Column: Not so fast

By Ian Gold

The Manning’s are cybernetic beings that have been created in Archie’s basement rather than by normal means.

It just seems unlikely that two brothers could be the No. 1 pick in the draft and possess almost every quarterback tool the NFL requires.

Peyton Manning finally got the monkey off his back Monday night against the Patriots and Tom Brady.

Until this point his downfall has been his inability to play well on the big stage against the Patriots. Because of the win he seemingly put the Colts as the frontrunners on the straight and narrow path to the Super Bowl.

But it wasn’t the Patriots that were in Manning’s way. Belichick is not Professor X and can not probe Manning’s mind. The problem was Manning couldn’t perform on the big stage.

He was able to take care of all the divisional opponents thrown at him in a big way. Over the past few seasons, he finished playing as good as a quarterback has ever seen.

His completion percentage, yards, touchdowns….etc. You can list his unbelievable stats forever. The same way you can list his quarterback attributes, strong arm, quick decision making, leadership, preparation….etc.

As good as Manning has been though, he hasn’t shown IT.

When scouting quarterbacks, of course pay attention to physical tools, but overall try to find IT. You can find a very good quarterback without it, Drew Bledsoe, Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde. But when you see IT, you know IT.

Since college, Peyton was not able to win the big game, he couldn’t seem to get past Florida in college to win the championship, a feat accomplished the year after he graduated.

In the professional ranks he is on his way to breaking some of the most sought after records in the league but he has yet to win his championship.

While some are ready to hand the Vince Lombardi Trophy over to the Colts, I want to see Manning in late January. When the Colts find themselves down late in the fourth quarter will IT emerge and will Manning lead his team down the field for the winning touchdown?

IT doesn’t seem to be a trait you can work on either, you can’t summon IT with work in the weight room, nor can you coax it with hours watching film.

Sadly enough for most players, you have to be born with IT. The rarity of IT is what makes it so special; hundreds of athletes out there can bring awe with majestic football bombs, only a few have an aura that makes them unstoppable.

Only two quarterbacks in the league have that aura.

Brady has never lost a playoff game. That’s unbelievable when you think of how many great teams have played since he took the starting role.

Jake Delhomme actually has IT, he had to travel to NFL Europe to show off for scouts, but when they saw his moxxy they brought him right back to the states. Remember that Delhomme led his team down the field first in 2004.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Peyton’s little brother Eli might also have it. When people were putting Big Ben Rothlisberger on a pedestal late last year, a couple Eli comeback drives made me want to further investigate, and after the comebacks he has orchestrated this year I still vouch for his IT, but the final jury is out until the big stage.

The 49ers said before Joe Montana hit Dwight Clark in the endzone to complete football’s most famous play, that he came into the huddle and immediately everyone believed they were a short distance away from scoring.

When John Elway was crossing the Delaware to surprise the Hessians, oh, I mean getting dog bones thrown at him and still leading “The Drive,” you could almost see the glow radiating off of his pristine body.

We will see come playoff time whether or not Manning can find the same magic that his predecessors had. He is breaking all their records, maybe he can break through and find IT.

Ian Gold is a senior in Communications. He can be reached at [email protected]