Monday, January 22, 2007

Manning Still Has Another Ghost Haunting Him

Peyton Manning's victory yesterday against the New England Patriots is being touted as the win that showed he can overcome past failures, and the one that will ultimately propel him to a Super Bowl ring. However, there's another bit of history still standing in the way of Manning's hardware.

A University of Florida quarterback.

No one would ever confuse Rex Grossman with Peyton Manning, at least not at this stage of their careers, but Florida Gator quarterbacks have always seemed to come out on top when facing Manning. Obviously, Steve Spurrier standing on the other sideline had a lot to do with Manning's inability to defeat those Florida quarterbacks while he was at Tennesse, but he's also suffered two losses in the NFL to QB's who started at UF and were starting for their respective NFL teams.

Here are his stats from his five starts against starting Florida QB's(the '94 UT loss to UF isn't included as he wasn't the starter yet, and the '03 Indy win over ATL isn't included because Doug Johnson wasn't the Falcons' starter):

1995: 23/35, 326yds, 2TD's, final score-UF 62 UT 37

1996: 37/65, 492yds, 4TD's, 4INT's, final score-UF 35 UT 29

1997: 29/51, 353yds, 3TD's, 2INT's, final score-UF 33 UT 20

1998: 19/32, 309yds, 1TD, 3INT'S, final score-New Orleans(Wuerrfel) 19 Indy 13

2002: 21/32, 214yds, 2TD's, 2INT's, final score-Washington(Matthews) 26 Indy 21

As you can see, Manning has had five shots at beating quarterbacks from the University of Florida, and is still winless. Grossman won't be the most polished quarterback playing in the Super Bowl on February 4th, but he will be the only one that attended the University of Florida and that might be all that matters.

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