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No one should be surprised by Peyton Manning's performance

The most exciting game to watch this weekend -- for me, anyway -- was the Ravens' upset of the Broncos.

I know, there was a fantastic finish in the Falcons-Seahawks game, but I give the edge to the Broncos' game.

I guess it's because I'm biased. As much as I don't like rooting for the Ravens, I was happy to see Peyton Manning and the Broncos lose.

It's probably because I'm so sick and tired of the Manning show. Since the midway point of the season, we've been told how great he is and it hasn't stopped.

CBS' telecast was a Manning lovefest.

Going into the game, I heard analysts rave about the Broncos' defense. They actually called it the best defense that Manning has had.

That Super Bowl-winning team Manning had with the Colts was led by Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders. I thought that was a pretty darn good team.

That's not the only thing that had me scratching my head.

Everyone had pegged the Broncos for an AFC title game showdown with the Patriots. Then there were a good number of "experts" who had Manning and the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

I didn't get it.

The same people who ripped Matt Ryan for his poor playoff record and picked against the Falcons were the ones that ignored Manning's 9-10 playoff record entering this season. Not only was his record poor, he had poor results.

Manning had three key turnovers, none bigger than the one that set up the Ravens for their double-overtime victory.

The loss dropped Manning to 9-11 in the postseason, and he has the distinction of being one-and-done eight times in the playoffs.

That's the NFL golden boy that I know in crunch time.

Now, I wasn't a big Tim Tebow fan. Actually, I think he was awful as a QB. But, the darndest thing happens with Tebow, he wins games.

He wins ugly, but he won with the Broncos. Everyone ripped Tebow -- including me -- but Tebow led the Broncos to a win in the playoffs against a team they weren't supposed to beat. Manning lost to a team they were supposed to beat.

The Broncos got Manning because he was a quarterback. He could throw.

But when they needed him with 30 seconds to go and two timeouts left at the end of regulation, the Broncos knelt on the ball.


Manning and two timeouts should be enough to get into field-goal range. Instead, the Broncos played not to lose, and Manning found a way to lose it.

People shouldn't be so surprised by that.


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Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

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