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Manning's play this year

Quietly dominating the NFL.
I want to take a second and pimp Stampede blue contributor shake n bake's new blog: Shake'N'Baken. Shake is, I believe, the third Stampede Blue contributor to start their own blog along with Chris at Big Cat Country and jdb at Charle Weis Ate My Baby. When Stampede Blue first started, there were virtually no Colts-dedicated blogs. There was no fan voice shouting back at the hacks and morons who stated repeatedly that Peyton Manning was a loser and Tony Dungy was too "nice" to coach NFL players. Now, a crop of high-quality Colts blogs have popped up in the last two years. Hopefully, shake can stick it out and provide Shake'N'Baken with some great content. Just don't forget about us here, shake!

So, I was in my apartment last night last night drinking (alone) and pondering the universe (and how hard Bob Sanders could hit it). It then occurred to me that I'm just sick of talking about the damn Patriots. I search through the web, looking for Colts stories and all I see are Belichick v. Mangini, Spygate II, and a potential 16-0 regular season. It's nauseating. So, to put my mind right, I went to and looked at some stats for Peyton. I expected to see a blot or stain when this season is compared to previous. Instead, I think this season rivals last season as one of Peyton's best.

Many claim the 2004 season was his greatest, and numbers-wise it was. But for me, last season was the best Peyton ever played. He dominated New England in both match-ups, came from behind twice against the Jets, and put up great performances against the Giants, Bengals, and Washington. He carried the Colts last year, with little to no help from his defense until the playoffs. He also had to up his game because Edge was gone. He was helping a rookie RB develop (Addai) and getting familiar with a new starting RB (Dom Rhodes). It was a truly great season for Peyton, and one that gets a bit overlooked. It's a season known more for him finally winning the Super Bowl and not necessarily for him kicking ass and taking names.

This season, Peyton has truly cemented his legacy, despite what idiots like Jeremy Green say. A moron will say "See! Peyton is ordinary without Marvin Harrison."

Really? Since when did ordinary get defined as 27 TDs, 13 INTs, and a QB rating of 97.0? That's ordinary!

When you factor in that Manning has had to work with a rookie LT (who missed several games), a myriad injuries at receiver, and new running backs like Kenton Keith it's damn near a miracle he's thrown 27 TDs. Also, factor in all the drops, WR miscues, and other things. I think we've seen more dropped passes this season than any other. Kenton Keith alone is a lowlight reel example of Mr. Stone Hands.

But regardless of all this turnover and all the injuries, Manning has still played at a dominant level. And I can assure you, he will look to the playoffs as the place where he will assert his dominance when his offense comes back healthy and ready. With Gonzo's emergence and the eventual return of Marvin Harrison (yes, he is coming back folks), Peyton has many weapons at his disposal.

The NFL better watch out, because it's coming.