The Peyton Manning Playoff Question
Now that we are living in the aftermath of another Peyton Manning playoff defeat, there’s only one way to determine whether no. 18’s postseason record really matters: Have two people argue about it.
Below you’ll find all the numbers you need to draw your own conclusion; in addition you’ll get a B.S. Report with Bill Simmons and his illegitimate son, Bill Barnwell, arguing what all this means … if anything.
Jan. 16, 2000, Round 2: Titans (14-3) at Colts (13-3)
Spread: Colts -5.5
Result: Titans 19, Colts 16
Steve McNair: 13-24, 112 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT (35 rush yards)
Manning: 19-42, 227 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 62.3 QB (1 rushing TD)
Game Recap: Indy’s first TD didn’t come until 1:51 remaining (on a 15-yard scramble by Manning), then Tennessee recovered the ensuing onside kick to ice the game … Manning was 4-for-16 for 42 yards in the fourth quarter … Indy led 9-6 at halftime, but Eddie George (176 yards, 162 rushing) gave Tennessee the lead for good with a 68-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Manning’s take: “Tennessee is a really good team. They did a good job on the game plan. They mixed it up well. They played zone and some man-to-man. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but this was certainly not our best day, either.”
Dec. 30, 2000, Round 1: Colts (10-6) at Dolphins (11-5)
Spread: Colts -1.5
Result: Dolphins 23, Colts 17 (OT)
Jay Fiedler: 19-34, 185 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT (43 rush yards)
Manning: 17-32, 194 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 82.0 QB
Game Recap: Miami fell behind by 14 in the second half, then rallied for OT with two late scores … In OT Indy’s Mike Vanderjagt missed a 49-yard field goal, then Miami went 61 yards before Lamar Smith (209 yards, 40 carrries) ran in the game-winning TD from 17 yards.
Manning’s take: “Everybody is just frustrated. Looking back at it now, there were just a lot of missed opportunities. We got field goals and didn’t get touchdowns.”
Jan. 4, 2003, Round 1: Colts (10-6) at Jets (9-7)
Spread: Jets -6.0
Result: Jets 41, Colts 0
Chad Pennington:19-25, 222 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Manning: 14-31, 137 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 31.2 QB
Game Recap: The Jets took the lead with a 56-yard TD pass less than five minutes into the game and never looked back … A missed 41-yard field goal and a Manning sack for -13 yards in the first half helped put the Jets up 24-0 … The Colts only had the ball for 19:42 — 7:44 in the second half … Indy only reached the red zone once — with 3:26 left in the game at first-and-10 from the Jets 19, but a Manning pass was intercepted to seal the game … The Jets’ win was one of the most lopsided shutouts in NFL postseason history.
Manning’s take: “I tried to be patient, but I got to be impatient because the more you get in the hole, the more they take you out of your game plan. So I ended up doing a lot of things I shouldn’t have.”
Jan. 4, 2004, Round 1: Broncos (10-6) at Colts (12-4)
Spread: Colts -3.0
Result: Colts 41, Broncos 10
Jake Plummer: 23-30, 181 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Manning: 22-26, 377 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT, 158.3 QB
Game Recap: Manning broke his playoff drought with a wild-card win over Denver, scoring on the Colts’ first seven possessions of the game … Manning threw four touchdown passes and two incompletions in the first half for 327 yards and 31 points … The Broncos’ only touchdown came halfway through the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
Manning’s take: “I’ll enjoy tonight … it’s good to get that little monkey off my back.”
Jan. 11, 2004, Round 2: Colts (13-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (13-3)
Spread: Chiefs -3.0
Result: Colts 38, Chiefs 31
Trent Green: 18-30, 212 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Manning: 22-30, 304 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 138.7 QB
Game Recap: Indy scored on the first drive of the game on a 29-yard Manning pass and went on to score on five of its next six possessions … The Chiefs stayed in the game, however, responding to each of the Colts’ scores with one of their own … Indy’s largest lead was in the third quarter at 31-17, but the ensuing 92-yard kickoff return from Dante Hall put the game within one touchdown … Manning responded with several pass completions that led to an Edgerrin James rushing TD, taking a two-touchdown lead … The Chiefs came close with a TD of their own with 4:25 on the clock but were unable to send the game into OT.
