Sacked 5 times in yesterday’s playoff defeat to Pittsburgh, Peyton Manning is an anachronism claims the New York Times’ William Rhoden.
The traditional dropback passer so many know and love took a giant step toward extinction yesterday. Look at the quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs. They all have the ability to escape and none are above rolling out to buy time, to save the offense from a yards-consuming sack.
A 21st-century quarterback must be able to get away, not merely get out of the way. He must be able to punish the defense for blitzing with abandon, which Manning did not do against Pittsburgh.
These N.F.L. playoffs, coupled with Vince Young’s performance for Texas in the Rose Bowl, signify the end of the lead-footed “classic quarterback” ideal that Manning represents so well.
That kind of quarterback can shred any secondary as long as he has maximum protection and a fast track. But faced with a constant barrage of well-disguised blitzes, he is disarmed.
Manning is one of the greatest pocket passers in the N.F.L., but there is diminishing space for the pure passer who cannot run. Offensive coordinators love them, but so do opposing defenses.
The news media marvel at Manning’s hand jive at the line of scrimmage: the flurry of signals, the motions, the waving and the gesturing. In the end, they were so many ineffective pump fakes.