Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesThere's no doubt, as of right now, that there are some serious questions on the Indianapolis Colts, but one thing that's for sure is that quarterback Peyton Manning is not one of them.Coming out of the University of Tennessee as the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, it was a consensus that he was going to be a good quarterback and that he had the potential to be great, but what he has become is an all-time great.In 12.5 seasons, Manning has racked up numbers unlike any other quarterback in that short amount of New Orleans Saints jersey
time, with nearly 54,000 yards, a career 94.4 QB rating, nearly 400 touchdown passes, a 65 percent completion percentage, four MVP awards and 10 Pro Bowl selections.If you were to ask any coach, player, GM or owner in the league, there would be an almost unanimous decision that he is the best quarterback of the last decade, and he would even get some play in the greatest of all-time conversation.His list of records is a furlong long, and reading it is downright exhausting. Needless to say, he is one of the greatest and has the accolades to back it up.Statistically speaking, this has not been one of his best seasons, as he has had seasons with more passing yards, more touchdowns and a higher QB rating in seasons past, but he has rarely been the only reason his team has been winning.Is Peyton Manning the greatest QB of the 00s?Is Peyton Manning the greatest QB of the 00s?Yes92.2%No7.8%Total votes: 372This season, the Colts have been decimated by injuries, have had a horrendous defense and have had no running game to speak of.The usual suspects in Manning's offensive scheme, Dallas Clark and Anthony Gonzalez, have been injured, missing a combined 14 games, and the go-to guy for Manning of the past four seasons, Reggie Wayne, got shaken up in Sunday night's game against San Diego and could miss playing time as well.However, Manning has two more threats in his passing attack that he turned into fantasy monsters and defensive coordinator nightmares a season ago in Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon.Collie is a receiver who could have broken through with many teams and as a fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft wasn't a long shot to develop into a good player, but Garcon was a long shot of historic proportions.Garcon, drafted in 2008 in the sixth round, is straight out of Division III Mount Union and is a player who would rarely get a chance on many teams, but given the chance with Manning at the helm of the offense he reeled off big play after big play in 2009, giving him a permanent spot in the offense.This season, Manning has done the same thing with some receivers who were previously unknown in the NFL, throwing four touchdowns to Jacob Tamme, a fourth-round tight end out of football jerseys
Kentucky, and four to Blair White, an undrafted receiver from Michigan State.Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesManning has completed a pass to 14 different receivers this season and thrown a touchdown pass to seven different guys, including one to a receiver out of Missouri Western State named Gijon Robinson.He has dragged his team, basically as the offensive coordinator/quarterback of the team, to a 6-5 record, something that is seemingly impossible with the team at his hands.His team has accumulated a measly 909 yards on the ground, with only three teams putting up worse numbers than the Colts' ground crew. They have also only posted 56 first downs on the ground compared to an enormous 182 through the air, by far the most in the league.Despite the Colts' horrendous run game, they still have the fifth-highest scoring offense in the league with 282 points scored.The Colts' problems don't end with the run game, however, as their defense is not one to write home about either.The Colts defense is in the bottom half of the league, giving up more than 3,700 yards of offense so far this season and 22.9 points per game, as well as being on the negative end of the turnover battle.They have also been decimated by injuries, with 14 players currently hobbled on the IR and countless others bothered by nicks and cuts with the possibility to miss time in the coming weeks.No other quarterback in the league could have taken the Colts as far as 6-5 at this point in the season, as with any other man behind Chicago Bears jersey
center the team would have fallen to the bottom of the AFC South at this point—but not with Manning.This season may not be a memorable one in the career of one of the all-time greats, and it almost certainly won't result in another ring for the guy, but it definitely shows why he is one of the greatest.