Peyton at 37—The Best From the Best

Quotes of the Week

I
“May have to give ol’ Thunder an IV after that one.”

—Peyton Manning, on the Broncos’ Arabian horse mascot, who sprints the length of the field after every Denver scoring drive. The Broncos set a franchise record Sunday with 52 points.

II
“My body was just on fire. As I got to the locker room, Dr. [John] Gray told me, ‘You can do whatever you want. You can throw me across this training room if you want. But your butt is not going back into that game.’ I said, ‘Actually, I do want to throw you across this locker room right now.’ But at the end of the day, I know it is all in my best interests to sit out and let the concussion settle down.”

—Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley, in a video posted on Vimeo.com, discussing the concussion he suffered in Cincinnati in Week 3.
 
III
“I love all my fans and I’m glad they follow me. But when you have a guy on there talking about, ‘I hope you tear your ACL,’ what human being would say something like that? Me personally, I’m gonna block you. If you’ve got something bad to say about me on Twitter, I’m gonna block you. I’m gonna say something to you first, and then I’m gonna block you … I’m a blocking machine!”

—Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
 
IV
“Undrafted free agent. If you look at my Wikipedia page, it’s there. It’s a stamp. Might as well put it on my friggin’ forehead.”

—Detroit tight end Joseph Fauria, the Lions’ undrafted and very productive rookie tight end.
 
V
 “Mom, no sense in going apartment shopping tomorrow.”

—Free-agent defensive end Austen Lane, writing for The MMQB Friday, conversing with his mother after leaving the field for the last time as a Kansas City player in Week 4 of the preseason. Lane was cut the next day, and is still coming to grips with what to do for the rest of his life.

Stat of the Week

Never has a precocious, well-regarded phenom of a football coach seen his career go up in flames in seven years the way Lane Kiffin has. The timeline:

The sad faces of Lane Kiffin throughout the years at his three head-coaching stops. (Paul Sakuma/AP :: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images :: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The sad faces of Lane Kiffin throughout the years at his three head-coaching stops. (Paul Sakuma/AP :: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images :: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

2007: Hired at 31 by Al Davis as head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

2008: Fired at 33, blasted as a liar and “for bringing disgrace to the organization” by Davis, as coach of the Raiders. Went 5-15 with Oakland.

2008: Hired at 33 as head coach, with a six-year contract, at the University of Tennessee.

2010: Departs Tennessee at 34, after going 7-6 in his one season as coach. The Vols’ athletic director Mike Hamilton, asked to describe Kiffin’s tenure, says: “Brief.”

2010: Hired at 34 as coach of USC, with a contract reported in the $4 million-a-year range, the same neighborhood as the highest-paid coaches in college football.

2013: Fired at 38 as head coach of USC (in a parking lot at Los Angeles International Airport, according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News) hours after losing 62-41 at Arizona State. USC announced the termination at 4:28 a.m. local time Sunday.

Now, finally, for the Stat of the Week:

Head-coaching record: 40-35. Career postseason or bowl wins: zero.

I don’t know Kiffin well. When he got the Raiders job, I remember meeting with him at his first training camp, and I found his attitude about taking a job under Al Davis at the age of 31 hauntingly pragmatic. His attitude that day seemed to me to be that of a man thinking: If Al fires me before the contract is over, I still have “NFL head coach” on my resume, I’ll walk away with $6 million, I’ll still get a great job because I’ve got a good reputation as an offensive coach, and chances are no one will blame me for whatever debacle happens here.

So amazing: Lane Kiffin is 38 year old, and he has “former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Volunteers and USC Trojans” on his resume. Oh, and enough money in the bank that he’ll never have to work another day the rest of his life, if that’s what he wants.

Factoids of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I
Only In America With Jerry Dept.:

This is the fifth year the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Lottery have teamed up to create a scratch-off lottery game. In the first four years that the tickets were on sale throughout the state, Texans have bought a mind-boggling $184 million worth of the Cowboys’ scratch-off, instant-win tickets. (The majority of the proceeds, almost $40 million, has gone to public education in Texas, according to Texas Lottery director Gary Grief.)

One of the prizes in the scratch-off game: access for two inside the Cowboys’ draft room the day of the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, and a briefing with Jones about the Cowboys’ draft strategy.

