Colts: Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne should enter Hall of Fame together
Colts legends Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne entering the Hall of Fame together would be perfect.
Indianapolis Colts fans have surely been living on cloud nine after the team overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to topple the Green Bay Packers in overtime this past Sunday. After all, it was the undisputed win of the season and gave them some needed breathing room in the crowded AFC playoff picture.
On top of that, the Colts can open up a one-game lead (with a tiebreaker advantage) with a win over Tennessee at home this weekend. That’s about as good as it gets from a fan’s perspective, but we’ve just stumbled across news that is guaranteed to uplift the spirits of Colts diehards even more.
On Tuesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its finalists for the class of 2021, and the star-studded list featured a trio of Colts greats, including quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and pass rusher Cornelius Bennett.
We might be getting greedy based on recent events, but we NEED to see Manning and Wayne inducted together.
We don’t even have to make a case for Manning getting in, because he’s arguably the biggest lock you can have. Over 17 seasons, the Colts legend completed 65.3% of his passes for 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns, winning two championships and a whopping five MVP awards while leading Indianapolis to seven AFC South titles.
Per Andrew Walker of Colts.com:
"By the time Manning retired from the NFL following the 2015 season, he had broken just about every major record by a quarterback in NFL history, including career passing touchdowns (539), career passing yards (71,940), single-season passing touchdowns (55), single-season passing yards (5,477), total wins (201, including playoffs), game-winning drives (56), comeback wins (45), games with four-plus touchdown passes (35), 4,000-plus-yard passing seasons (14), consecutive seasons with at least 25 passing touchdowns (13) and Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player awards (5; 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013)."
Calling him a first-ballot guarantee would almost be disrespectful to the historic career he put together.
Wayne, on the other hand, isn’t a virtual lock to get in, though he still has a great chance. In terms of the all-time record books, the former six-time Pro Bowler ranks 10th in league history in both receptions (1070) and receiving yards (14,345). He’s also tied for 23rd in touchdowns (82) and holds the Colts franchise record for career games (211).
Perhaps more impressive was Wayne’s consistency on football’s biggest stage, as he comes in second all time in playoff receptions (93) and fourth in receiving yards (1,254). Fans will remember how clutch his long touchdown catch from Manning was in the Colts’ win over the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
Denying those ridiculous numbers a plaque in Canton would be criminal.
Whatever the case, barring any pandemic-induced changes, the list will be trimmed to 18 finalists on Feb.6, one day before the Super Bowl, so fans will know by then if Wayne made the cut. For those looking to plan even further ahead, the 2021 class will be enshrined on Aug. 8, so mark those calendars!