 63.4 1,034 6.8 3 7 8 3 0.4 1 70.5
2007 IND 1 0 33 48 68.7 402 8.4 3 2 1 −6 −6 0 97.7
2008 IND 1 0 25 42 59.5 310 7.4 1 0 1 −1 −1 0 90.4
2009 IND 3 2 87 128 68.0 956 7.5 6 2 3 −2 −0.6 0 99.0
2010 IND 1 0 18 26 69.2 225 8.7 1 0 108.7
2012 DEN 1 0 28 43 65.1 290 6.7 3 2 1 −1 −1 0 88.3
2013 DEN 3 2 91 128 71.1 910 7.1 5 3 3 -2 -0.7 0 94.2
2014 DEN 1 0 26 46 56.5 211 4.6 1 0 75.5
2015 DEN 3 3 51 92 55.4 539 5.9 2 1 5 10 2.0 0 75.4
Career 27 14 649 1,027 63.2 7,339 7.1 40 25 32 34 1.1 3 87.4

Career awards and records

Major high school awards

  • 1992, 1993 Louisiana Class 2A MVP[246]
  • 1993 Gatorade Circle of Champions Award[246]
  • 1993 Atlanta TD Club's Bobby Dodd Award[246]
  • 1993 New Orleans Quarterback Club Player of the Year[246]
  • 1993 Columbus, Ohio Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year[246]
  • 1993 Gatorade High School Player of the Year (National)[247]

College awards

College records

Tennessee Volunteers records

SEC records

  • Lowest interception percentage (season): 1.05% (1995)[251]
  • Highest completion percentage (career): 62.49%[15]
  • Lowest interception percentage (career): 2.39%[15]
  • Most 300+ passing yard games (career): 18[15]

NFL awards

Additionally, Manning has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month a record eight times[258] (9/2003, 11/2004, 10/2006, 9/2009, 9/2012, 10/2012, 9/2013, 12/2013) and Offensive Player of the Week a record 26 times[259] (25 AFC, 1 NFL/playoff).[57]

NFL records

Manning holds a number of individual career records:

Regular season

Playoff records

  • Most 300+ yard passing games: 8[276]
  • Most yards passing, 1st half of game: 360 vs. Denver Broncos, 1/9/05[277]
  • Led the biggest comeback in conference championship game history (18 pts), 1/21/07 vs. New England[278]
  • One of only four QBs to post a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a game (Don Meredith, Terry Bradshaw, Dave Krieg)[279]
  • Most games with 20+ completions: 14[280] (surpassed by Tom Brady in 2011)
  • Most games with 30+ completions: 4[281] (surpassed by Drew Brees in 2011)
  • Most games with 30+ attempts: 17[282]
  • Most games with 40+ attempts: 8[283] (tied by Tom Brady in 2011)
  • Most completions and attempts in a single postseason: 97/153 (2006)[284]
  • One of only 2 quarterbacks to complete 80% of his passes in two playoff games (tied with Kurt Warner)[285]
  • Most consecutive postseasons with at least one start: 9 (2002–2010)
  • Most postseason losses by a quarterback: 13
  • Most first-round postseason losses by a quarterback: 9

Rookie records

  • Most touchdown passes: 26[264] (tied by Russell Wilson in 2012)
  • Most interceptions thrown: 28
  • Most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (games 4–16): 13[286]
  • Most games with at least one touchdown pass: 15[58]
  • Most games with 300+ yards passing: 4[58]

With Marvin Harrison

Manning and former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison hold a number of QB-WR tandem records:

  • Most completions/receptions (career): 953[287]
  • Most passing/receiving yards (career): 12,756[287]
  • Most passing/receiving touchdowns (career): 112[58][287]
  • Most completions/receptions in a season, QB-to-WR duo: 143 (2002)

Pro Bowl records

  • Most Pro Bowl selections (tied with Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews, and Merlin Olsen): 14
  • Most Pro Bowl selections for a QB: 14
  • Most consecutive Pro Bowl selections for a QB: 9 (during the 2002–2010 seasons)
  • Most passing attempts (career): 150[122]
  • Most passing attempts (game): 41 (2004)[288]
  • Most completions (career): 92[122]
  • Most completions (game): 22 (2004)[288]
  • Most passing yards (career): 1,278[122]
  • Most passing yards (game): 342 (2004)[288]
  • Most passing touchdowns (career): 13[122]

Colts franchise records

Broncos franchise records

  • Highest completion percentage (season): 68.6% (2012)
  • Highest completion percentage (career): 66.5%
  • Most completions (season): 450 (2013)
  • Most pass attempts (season): 679 (2013)
  • Most passing yards (season): 5,477 (2013)
  • Most 300+ passing yard games (season): 12 (2013)
  • Most 400+ passing yard games (season): 3 (2013)
  • Highest average passing yards per game (season): 342.3 (2013)
  • Highest average passing yards per game (career): 295.0
  • Most touchdown passes (game): 7 (September 5, 2013 vs. Baltimore Ravens)
  • Most touchdown passes (season): 55 (2013)
  • Highest passer rating (season): 115.1 (2013)
  • Highest passer rating (career): 101.7
  • Most seasons with 100+ passer rating: 3 (2012-2014)
  • Most touchdown passes without an interception (game): 7 (September 5, 2013 vs. Baltimore Ravens)
  • Most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards : 3 (2012-2014)[260]
  • Highest winning percentage as a starter (career): 78.9% (45-12-0)