“They would get to see the board,’’ Jones said at a press conference the other day. “I guess that’s not good. But they do see the board early, get an idea of where we might go. And we really spend a lot of time talking with them about that.”

II
The Pittsburgh Pirates will play their first home playoff game since 1992 Tuesday night.

The Pirates’ last home postseason game, in the National League Championship Series, was played on the night of Oct. 11, 1992, at Three Rivers Stadium. Earlier that day, rookie head man Bill Cowher coached his fifth NFL game, losing to quarterback Mike Tomczak and the Browns, 17-9, in Cleveland.

The previous day, William & Mary sophomore wide receiver Michael Tomlin (not “Mike,” according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report of the game) had a 51-yard touchdown catch called back due to a holding penalty in W&M’s 21-19 victory over Penn in Philadelphia.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

After Barack Obama and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani talked Thursday, Rouhani tweeted out some details of their conversation before Iran’s leader departed for home, including Obama saying words to this effect: “I wish you a safe and pleasant journey, and apologize if you’re experiencing the traffic in NYC.”

Since moving to the East Side of Manhattan a couple of years ago, United Nations Week (the early-fall week when the General Assembly is in session, and the most famous politicians in the world flood into the east side of the city) has been a revelation. The cops bring steel barricades to all the East Side avenues, and two to four cops spend five days on each corner, directing traffic so a U.N. business-only lane, to the far left on these streets, with barricades to the left and orange cones to the right, stays clear. This way, when a motorcade of Iraqi diplomats or God knows who comes speeding down the streets, the road is clear for them.

So: As a two-year resident of Manhattan, I’ve gotten used to walking when the walk signs say walk, and most other times, staying out of the street. It’s for my own good; stories of pedestrians getting plowed over by cabs and cars pop up daily. On Wednesday, I was trying to cross Second Avenue 10 blocks north of the U.N., I saw the white “walk’’ sign lit, and I took a couple of steps into the street.

“SIRSIRSIR!!!!” yelled a cop about 10 feet away from me, and I looked up, and here was a motorcade with a New York City cop car driving maybe 30 miles an hour being waved through the intersection …

Whoa!

So I jumped back onto the sidewalk. It wasn’t that close, really. But as I stood there and the motorcade got waved through, I saw three black Escalades following very, very close to the police car (which didn’t have a siren on). In the third vehicle, the window of the driver’s-side passenger door was down, and a man in what appeared to be brown military fatigues with two hands on some sort of machine gun was inside.

Nice to have the city back this morning.

Tweets of the Week

I
“Aqib Talib was awesome tonight—and will make for a fascinating contract decision for the Patriots, in the wake of the Hernandez affair.”

—@AlbertBreer of NFL Network, after the Patriots’ 30-23 win over Atlanta Sunday night. Talib, a talented cornerback who has been in trouble with the law and his former team, the Bucs, will be a free agent after the season, and the Patriots are thin at cornerback.

II
“Monte Kiffin on facing Peyton Manning after getting torched by Philip Rivers: ‘That’s not good.’ ”

—@clarencehilljr, longtime Dallas Cowboys beat man, on the Dallas defensive coordinator anticipating next week’s batting against Denver.

III
“Damn they fired Kiff.”

—@THEREAL_LENDALE, former USC and NFL running back LenDale White, an hour after the bizarre 4:30 a.m. firing of USC football coach Lane Kiffin Sunday.

IV
“This is the 113th year that both Cleveland and Pittsburgh have had major league baseball. Up to now, never been in postseason same year.”

—@DannyKnoblerCBS, the longtime baseball writer, now of CBS.com, on the novelty of the 2013 Wild Card round.

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287 comments
STWolf
STWolf

this kind of over-reaching, over-sensationalized butt-kissing in week 4 is a complete waste of time.

jason12345
jason12345

Belicheck didn't need as many seasons to match Chuck Noll, but Noll's teams didn't play as many games in a regular season. You forgot to mention that. 

TravisHastings
TravisHastings

As for the Haiku, come on Peter! You're usually better then that! Four games in, a re-building Philly is 1-3, with loses to a resurgent San Diego and Kanas City and what is turning out to be a "best team ever?" Broncos. I'm not saying Eagles don't have issues, but the AFC West is the best division in football. If you were predicting Philly as a playoff team this year, well, that's on you buddy! 