Manning’s take: “I am hot right now, we’re hot as an offense … It’s not trickery, just running the same plays we’ve run all season.”
Jan. 18, 2004, Round 3: Colts (14-4) at Patriots (15-2)
Spread: Patriots -3.5
Result: Colts 14, Patriots 24
Tom Brady: 22-37, 237 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 23-47, 237 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT, 35.5 QB
Game Recap: Things started off well for the Pats, as a Tom Brady pass gave New England their first and only touchdown of the game … Two Adam Vinatieri field goals and a safety from a poor snap during a Colts punt put the Pats up 15-0 at halftime … Manning went 1-for-4 in Indy’s opening drive of the second half, but an Edgerrin James (78 yards on 19 carries) two-yard run put the Colts on the board … Two more field goals from the Pats put New England back up 21-7 before a successful Manning touchdown pass narrowed the lead to 21-14 with 2:30 renaming … A final Pats field goal with one minute left put the game out of reach for the Colts, and Manning finished with four interceptions and four sacks.
Manning’s take: “I just made some bad throws, some bad decisions. I thought the Patriots played extremely well and we didn’t.”
Jan. 9, 2005, Round 1: Broncos (10-6) at Colts (12-4)
Spread: Colts -10.0
Result: Broncos 24, Colts 49
Jake Plummer: 24-34, 284 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 27-33, 458 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 145.7 QB
Game Recap: Indy got off to a hot 21-0 start and went into halftime up 35-3 with three passing TDs, as well as one on a QB sneak and another rushing … Manning went 11-for-14 for 156 yards in the first quarter and recorded 458 passing yards overall, the second most in playoff history … In the second half, Denver notched two passing touchdowns of their own, as well as one rushing touchdown, to narrow the lead to 42-24 before the Colts rushed for another score with 2:08 on the clock … By the end of the game, Manning had connected with three different receivers for four passing touchdowns.
Manning’s take: “We have guys who have been there before and they do well in pressure situations. Everyone just settles down and we execute our offense and we’re not overwhelmed by the moment.”
Jan. 16, 2005, Round 2: Colts (13-4) at Patriots (14-2)
Spread: Patriots -1.0
Result: Colts 3, Patriots 20
Tom Brady: 18-27, 144 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (1 rushing TD)
Manning: 27-42, 238 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 69.3 QB
Game Recap: The Manning in Foxboro curse continued, as he dropped to 0-7 against New England on the road … The Pats took the first two scores of the game off Adam Vinatieri field goals … Indy put itself on the board in the last play of the first half with a 23-yard field goal, entering halftime down 3-6 … New England proved dominate in the second half, opening with an 88-yard drive and touchdown pass to pull ahead 13-3 … Manning couldn’t bypass the Pats’ defensive line, and New England finished the game with a 94-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run.
Manning’s take: “It was an excellent run, a fine year, but when you finish with a loss in the playoffs, you can’t be happy about it. Eventually, it will be our time … All I can think about right now is losing this game.”
Jan. 15, 2006, Round 2: Steelers (12-5) at Colts (14-2)
Spread: Colts -8.5
Result: Steelers 21, Colts 18
Ben Roethlisberger: 14-24, 197 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 22-38, 290 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 90.9 QB
Game Recap: The Steelers dominated the game for the first 55 minutes, but Indy staged a miraculous comeback that kept the game in limbo until the final seconds … Pittsburgh built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter off two touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger … The Colts mangled a 96-yard play in the opening minutes of the second but managed to glean a field goal from their efforts and went into halftime down 14-3 … The Steelers quickly came into the third quarter with a rushing touchdown to pull ahead 21-3 … In the fourth quarter, things got crazy … Pittsburgh fumbled and recovered the ball, but referee Pete Morelli overturned the call and Manning took advantage of the opportunity with 20-yard and 24-yard passes that led to a three-yard rushing touchdown by Edgerrin James and a two-point conversion … Pittsburgh was forced to punt on its next drive, but with 1:20 on the clock, Manning was sacked on fourth down at his 2-yard line … Pittsburgh fumbled and the Colts’ Nick Harper ran for the touchdown, but Roethlisberger tackled him at the Indy 42 … The Colts advanced to the Pittsburgh 27 for a chance at overtime, but a 46-yard field goal kick went wide, and the game was over.