Personal life

Manning was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Olivia (née Williams) and former NFL quarterback Archie Manning. He is the brother of two-time Super Bowl Champion, Eli Manning.[295] Some have described the Mannings as football's "royal family".[296][297][298][299][300]

Manning married his wife, Ashley, in Memphis on St. Patrick's Day, 2001. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Ashley was introduced to him by her parents' next-door neighbor the summer before Manning's freshman year in college. Peyton and wife Ashley have twins, a son, Marshal Williams, and a daughter, Mosley Thompson, born on March 31, 2011.[301]

Manning is a Christian. At age 13, he said, "I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since." Manning said his priorities ranked in order are ", family, friends, and football." Manning said he prays every night and before games and added, "I hope (and pray) I don't do too many things that displease Him before I get to Heaven myself. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you're committed to God in that way."[302]

Manning reportedly memorized the Colts' playbook within a week after being drafted,[51] and in 2012 was able to precisely recall the details and timing of a specific play he had used at Tennessee 16 years earlier.[303] During the summer, Archie, Peyton, Eli, and eldest sibling Cooper run the Manning Passing Academy, a five-day camp which aims to improve the offensive skills of quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs.[304] In addition to the Mannings, the camp has included many prominent players from football as coaches, such as Colts wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.[305]

Manning, along with his father Archie, co-authored a book titled, Manning: A Father, His Sons, and a Football Legacy, which was released in 2000. The book covers Archie's and Cooper's lives and careers, and Manning's life and career up to the time that the book was released, and examines football from both Archie's and Manning's points-of-view.[306]

Mark Kiszla, a sports columnist for the Denver Post, in a column about Manning's future plans, said that Manning's net worth "is estimated to be in excess of $150 million" and "That's not enough money to buy an NFL franchise by himself, although an ownership group that included Manning as president with a financial stake in the team would be led by a brilliant football mind."[307] He has donated over $8,000 to Republican politicians, among them Fred Thompson, Bob Corker and former President George W. Bush.[308] For the 2016 presidential race, Manning has contributed to the campaign of Jeb Bush.[309] On October 26, 2012, Manning purchased 21 Papa John's Pizza stores, all in Colorado.[310]

In popular culture

Manning has been credited with helping to improve the image of the city of Indianapolis.[311] A curator at the Indiana State Museum observed that "There is no Super Bowl held here without Peyton. There is no Lucas Oil Stadium without Peyton. Without Peyton, the Colts would probably be in L.A. right now."[312] He has become one of the NFL's most marketable players, appearing in several television and printed advertisements for some of the NFL's biggest sponsors.[313][314][315]

Manning appeared in one of a series of DirecTV commercials where celebrities are seen in their element, then suddenly begin addressing the viewer. In his commercial, they parodied his pre-snap audible routine, and known delay in calling for the ball by having him pitch NFL Sunday Ticket, instead of changing the play during a blowout game against the Tennessee Titans.[citation needed] Manning also appears in advertisements for St. Mary's Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.[citation needed]

Manning hosted Saturday Night Live on March 24, 2007, his 31st birthday. The episode earned the show's highest household rating in more than 10 months in the metered markets.[316] He also appeared on SNL in 2008 and on the 2015 Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special.

He has won the Favorite Male Athlete award for the Kids Choice Awards.[9]

On May 27, 2007, Manning waved the green flag to begin the 91st Indianapolis 500.[317]

In 2009, Manning guest-voiced (with his brothers, Eli and Cooper) on an episode of The Simpsons called "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" in which Bart dreams of having a baby brother and sees such famous brothers as The Marx Brothers, The Blues Brothers, The Wright Brothers, The Mario Brothers, and The Manning Brothers.[318]


Shortly after beginning his NFL career, Manning started his own charity called 'the Peyback Foundation'. The Peyback Foundation's mission is to help disadvantaged kids, and focuses its efforts in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Indiana.[319] For his work with this foundation, Manning received the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.[320]

Manning, along with his brother Eli, volunteered their assistance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Among the tasks performed, the Mannings assisted in the delivery of 30,000 pounds of water, Gatorade, baby formula, diapers, and pillows to the people of New Orleans.[321]

In September 2007, St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis renamed its children's hospital to "Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent." Manning and his wife made a donation of an undisclosed amount to St. Vincent's and have had a relationship with the hospital since his arrival in Indianapolis.[322][323]

See also


  1. Super Bowl XLIV and XLVIII
    See List of quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl starts
    (Other QBs who have been on two different winning Super Bowl franchises include Earl Morrall (V,VII,VIII), Matt Cavanaugh (XIX,XXV), Jim McMahon (XX,XXXI) and Jeff Rutledge (XXI,XXVI) but these QBs either did not start or did not play in the games with one or both teams)
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  4. "Peyton Manning Wins Record 4th AP MVP in Landslide". 2010-01-09. Retrieved 2010-01-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Reuben, Frank (2004-12-22). "Titans QB Volek throws for record yardage in first seven starts". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-02-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Marc Bulger (2003)
Pro Bowl MVP
Succeeded by
Derrick Brooks (2005)
Preceded by
Tom Brady
Record for NFL passing touchdowns in a single season
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Brett Favre
Total touchdown passes in the NFL

Succeeded by