LittleOne4u
LittleOne4u

Football needs more Manning charactors and and less of the divas and jail bait. And yes, you can be a diva jail bait person all-in-one.

GooGulsux
GooGulsux

National media will hype Peyton Manning until Broncos season ends ... but Russell Wilson is the best QB in the league.

Seahawks would be 2-2 without him.

Don't comment if you haven't WATCHED the Houston game ... the stats don't tell the story.

He's doing it with 80% of his OL on IR

wavemkr
wavemkr

you know it's been a bad week for the cowboys when Peter "the Cowboys Hating" King actually puts a positive note along side the listing of dallas at 13 on the fine 15 (note about Sean Lee's 18 tackles).  But not to be too positive about the cowboys, King puts a post about the jerry letting lottery winners inside the draft war room.  Note what's more important is that $40Mil is used for education.  This should be the highlight, instead of making fun of jerry letting someone see the draft board.  maybe jerry see's the NFL for what it really is..... entertainment and money making, nothing more.  but at least it did help the cowboy hater King post something derogatory about the cowboys.  What would a MMQB be without something negative about the cowboys from King.

GT500456
GT500456

Honestly, who was stupid enough to hire Lame Kitten in the first place?    I know Al Davis does some very unconventional things, but why would ANYONE hire Kiffin after the debacle with the Raiders?     He's clearly not suited to be anything other than a position coach in college, or  possibly an assistant coach in high school.

donald5
donald5

Peyton's problem is home field advantage now.  I'm not sure 2 home games in freezing and possibly snowy weather is in his favor.  Then the Super Bowl in New Jersey.  Does anyone really think Peyton is going to win 3 straight cold weather games against the top competition in the NFL?  

HorizontalGophers
HorizontalGophers

"What team is going to pay good money for a 53 percent passer (since the start of 2012) who goes renegade on a team when times are tough?" 

Trick question. It's Houston isn't it?

WR2


skidoo
skidoo

Seems to me the media especially is trashing Freeman and giving Schiano a good ole boys break .He is a horrible coach with that rah rah college I'm the new Vince Lombardi mentality . Especially after leaks about the drug program and not revealing it was for medical reasons

Go see 20 feet from Stardom a great Doc about backup singers in pop and rock outstanding movie

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Guess so. At this rate Peyton will reach the 60 td range in a league where mid to high 20's can put any QB in pro bowl

JuanAntonioPizarro
JuanAntonioPizarro

King was right, Miami got its butt whipped and today number 9 spot looks extremely generous. The Dolphins were unable to handle the spotlight of being 3-0 and had rookie written all over: the terrible outfit (sue the designer!); Tannehill; a run defense that barely made it to the game. Another game like the one last night and fin fans nightmares will drown us in the mid to late twenties standings, something we thought we were leaving behind.

Jesus Hitler
Jesus Hitler

Well credit where credit is due...the bizarre font-size problem seems to have been fixed this week.  Better editing seems to have taken place, as well.  Much cleaner this time-- credit to your team.

As a matter of fact, I only really have one complaint, and it isn't even about you (directly, anyway).  It's to all the clowns who failed to draft Joe Fauria, as referenced in his "Tweet of the Week" comment.  Just sad and embarrassing really that this guy somehow missed the cut.  A living testament to how little attention the rest of the country *actually* pays to Pac 12 football (there are teams besides USC, Oregon, and Stanford).  ANYBODY who watched so much as a 2-3 UCLA games last year could have told you this guy would be a steal as a 3rd rounder, let alone undrafted.  Baffling case of scouts focusing in the wrong places-- particularly considering what a sexy thing a good target tight end has become in today's NFL

jlinkner
jlinkner

Can you turn off those annoying Microsoft ads that are blocking your article?  How do we turn them off.

Other than that......I love your incites!

jlinkner
jlinkner

Could you turn off those annoying Microsoft ads that we can't close.

Natick4
Natick4

I am sure someone will quickly correct me, but if in fact Peyton Manning had stem cell therapy on the injured nerves in his throwing arm, then MOST of his body is 37 years old, but PARTS of his body may not be. In fact, the most important parts in relation to playing football may be much improved.

