Dwight Freeney Dislikes 'Manning Bowl'
Freeney, a five-time Pro Bowl defensive end and an NFL star by any measure, is not only insightful -- he's at the stage of his career where there's little about the NFL he doesn't comprehend.
One of those things is how the league is quarterback driven.
So, yes, Freeney gets that the league is going to hype certain matchups such as the one Sunday night in which the Colts will play the New York Giants, a game in which Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and brother Eli will play for a second time in four years.
But that doesn't mean Freeney has to be crazy about the fact.
"I do understand why they do it," Freeney told The Indianapolis Star this week. "Trying to sell, and quarterbacks sell. Points, touchdowns. (The quarterbacks') face is always on the camera with the ball. They always have the ball more, so I guess marketability and all that stuff.
"Makes sense, but I don't like it. I really have never been into that whole 'Manning' thing. I'm a defensive guy."
As such, Freeney is the franchise's all-time leader in sacks, and one of the premier pass rushers of his era. He said the reality is games such as Sunday's are about more than the quarterbacks -- even in Manning Bowl II.
"There are 52 other guys out there playing the game," he said."It's not just about Eli and Peyton. As a defensive player and other guys on the team. I think you kind of do feel, 'Where's everybody else?' We're not just out there like a pawn. It's not (the quarterbacks') fault. It's just the nature of the beast. We get to use it as motivation."