Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has perfected art of the comeback | NFL
On Sunday, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning directed the 48th winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime of his career, a league record for QBs who played their first game after the 1970 merger. He previously shared the record with Dan Marino.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It was early November in Cincinnati. The Denver Broncos' quarterback dropped back to pass and found a receiver open for a 30-yard gain.
Four plays later, Denver scored the winning touchdown and quarterback John Elway, in his 16th and final season, had the 39th winning drive of the 40 he would engineer in the fourth quarter or overtime of his Hall of Fame career.
Fast forward to 2012: Early November in Cincinnati. Elway is executive vice president of football operations and the quarterback he brought to Denver, Peyton Manning, directs a five-play, 80-yard drive to give the Broncos the lead in the fourth quarter of a game they would win 31-23.
It was the 48th winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime of Manning's career, a league record for QBs who played their first game after the 1970 merger. Manning previously shared the record with Miami Dolphins icon Dan Marino, who played his last game in January 2000.
"I think he thrives on it," Broncos coach John Fox said of Manning's performance in the clutch. "I think most competitors do. They want the ball in their hands."
For all the gaudy numbers ex-Indianapolis Colts superstar Manning is putting up in his first season with Denver — 2,404 yards, 20 touchdowns, the 108.6 passer rating — it is the three fourth-quarter winning drives, against Pittsburgh, San Diego and Cincinnati, that show what he is really all about.
"I think all football players, when the fourth quarter comes around, that's when the pressure's on, that's when you want to rely on your fundamentals and techniques," said Manning, a four-time league most valuable player. "I think we can draw on this type of game."
After a relatively slow start many predicted for him, coming onto a new team and after missing a season while his surgically repaired neck healed, Manning is playing at a typically high level.
The Broncos are on a three-game winning streak. They have reached the midpoint of the season leading the AFC West at 5-3. Manning leads the league in completion percentage (69.5), average gain per attempt (8.23 yards) and passer rating.
to clarify remarks
ASHBURN, Va. — A clearly agitated Mike Shanahan gave a new spin to his remarks about the state of the Washington Redskins, insisting he hasn't given up on the 3-6 team making the playoffs.
The coach admitted he perhaps didn't give the "perfect quote" and that his words might not have been "crystal clear" when he spoke in the aftermath of Sunday's 21-13 loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers.
"When you lose a game like that, now you're playing to see who, obviously, is going to be on your football team for years to come," Shanahan said after Washington lost for the ninth time in 10 home games. "Now we get a chance to evaluate players and see where we're at. Obviously, we're not out of it statistically. But now we find out what type of character we've got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season."
Some players said they were perplexed Shanahan was essentially giving up on the playoff chase with seven games remaining.
Stung by the reaction to his words, Shanahan said, "What you need to do is stop it right away and tell the team what you meant, or what you intended to say, even though it might not have been crystal clear."
Shanahan, about halfway through his five-year contract, is 14-27 in Washington.
• League officials said a 30-yard touchdown run by Carolina's DeAngelo Williams against Washington in the first quarter should not have counted because of an inadvertent whistle.
They said the Panthers should have instead been offered the ball at the 17-yard line — at the point where line judge Thomas Symonette blew his whistle because he mistakenly thought Williams had stepped out of bounds. Williams kept running to the end zone.
• Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano's leukemia is in "complete remission," his physician, Larry Cripe, said as Pagano prepared to start a second round of chemotherapy. Bruce Arians is serving as Colts interim coach.
• New England acquired cornerback Aqib Talib, 26, from Tampa Bay last week in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.
Talib can't play Sunday because he is serving the final game of a four-game suspension for violating league policy on performance-enhancing substances.
• The Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) made multiple changes.
Coach Romeo Crennel sacked himself as defensive coordinator and plans to spend more time with the team's inept offense. Meanwhile, cornerback Stanford Routt was waived and defensive tackle Shaun Smith was signed.
Crennel had been juggling coaching and coordinator duties since taking over on an interim basis when Todd Haley was fired in December. Gary Gibbs will serve as defensive coordinator.
Ex-Oakland player Routt, 29, signed a three-year, $19.6 million contract in February.
|Player, position||Team||Injury, prognosis|
|Chris Kuper, G||Broncos||Ankle, out 2 to 4 weeks|
|Mark Anderson, DE||Bills||Knee, might miss 3 more weeks|
|Aaron Williams, CB||Bills||Knee, out 2 to 3 weeks|
|Clay Matthews, LB||Packers||Hamstring, could miss 2 weeks|
|Maurice Jones-Drew, RB||Jaguars||Foot, out at least 1 more game|
|Percy Harvin, WR||Vikings||Ankle, doubtful for Sunday|
|Darren McFadden, RB||Raiders||Ankle, uncertain|
|Santana Moss, WR||Redskins||Concussion, uncertain|