The greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. The gold standard in the NFL for fourth quarter comebacks and game winning drives. The only player to ever win five MVP awards (four while in Indianapolis). The all-time leader in the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns.
Lucas Oil Stadium is still known as the “House that Peyton Built” four years after he left Indianapolis. He is the reason fans have an unreasonably high bar for Andrew Luck, one that no quarterback in the future may ever be able to top.
Manning’s brilliance affected everyone on the field. Opponents feared him so much that they would change up their offensive game plan to attempt to limit Manning’s time with the ball. But it rarely mattered, in 2009 when facing the Dolphins, the Colts offense had the ball for under 15 minutes but still managed to win.
Manning didn’t throw the prettiest pass, even before the neck injury, but he could simply carve apart a defense over long stretches in a game. His greatest attribute is his eidetic memory for the game coupled with his thorough preparation.
Had Manning not missed the 2011 season, there is no telling where his career numbers, or the Colts franchise, might be now.