Peyton Manning—Best Ever?
Colts' QB has chance to add to his legend tonight
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2010 1:12 PM CST
Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning, left, talks with offensive coordinator Tom Moore, right, during football practice, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 in Davie, Fla.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – The Indianapolis Colts ride into tonight's Super Bowl as 5-point favorites, and star QB Peyton Manning is no small reason why. His stats romp all over Tom Brady (minus Brady's three SB rings), he's the brainiest player in an era of complex defenses, and his owner has promised him the richest contract in NFL history. But as Indy guns for its second title in Manning's 12 seasons, the New York Times wonders: Certainly Manning is the dominant player of his generation, but is he the best ever?

Manning studies the game as obsessively as he stomps his feet, and one teammate estimates he changes the play at the line of scrimmage 95% of the time. A Texans defenseman tells of locking eyes with Manning—who nodded knowingly as if he had just read their defense—just before the QB upended a commanding Texas lead. “He was sizing us up,” the player says. “I had that feeling right then that he was locked in and that might be it.”