Bill Simmons has an article on ESPN.com proclaiming his hate for the Colts. Go read it. Now, allow me to retort.
As if it weren't enough for Patriot fans to delight in the fact that they have beaten the Colts nearly every time (except last year), they've played . . . as if it weren't enough that the Patriots have three super bowl rings while the Colts have none . . . Simmons has to manufacture some outrage at the mere suggestion that Peyton Manning is comparable to Tom Brady.
This whole idea (which was repeated incessantly by Tony Kornheiser when the Patriots smacked the Vikings on MNF last week) that Tom Brady gets no respect and has no exposure is absolute BS. I think maybe Boston fans are unwittingly applying their Redsox underdog Pysche with the Patriots. You know the whole Redsox are David and the Yankees are Goliath. Simmons wrote a book about it! But guys, the Patriots are the Yankees of the NFL. The Patriots go out and beat everyone and yet their fans have to pull the whole whiny "no respect" crap. Maybe I'm biased, but even here in Indy it seems to me that Tom Brady gets plenty of exposure. True, he does not have the Mastercard commercials, but from what I understand, that is of his own doing. The idea that Peyton Manning is overexposed here in small market Indy seems pretty silly to me. Someone tell Simmons that the Colts aren't the Yankees - if they were playing on one of the coasts, then he'd know the true meaning of Manning overexposure.
Let's get back to the whole Manning-Brady debate. First, this is a worthwhile and interesting question. I would call it a close call, but in my opinion Manning is better. If someone tells me Brady is better, I am not going to act like its the craziest position ever taken. He's a great quarterback. But Simmons seems to think it is crazy that anyone could think Manning is better. His mantra? Well of course it is that Brady is 6-1 against Manning, has always beaten him in the playoffs and has three superbowl rings. Fair enough. But if that's going to be your only argument, then it really isn't between Manning and Brady. Ben Rothlesburger is the best QB, because his team won the Superbowl last year. And Jake Plummer is better than Brady, because the Broncos beat the Patriots last year.
But wait a minute, says Simmons. Rothlesburger and Plummer had better teams that day. It doesn't make them a better player. Exactly my point.
Look, even Simmons points out how awful the Colts defense is this year. And guess what, they've always been awful since Manning has been here. Even last year, when they put up good numbers, it was only because the Colts would go up huge on teams in the first quarter and then Freeney and Mathis could pin their ears back and Dungy could run his Cover 2 to create turnovers. We have the best prevent defense in the NFL. But when the games are close and teams can threaten run, our defense is absolutely awful. The worst in the league, as every commentator (including Simmons) reminds us.
Well, guess what. They're 7-0 with the WORST DEFENSE IN THE LEAGUE. What other QB could do that? Frankly, I don't think Brady could and that's the point. He's always, ALWAYS, has had the much better team than Peyton. So you really can't begin and end your argument with how good his record is against Manning. Teams win championships in the NFL, not players.
And if the Colts beat the Patriots tomorrow it will be for one reason and one reason only: Peyton Manning.