Muscle performance is a combination of the physical characteristics of the muscle, and the ability of nerve enervation to control those muscles. I hope the guy blows away every NFL QB record there is - it's good for the game, and I like to watch his mastery on the field. But, next season the NFL has got to come to terms with non-PED augmentation issues.

It is not far fetched to think that other players will (or already have) receive stem cell therapy on a systematic basis to improve muscle tone, recovery from injury, and muscle performance. At the athletic level that most NFL players achieve, already far beyond that of mere mortal men, stem cell therapy represents an undetectable avenue of performance enhancement that in the future may make traditional PEDs obsolete. 

Again, if in fact he did have some stem cell treatment, I am perplexed as to why the sports media has so far been quiet in linking his outstanding ability and the means by which he medically treated his throwing nerves.

Oh, and by the way, we have already seen players who got better as they got older...Clemens and Bonds!

BronzeBomber
BronzeBomber

Dungy should not be in the Hall of Fame just because he sabotaged each Colts postseason by sitting everybody for a few weeks.

EricS.Ellison
EricS.Ellison

Yes. I perfectly understand why Suh was not named 1 of your defensive players of the week.

FightingTard
FightingTard

Why is it that no one is questioning Peyton? 

Athlete has career threatening surgery, comes back at 37 an is having the best season of his career. Nah nothing there sounds suspicious, lets fete him a  hero and bow down before him.

What will the media do if it turns out Manning is on something?

pee-kay
pee-kay

I have read and seen COUNTLESS stories about Peyton Manning and his great start to the year.   I have read two stories regarding a player LOSING A PORTION OF HIS FINGER!!!  And this is deemed excessive!?!??!?!  Actually, probably is.... NOT AT ALL EXCESSIVE!!!!   Just grow that finger back and move on, sissy.  

MichaelMcKinney
MichaelMcKinney

Short Term 12.  Really goo,d small film about a half way house for teenagers.  Brie Larson, as the supervisor of the facility, gives an amazing performance.

Joe R2
Joe R2

PK has wet dreams about Peyton Manning

EaglesPdx
EaglesPdx

As a comparison, that was the Andy Reid built defense that allowed 52 Peyton Points.

That was Romeo Crennel's defense that has held opponents to 10.25 points per game.

Reid might the 2013 winner of the John Gruden, "Looking good with someone else's team" award. Difference of course is that Reid, unlike Gruden, has a solid rep of building good teams which Gruden does not.  But Reid inherited a much better base in KC than he left in Philly.

Fedorg4s
Fedorg4s

So for the All-Pro team Forte is ahead of AP and Shady because they're team records are worse? Oh and then there's Troy Polomalu, who's team is win less and hasn't even forced a turnover and he's ahead of Earl Thomas who is on an undefeated team with the best D. 

It's a sin that AP isn't first for All Pro list and that Earl Thomas and Eric Berry (best two safeties in the league) aren't there together. 

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

& sorry, but god bless Hall of Famer Marv Levy & his 4 Super Bowl losses...but Jimmy Johnson won 3 Super Bowls essentially, beating Levy for 2 of them...& he doesn't SNIFF the Hall? Peter, use your power...you know better...

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

Yeah, I'm sorry, Jimmy Johnson not in the Hall is a travesty for one reason only...HE WAS THE COACH *&* GM---Jerra Jones did not draft those players or build those teams, no matter the title, & the fact the Cowboys have been resolutely mediocre since Johnson left, even with all the funds in the world, really does say something. The fact that more GMs aren't in the Hall is a joke, & one of the pound-for-pound best GM/coaches ever not getting in is so silly as to be laughable. Dungy deserves to be in eventually, but he won one Super Bowl, & he wasn't the GM of either Tampa Bay or Indianapolis.

atmorris8117
atmorris8117

I think Tony Dungy is a tough case for the HOF. He won lots of regular season games with tremendous talent in Tampa and Indy but won just one Super Bowl and had many early exits in the playoffs. Also, he never quite got the Colts defense right despite supposedly being a defensive mastermind. Further, Gruden winning in Tampa the year after Dungy left hurts his cause.

