DENVER – Coming into his 21st post-season game, Peyton Manning was winless in two attempts against the San Diego Chargers. Manning can now remove that otherwise minor blemish from his impeccable NFL resume.
Manning, who set NFL regular-season records in yards passing (5,477) and touchdowns (55), had a career record of 7-6 against the Chargers, and a 5-6 record against Philip Rivers. For all the accomplishments in his first-ballot Hall-of-Fame career, Manning has a somewhat pedestrian touchdown-to-interception ratio of 28 to 21, and a passer rating of 86.3, down from his career rating of 97.1
Since coming over to the AFC West, Manning had compiled a .500 record (4-4) vs the Bolts, and a TD/INT ratio of 12 to 3. But for some strange reason, San Diego always seemed to have Peyton’s number.
Clearly, they lost it on the flight into the Rocky Mountains, as Manning finally slayed perhaps his most vexing playoff nemesis.
In completing 25-of-36 passes for 230 yards for two touchdowns and one interception in a 24-17 win over san Diego, Manning can now turn his focus towards his greatest rival in New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
In a rematch seemingly pre-destined by the football gods, it seems somehow fitting that the two best quarterbacks in the Social Media Age in Manning and Brady, meet once more in the AFC Championship Game with a birth in the Super Bowl at stake.
For Manning, beating one perennial thorn in his side in Rivers is satisfying, but beating his true equal in Brady on his turf would seem more gratifying.