He's done it again, Peyton Manning is in yet another AFC Championship Game.
The Denver Broncos quarterback didn't have the best game of his career against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but the experienced signal corner did guide the Broncos through to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots yet again.
And it was that aforementioned experience that proved critical in the key moments, even when Manning's arm was failing him.
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Manning struggled badly through the air but he was still able to engineer a game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, and it was all down to his ability to see the field, the Steelers defense, and make key adjustments.
The Broncos went on a 13-play sequence that sapped almost seven minutes off the clock and ended with a 1-yard C.J. Anderson touchdown with just three minutes left. Speaking after the game, Steelers star James Harrison lamented Manning's exceptional ability to spot blitzes and check out of plays.
"He got them into some checks based on what we were doing and they were able to hit us in some blitzes we went in and out of," Harrison said. "It's just an above the neck game. He's seen it all and heard it all."
Praise from Tomlin
Mike Tomlin also praised Peyton following the game, calling him the 'ultimate play caller'.
“Peyton’s the ultimate play caller. He got them in some good checks and did a nice job. We got to a point in the game where we had to take some calculated risks, and that’s why, I’m sure, that they started him,” Tomlin said.
His body may be failing him, but Peyton Manning is still one step ahead of nearly all defenses he plays. And that makes him dangerous no matter his passing stats.