"Peyton only has 6 opportunities a game to score." - Tom Jackson Here are the FACTS!...cover your eyes if you can't take it... In their last four postseason losses, the Colts gave up 153 yards of rushing to their opponents. Even so, the Colts still had FOURTY-TWO opportunities to score (opponents had 44 opportunities). In those 42 opportunities, Manning led the Colts to TDs on 4 drives, and Figgys on another 2 drives. That's 6 scores out of 42 potential playoff drives (less than 1 point per drive). Given all the support Manning has at his disposal, how in the world can anyone blame the defense? The Colts currently lead league in first downs. Why does this matter? Because, in order to win the Super Bowl, the Colts need to be on the plus side of their 23.5 FD/G average. When the Colts are above that mark they're 8-0, just 4-4 when they have fewer than 24 first downs (each of those four wins were decided by a single score). If the Colts lose a playoff game in which they have less than 23 first downs, I do not want to hear anything about their defense. Peyton can't be responsible solely for the Ws. Let's use a common opponent for sake of comparison: Five weeks ago, against Jacksonville, the Colts infamously gave up 375 rushing yards. But here's something you didn't know...the Colts defense also kept the Jags to 2-9 on third downs, giving Manning 12 opportunities to score...2 TDs and 1 FG (1.41 points per drive). Yet Manning -- who plays on the side of the team THAT ACTUALLY GETS PAID -- gets ZERO blame. Three weeks ago, TB kept the Jags off the field by nickel-and-diming them to the tune of more than 37 minutes of possession...11 different receivers caught balls...11 is also the number of receivers who caught TD passes for the Pats this year. Move the chains Peyton. Keep your defense off the field. It makes your defense look better than it really is. Do you really think Teddy Bruschi is an all-world linebacker? Watch him get run over in almost every game. Bruschi was nothing before the Pats offense started to control the game. Sorry Peyton, there are no excuses. And here's another reason to blame a Manning. Over the past FIVE SEASONS: * The Colts top-2 wide outs have cost an average $6.0M per season (Pats = $1.6M) * The top RB cost an average $6.1M per season (Pats = $1.5M) * The top-5 O-linemen in Indy have cost an average $8.4M per season (Pats = $5.5M). get it? I'm sick of hearing we've won championships because we don't spend a ton on our QB. What did it cost to keep Bledsoe on the bench in 2001? The difference in money between Manning and Brady is WAY overstated. The biggest reason NE is able to invest more of its cap in other areas is because Brady doesn't need all the talent around him that Peyton does. What do you think Tom's YPA would be with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne on carpet? How many TDs would he throw? Why do we continue to actually compare their stats with a straight face? Does anyone else get it yet? IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE. "Both [Manning and Brady] are very good, but I do think Peyton has more weapons, and most guys in that system would be very successful because of the weapons Manning does have." - Rashean Mathis (Pro Bowl cornerback) Hallelujah And did I mention Peyton publicly calls out specific parts of his team...it's now a pattern. First his kicker, then his O-line, and now the defense that just carried his ass to victory. Yeah, he says the right things after a win, but don't stick a mic in the guy's face after a loss. Contrast that with Tom's ability to call out the ENTIRE team (without saying the receivers suck)...and his timing is impeccable...we get hammered in Miami...he speaks up and we've been a different team ever since...making plays, creating turnovers, protecting the ball, diving for catches. It's night and day. When Tom speaks, guys listen...because they respect him. It's why the "tantrums" are overrated...the media is clueless on that stuff. And now, under Tom's flawless command we're 62-2 after leading at halftime. Marino nearly flipped out of his chair Sunday when he read that stat. That is the most ridiculous sports stat I've ever heard...it has to be a misprint. This is the parity-era we're talking about? HALFTIME!...as in 30 minutes of clock still left. And keep in mind that historically, this has been a team with a relatively weak ground game, unable to simply line up declaring to run and pounding the rock...a team built to win 60-minute games...a team that demands perfect execution for all four quarters...above all from the QB position. In the TB era we are also 39-7 after Thanksgiving and Tom is 38-1 with a passer rating of 100, and has also won just about every single game decided by a TD. sorry, rambling....I'm just running out of superlatives.