I know there are plenty of Colts fans out there who believe Johnny Unitas deserved this spot, and they’d have a solid argument. However, there’s no logical way (at least in my mind) to say that Peyton Manning isn’t the greatest player to ever suit up for the Colts.
Sure, it’s easy to just point at his never-ending list of awards as reason for this ranking. The NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, a 14-time Pro Bowler, a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, a five-time NFL MVP and a two-time Super Bowl champion, Manning is the prototype for a pocket passer.
Even before he joined the Denver Broncos, Manning’s career was already worthy of GOAT status. His understanding of and ability to manipulate defenses was uncanny, as shown by his famous pre-snap audibles. The guy understood football on a level that almost no one else can, and it helped him dissect defenses like no other.
Now, he’s enjoying retirement with a unanimous first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame induction just around the corner. He’s certainly one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever toss a pigskin, and the best Colts player to ever grace the gridiron.