As a surprise to absolutely no one, Indianapolis Colts legendary quarterback Peyton Manning was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 during NFL Honors night—on the eve of Super Bowl Sunday:
No debate. No doubt.— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) February 7, 2021
Peyton is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/UkCbwMXUKS
He was also, not shockingly, a first-ballot NFL Hall of Famer.
Manning is a man for many, who simply needs no introduction.
The former 1998 #1 overall pick by the Colts out of Tennessee met the expectations of the league’s top overall pick and infinitely more—becoming arguably the greatest NFL quarterback to ever play the position (and should be no worse than Top 3 on any all-time list). He was an elite 1% ‘franchise quarterback’ in every sense of the phrase—until essentially his career’s completion.
In his illustrious 18-year pro career, Manning completed 6,125 of 9,380 pass attempts (65.3%) for 71,940 passing yards, 539 touchdowns, 251 interceptions, and a passer rating of 96.5 during 265 career starts.
Career-wise, Manning ranks 4th all-time in completions, 3rd all-time in passing yards, and 3rd all-time in passing touchdowns respectively. In NFL approximate value career leaders, Manning ranks 3rd all-time at 271 AV. As of Saturday evening, he’s the only starting quarterback to win two Super Bowls with two different NFL franchises.
Manning played 13 of those magical career seasons with the Colts (1998-2010), where he was a Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, 4x NFL MVP, 1x NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Walter Payton Man of the Year, 5x NFL First-Team All-Pro, 3x NFL Second-Team All-Pro, 11x NFL Pro Bowler, and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Consistently leading one of the league’s most prolific offenses—paired with the likes of fellow Hall of Famers Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James, as well as Hall of Fame hopeful Reggie Wayne and Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark, Manning transformed the Colts into a perennial AFC juggernaut and placed the city of Indianapolis firmly on the national map.
Overall, with both the Colts and Denver Broncos (2012-15), Manning was a 2x Super Bowl Champion, 1x Super Bowl MVP, 5x NFL MVP, 2x NFL Offensive Player of the Year, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Walter Payton Man of the Year, 7x NFL First-Team All-Pro, 3x NFL Second-Team All-Pro, and 14x NFL Pro Bowler.
He also was a 3x NFL passing yards leader, 4x NFL passing touchdowns leader, 2x NFL completion leader, 3x NFL passer rating leader, and a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time team.
Manning was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2017, and his infamous #18 is retired in Horseshoe Blue fittingly forever.
Lucas Oil Stadium is ‘The House that Manning Built’, and if not for #18’s arrival in Indianapolis, the franchise might very well have been moved to Los Angeles, let alone had a Super Bowl championship to hold proudly to its name.
Manning not only helped win a Super Bowl for the Colts, but he helped bring one here—as Indianapolis hosting Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis in 2012 was a byproduct of everything that Manning accomplished and did for the city throughout his incredibly great playing career as an iconic sports figure and personality—transcending just football with his significant contributions off-the-field too.
Manning will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, the same day (August 8, 2021) as his former Colts teammate, running back great Edgerrin James, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020, whose ‘gold jacket day’ was postponed a year from this past summer because of COVID-19 concerns/precautions.
Unfortunately, another Colts’ all-time franchise great, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, was not elected this year for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021—as he’s been a finalist for both of his first two years on the ballot—which bodes well for his ultimate enshrinement:
Congratulations to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021: Alan Faneca, Tom Flores, Calvin Johnson, John Lynch, Peyton Manning, Bill Nunn, Drew Pearson, Charles Woodson.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2021
However, the hope is that Wayne will get in eventually and rightfully so—joining former Colts general manager Bill Polian, Harrison, former head coach Tony Dungy, James, and most recently, now Manning among familiar Indianapolis franchise great faces.
Congratulations and well-deserved, #18!