LarryYelen
LarryYelen

I live in southwestern Ontario and, as such, receive sports radio from Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo.  I have grown accustomed to Monday mournings from WKNR, WFDN, and WGR respectively.  This morning, though, nothing but accolades and celebration!  So I got to wondering: when was the last time the Browns, Lions, and Bills all won in the same week?

LarryYelen
LarryYelen

Amazing how you didn't pick Matt Schaub as goat of the week or, at the very least, the co-goat of the week.  Flacco's decisions may have been bad (a couple of the picks were unlucky), but you don't see the throw that Schaub chose to make--he wasn't under duress--at any level above high school.  Put another way: can you imagine a certified NFL stud QB, such as Peyton Manning or Brady or Brees or Rivers or even Cutler, attempting that throw on his worst day?

TravisHastings
TravisHastings

@LittleOne4u Mannings have a diva streak. Remember when the boys were drafted and Archie called San Diego and told them don't draft Eli because he won't play there? Can't get much more diva then that! 

GrogChe
GrogChe

@donald5 Have you bothered to see his stats in cold weather?  He continues to perform at high levels.  Even in the Raven game the td he placed with Knowshone was perfect--even the commentators said that the weather was not effecting Peyton's arm.  BUT he throws one interception and suddenly he can't play in cold weather--sounds like the same type of propaganda coming out of Obama's mouth

donald5
donald5

@Jesus Hitler Well these are the same "clowns" that all passed on Arian Foster as well.  (the same guys who picked Fauria were clowns for whiffing on Foster, right?)  Is this a living testament to how little attention the rest of the country pays to the SEC?  Spare us the "nobody pays attention the PAC12 garbage".  The scouts don't give a flying flip about ESPN contracts or when the games start.  They watch the games regardless.  Read his draft profile.  A TE that gets tripped up a little too easily after the catch and does not block well in the run game.  While he should have been drafted, I hardly see it as a travesty worth some completely tangential and off topic rant on the MMQB.

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

@Natick4 good point. we can build em faster stronger than ever before. Fast forward 10 yrs from now. Stem cell Manning just threw his 100th TD for the season

JPM
JPM

@Natick4 Re: Stem Cell Therapy ... definitely intriguing.  Can you cite some proof or, failing that, a link to some reasonable speculation?

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@FightingTard Manning has never been the biggest, strongest, or fastest QB.  PEDs don't make you any smarter and the only thing different with Manning at this point (post injury) is that he might be even smarter.  He's not threading needles 20 yards downfield like he used to even but, he's as good as ever at reading defenses.  His performance this year stems from extended familiarity with his teammates and his maturation as a QB (He could have won MVP #5 last year, and could get it this year).

RafalPruszyn-ski
RafalPruszyn-ski

@FightingTard He didn't just come back. He played last year. He has had time to heal and get work in with his receivers. His performance is not out of the ordinary for him. But yes, I agree that he is doping. the name of the drug? Wes Welker.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@liquidmuse3 Didn't Jimmy leave the Cowboys because Jerry Jones want him to relinquish the GM job?

Mike26
Mike26

@LarryYelen Larry, it was an incredibly stupid decision and play; however, he WAS under duress.  Everything else you said was correct.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@TravisHastings @LittleOne4uSo you have one tiny example from only one of the brothers in, what, 26 combined seasons?

Some diva streak.

Anyway, that incident with Eli was more business-related than anything else; Archie was convinced San Diego would be a dire career move for Eli.  So you can get *much* more 'diva' than that example, actually.

Carnifex
Carnifex

@GooGulsux but that doesn't make him the best QB in the league, just the one most valuable to his team. You're saying you'd turn down the chance to have Peyton, Brady, or Rodgers on your team?

RafalPruszyn-ski
RafalPruszyn-ski

@JahliSuwaghaman @FightingTard At this point he is a lock. I know, its early, but if he keeps this up, he is shattering records at the most important position and the team will go very very near undefeated. Who can match him this season when he has nearly twice as many TDs as the next guy? 4 TDs a game would come out to 64..round down and he can realistically go for 55 to 60. He would shatter the record by Brady.

GT500456
GT500456

@leehwgoc @Joe R2 So true, leehwgoc.    I wish The Lonely Island had put PK into their "Jizzed In My Pants" video with a line about Tom Brady.

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