Manning’s take: “There is no question we were in good position with home field and having the bye. At this point, it is hard to swallow.”
Jan. 6, 2007, Round 1: Chiefs (9-7) at Colts (12-4)
Spread: Colts -6.5
Result: Chiefs 8, Colts 23
Trent Green: 14-24, 107 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Manning: 30-38, 268 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 71.9 QB
Game Recap: Manning had a sub-par performance, throwing three interceptions and not completing a deep pass, and had to rely on his defense to take the Colts to victory … Indy had scored three field goals with newly acquired Adam Vinatieri, and rookie Joseph Addai (122 rushing yards) aided with a touchdown to put the Colts up 16-0 in the third quarter … The Chiefs finally managed a 66-yard touchdown drive with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter … Indy closed out the game with a five-yard touchdown pass in a 23-8 lopsided win.
Manning’s take: “Every time you drop back to throw, your goal is to possess the ball on the next play. Three times, I was very poor on that … Our defense was awesome today. We made some mistakes and the defense made sure we didn’t pay for it.”
Jan. 13, 2007, Round 2: Colts (13-4) at Ravens (13-3)
Spread: Ravens -4.0
Result: Colts 15, Ravens 6
Steve McNair: 18-29, 173 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Manning: 15-30, 170 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT, 39.6 QB
Game Recap: Manning was unable to get his team to the end zone, but Indy still managed to eke out a win with Adam Vinatieri’s five field goals … Indy never trailed the no. 2-seeded Ravens, and the Colts’ stifling defense didn’t allow Baltimore to score any touchdowns … The Ravens cut the Colts’ 6-0 lead early in the second quarter with a 40-yard field goal, and an immediate interception brought the Ravens to the Indy 5-yard line … The Ravens’ next throw, at the 1-yard line, was intercepted by the Colts, who held on for six minutes before Vinatieri kicked a 51-yard field goal to bring the Colts up 9-3 at halftime … Neither Baltimore nor Indy got close enough for a touchdown, and the game ended with three more field goals — a 48-yarder from Vinateri, one from the Ravens’ Matt Stover under the two-minute mark, and a final 35-yard one from Vinateri in the final minute.
Manning’s take: “You want to get touchdowns and it was frustrating to have to settle for field goals. But we saw how our defense was playing early, and we thought field goals would be enough — if we got enough of them.”
Jan. 21, 2007, Round 3: Patriots (14-4) at Colts (14-4)
Spread: Colts -3.0
Result: Patriots 34, Colts 38
Tom Brady: 21-34, 232 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 27-47, 349 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD, 79.1 QB
Game Recap: Indy came out on top in a close game against the Patriots to propel Manning to his first Super Bowl … The Pats notched the first touchdown of the game off a recovered fumble in the end zone, and Indy failed to reach the end zone, closing out the first quarter with a field goal … Two Pats touchdowns later, the Colts were down 18 points, managing to narrow the deficit to 21-6 with a 26-yard field goal … Indy came out with a dominant third quarter, scoring on a quarterback sneak and a one-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion to tie the game 21-21 … From there, the two teams went back and forth, with a Pats touchdown pass, a Colts recovered fumble in the end zone, and a field goal from each team … With less than five minutes in the game, New England kicked a 43-yard field goal to pull ahead by three … A final Colts drive put Indy ahead with a three-yard rushing touchdown with one minute remaining … A Pats interception ended all hopes of a Hail Mary and gave the victory to Indy.
Manning’s take: “I don’t get into monkeys and vindication. I don’t play that card. I know how hard I worked this season, I know how hard I worked this week.”
