OAKLAND CA - DECEMBER 26: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 26 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Dear Peyton Manning,
At 31-26 with roughly a minute left in the game, you completely faked the Oakland Raiders defense on a play action. You turned left, and had 27 yards of day light ahead of you. No one was going to catch you. No one. Gayle Sayers on horse tranqs wouldn't have caught you. As you passed the 5 yard line, it was a foregone conclusion that you were going to walk into the endzone, score a touchdown, and lead the Colts to a 38-26 drubbing of the Raiders.
But, in true Manning fashion, you kind of did the unexpected. Instead of walking into the endzone, you slide down at the one yard line. Normally, this kind of thing makes folks like me jump up and scream "WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU DOING!' But, in this case, I didn't do that.
See, with 1:28 remaining, and the Colts with the ball on the Raiders one with no timeouts left, the game was over. A few kneel downs, and all is finished. Scoring here would have been nothing but stat padding (cough * cough * Tom Brady).
Rather than stick to the Raiders, you played it classy, Big P. I thought that was kind of cool. Thanks.