It was just over a year ago, after the Colts lost to the Pats in their post-season contest, that Boomer Esiason said on national television, “I think maybe Peyton (Manning) is this generation’s Dan Marino.” Esiason went on to state that Manning “is a great football player, but he’s not going to get to the Super Bowl, I’m telling you, not with that defense.”
Marino, who was on the set, took umbrage at the reference and shot back, “Oh, wait a minute. I got to a Super Bowl.” Marino made a good point, but still, Esiason seemed to be on target by not blaming either quarterback for their failings but, rather, the guys on the other side of the ball-their weak defenses.
Fast forward to January 15, 2006, almost exactly a year to the date that Esiason made his comments. What was different this time for Peyton Manning and the Colts? The Colts seemed to have the full package-a great running and passing attack, a solid offensive line, and a fine defense. Everything was aligned for Manning-Mania to take full effect, especially after such a spectacular regular season.
But once again, under the glare of the national...