Feb. 4, 2007, Round 4: Colts (15-4) vs. Bears (15-3)
Spread: Colts -6.5
Result: Colts 29, Bears 17
Rex Grossman: 20-28, 165 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Manning: 25-38, 247 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 81.8 QB
Game Recap: The Bears got off to a good start, going 92 yards on a kick return for a touchdown … Manning’s first Super Bowl drive proved inefficient, as two of his first four passes were almost intercepted, and the third was to turn the ball over to the Bears … A Chicago punt and successful short passes from Manning bring the Colts to third-and-10 at the Indy 47, where he threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne … The Bears quickly answered with a touchdown of their own in a drive that lasted only two minutes and spanned 57 yards to end the first quarter up 14-6 … Indy’s first two drives of the second quarter resulted in a 29-yard field goal and a one-yard rushing touchdown to give the Colts a 16-14 lead going into halftime … The Colts kicked two more field goals before the Bears reached Indy’s 26-yard line and kicked their own field goal to end the third period down 22-17 … The Colts sealed the victory with a pass interception at the Indy 44 and ran the ball for a 56-yard touchdown to take home the Lombardi Trophy.
Manning’s take: “It was a wonderful team game. Everyone did their job.”
Jan. 13, 2008, Round 2: Chargers (12-5) at Colts (13-3)
Spread: Colts -11.0
Result: Chargers 28, Colts 24
Philip Rivers: 14-19, 264 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 33-48, 402 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 97.7 QB
Game Recap: Even the Colts defense, which had allowed the fewest points during the season, couldn’t stop the physical Chargers … The Chargers were hit with injuries to their quarterback and star running back and finished the game with their backups, but that was enough to stop the reigning Super Bowl champs … The Colts pulled ahead 24-21 with a 55-yard scoring play with 10:07 left in the game, but a 27-yard screen pass and a 15-yard face-mask penalty against an Indy cornerback gave the Chargers the 28-24 win … Manning threw 402 yards and connected on 33 of his 48 attempts, but his two interceptions halted deep scoring threats for the Colts.
Manning’s take: “When you come back and commit yourself to the ’07 season and you don’t finish it like you want to, it hurts.”
Jan. 3, 2009, Round 1: Colts (12-4) at Chargers (8-8)
Spread: Colts -2.5
Result: Colts 17, Chargers 23
Philip Rivers: 20-36, 217 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 25-42, 310 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 90.4 QB
Game Recap: For the second year in a row, the Chargers dashed the Colts’ playoff hopes, this time in overtime … The teams each put up touchdowns early, with Indy scoring on a one-yard run late in the first quarter and San Diego scoring on a three-yard run early in the second quarter … The Colts took the lead 10-7 on a 43-yard field goal halfway through the second quarter before the Chargers’ nine-yard run right before halftime gave San Diego a 14-10 lead … Manning executed a 72-yard touchdown play in the third quarter that put the Colts ahead 17-14 … The Chargers kicked a 26-yard field goal with 31 seconds left on the clock to send the game into overtime … San Diego won the toss, and a quick 22-yard rushing touchdown 6:20 into overtime sent Indy packing.
Manning’s take: “It’s disappointing to lose a playoff game … We had chances to put the game away, but we just didn’t do it.”
Jan. 16, 2010, Round 2: Ravens (10-7) at Colts (14-2)
Spread: Colts -6.5
Result: Ravens 3, Colts 20
Joe Flacco: 20-35, 189 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Manning: 30-44, 246 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 87.9 QB
Game Recap: The Colts dispelled all myths of the bye-week curse and took advantage of its break to come out with a dominant victory over the Ravens and advance to the AFC championship … Baltimore came out with the first score of the game, a 44-yard field goal that left Manning sour … Indy quickly redeemed itself and led at halftime 17-3, holding on to a lead that never narrowed … A Manning interception in the third quarter looked potentially costly before the receiver was stripped of the ball by the Colts’ Pierre Garcon after a 38-yard return … The Ravens defense floundered against Manning and his offensive line, as he capped a fourth-quarter 14-play drive with a 33-yard field goal from Matt Stover to help the Colts to a 20-3 win.
Manning’s take: “I thought we had good preparation coming into this game, thought we came out sharp and kind of set the tempo from the get-go.”
Jan. 24, 2010, Round 3: Jets (11-7) at Colts (15-2)
Spread: Colts -8.5
Result: Jets 17, Colts 30
Mark Sanchez: 17-30, 257 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 26-39, 377 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 123.6 QB
Game Recap: The Jets came out ready to play, feisty over the two teams’ last encounter, when Colts head coach Jim Caldwell pulled his starters in the third quarter so they could focus on a playoffs run … The first quarter saw no points from either team, but an early second-quarter field goal put Indy up … The Jets answered quickly and built a 17-6 lead, taking advantage of trick plays … Manning was not to be put away, though, and he led the Colts on an 80-yard, four-play drive that included a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-13 with just over a minute to go in the half … Indy continued riding that momentum, and Manning took the Colts 57 yards in eight plays, throwing another passing touchdown to take a 20-17 lead halfway through the third quarter … A final 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter extended the Colts’ lead to 27-17, and a late interception stymied the Jets’ hopes of advancing.
