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Jacksonville Jaguars' Official Web Site Rips Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning

Jan 5, 2009 – 2:56 PM
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Michael David Smith

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have been in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts for the last seven seasons, and for the last seven seasons, Jacksonville has finished behind Indianapolis. So it's not surprising that the folks in Jacksonville don't like Colts quarterback Peyton Manning very much.

But it is surprising that the Jaguars would use their official web site to rip Manning, as they did today.

Vic Ketchman, the senior editor of Jaguars.com, runs a daily mailbag where he answers questions from readers, and when a reader writes in today to say Manning did his job and is not to blame for Saturday's loss to the Chargers, Ketchman goes ballistic.

Ketchman writes:
What is it with you Peyton Manning apologists? He was nearly intercepted four times and three of those should've been intercepted and returned for touchdowns. The only play he made in the second half was catching the Chargers off guard and lobbing a touchdown pass to an uncovered receiver. In his last four possessions, with the game on the line and the Colts only needing one more score to clinch the win, Manning managed a total of 20 plays for 38 net yards. Hey, that's crunch time, baby. A day after he wins the league MVP, he gags with the game on the line and does his usual one-and-done routine. When are you people gonna get off your knees? The guy is 7-8 in career postseason games and six times he's lost in the first playoff game of that year's postseason; three times in the last four years. Manning did not do his job. His job is to win. His job is to get it done at crunch time.
Some people might think it's inappropriate for such harsh criticism of a player to appear on another team's web site, but I have no problem at all with Ketchman ripping Manning. I've written before that I think highly of Ketchman. He's the best writer currently working for any NFL team web site. It's great to see a team web site that's full of candid assessments of players and teams, and not just your typical public relations B.S.

I have a huge problem, however, with the fact that Ketchman's argument is totally bogus. Peyton Manning is not the reason the Colts lost on Saturday. The two players who made the biggest impact for the Chargers on Saturday were their punter, Mike Scifres, and their running back/return man, Darren Sproles. In other words, the Colts lost because their defense and special teams were out-played by the Chargers' offense and special teams. It's absurd to blame the quarterback for that.

Manning certainly didn't have his best game, but even a mediocre game by Manning's standards is pretty good. To suggest that he choked is silly.

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