Peyton Manning has long faced criticism for his lack of postseason success, while his little brother Eli has two rings. And Eli is 2-0 against the oft-favored Patriots in Super Bowls while his big brother is 1-2 in the big game.
Super Bowl 50 is perhaps Peyton’s final chance to do what his younger brother already has done: Win a second Super Bowl.
Peyton Manning is the first quarterback in NFL history to take two different teams to the Super Bowl multiple times. But it was only in his first trip with the Colts at the end of the 2006 season that his team came away with a victory.
Super Bowl XLI
Indianapolis beat the Bears, 29-17, and Manning was named the MVP after completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Super Bowl XLIV
The Colts reached the Super Bowl again at the end of the 2009 season but fell to the Saints, 31-17. Indianapolis once led 10-0, but New Orleans got a spark after recovering an onside kick to open the second half. Drew Brees led the Saints to a quick touchdown on that drive. Manning threw for 333 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but the Saints continued to make offensive adjustments to score 25 points in the second half.
Super Bowl XLVIII
In his second year in Denver after a historic 2013 regular season, Manning led the Broncos to their seventh Super Bowl. And like in 2016, he knocked off Tom Brady and the Patriots in a wild AFC Championship Game at Mile High. But in one of the most one-sided games in Super Bowl history, the Seahawks’ No. 1 defense proved to be too much for the Broncos’ No. 1 offense at MetLife Stadium.
On the first play from scrimmage, Broncos center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball before Manning was ready and the ball went into the end zone, where Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno recovered it, awarding a safety to Seattle. It was the quickest score in Super Bowl history. The game was all but over from there. The Seahawks took a 22-0 lead into halftime and shut out the Broncos for almost three quarters before Manning found Demaryius Thomas for a 14-yard touchdown with three seconds left in the third. That was Manning’s only touchdown. He did set a record with 34 completed passes, which Brady broke the following year with 37, but he turned the ball over three times.
Super Bowl 50
Now, Manning, who will turn 40 before the start of the 2016 season, has a chance to do what Broncos general manager and legendary quarterback John Elway did: Win a second Super Bowl and ride off into the sunset. But he’ll have to get through the Panthers, who’ve outscored their playoff opponents 80-39 to do it.