Manning’s take: “I thought we just kept our mouths shut and went to work this week … We talked about being patient with these guys. We knew it would be a four-quarter game.”
Feb. 7, 2010, Round 4: Saints (15-3) vs. Colts (16-2)
Spread: Colts -4.5
Result: Saints 31, Colts 17
Drew Brees: 32-39, 288 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Manning: 31-45, 333 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 88.5 QB
Game Recap: When it came down to it, heart trumped regular-season records, and the Saints won their first Super Bowl and brought new life to a city ravaged a few years before by Hurricane Katrina … Indy came out with an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter and extended that lead with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon (66 yards, five receptions) to finish the first quarter 10-0 … The Saints staged a comeback in the second quarter with two field goals that narrowed the deficit to four before adding a 16-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to go up 13-10 … The Colts responded with a four-yard rushing touchdown to go back up 17-3 but found difficulty reaching the end zone for the rest of the game … New Orleans quickly took back the lead with a 47-yard field goal late in the third quarter and a passing touchdown with 5:42 left in the fourth quarter … With 3:12 left, Manning came under pressure from a Saints blitz and threw a pass that was intercepted and returned for a 74-yard touchdown that gave New Orleans the Lombardi Trophy.
Manning’s take: When asked about 74-yard interception: “Made a great play. Corner made a heck of a play … Certainly disappointing. Very disappointing. Disappointing.”
Jan. 8, 2011, Round 1: Jets (11-5) at Colts (10-6)
Spread: Colts -2.0
Result: Jets 17, Colts 16
Mark Sanchez: 18-31, 189 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Manning: 18-26, 225 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 108.7 QB
Game Recap: The game got off to a slow start, and Manning hit Pierre Garcon on a 57-yard touchdown pass for the only points of the first half … The Jets were never far behind, however, as LaDainian Tomlinson (16 carries, 82 yards) scored on a one-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 … With five minutes to go in the third quarter, Adam Vinatieri kicked a 47-yard field goal to take the Colts back up 10-7 … Not to be outdone, the Jets led another dominant drive, and Tomlinson again ran the ball for a 1-yard touchdown … Down 14-10, Manning advanced his team to field goal range, and Vinatieri narrowed the lead to 1 with a 32-yarder … Another successful Manning drive led to what seemed like a go-ahead 50-yard field goal with just under a minute remaining to put Indy up 16-14 … With 53 seconds left, the Jets returned the kickoff for 47 yards, and 5 plays later, Nick Folk kicked a go-ahead 32-yard field goal as the clock wound down to pull away with a 17-16 playoff victory.
Manning’s take: “It’s disappointing with the way we lost tonight. Any time you lose on a last-second field goal, it certainly stings.”
Jan. 12, 2013, Round 2: Ravens (11-6) at Broncos (13-3)
Result: Ravens 38, Broncos 35
Joe Flacco: 18-34, 331 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Manning: 28-43, 290 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 88.3 QB
Game Recap: The Broncos and Ravens traded touchdowns to end the first quarter 14-14, the second 21-21, and the third 28-28 … Manning led a 10-play, 77-yard drive and connected with Demaryius Thomas on a 17-yard pass with 7:11 left in regulation … On the next possession, the Broncos’ defense managed to hold the Ravens to a fourth-and-5 at the Denver 31 before a punt of their own … The Ravens came back with 1:09 remaining on a Joe Flacco 70-yard Hail Mary pass to tie the game 35-35 and send it into overtime … With a minute remaining in overtime, a Manning pass was intercepted at the Denver 45, and the Ravens continued that drive into double-overtime for the game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Manning’s take: “Certainly we did a lot of good things this season, but as of right now, it’s hard to think about anything besides the loss tonight.”
Patricia Lee (@patricialee91) is a Grantland intern.