Being the AFC Champion this season, the Indianapolis Colts proved again what a correct choice they made when they made Peyton Manning the No. 1 draft pick in 1998, after a 3-14 1997 season. Manning’s gifts are more than in football.
He has relentless thirst for knowledge, passion to know opponents better than they know themselves and uncanny ability to recall crucial details in split seconds. All of these have made him such a different quarterback than many others who just throw a ball. More than remembering his opponents’ numbers on their NFL jerseys, Manning also remembers everything from their first or last names to high school information.
And he knows well how to utilize the ability to remember almost everything he sees and hears. Regurgitating and analyzing, he plays football like a good chess player who can see 10 moves ahead. The New York Jets witnessed how he uses his talent in Sunday’s AFC championship game. For much of the first half, the Jets kept the Colts’ offense in check. But Manning altered a few things after a brief discussion with receiver Pierre Garcon, and then the Colts had touch downs on three of their next four possessions and finished the game with a 30-17 victory.
Many NFL observers have been wondering how, exactly, does Manning’s mind work? Even his teammates are confused with that. Just as receiver Reggie Wayne jokingly said, “Just tell me the end result, that’s all I need to know.” And his existence in Indy itself means hope of victory.