One of the all time greatest quarterbacks, Peyton Manning is a player who needs no introduction. Manning’s trove of records, Super Bowl victories and storied career truly speak for themselves. Throughout his 18 seasons in the National Football League, Manning has done everything from shatter records to truly elevate the position of quarterback to something that few had ever seen before. His mix of natural talent and steely leadership make him a living legend and one of the National Football League’s all time greats.
Born in New Orleans on March 24, 1976, Manning was a natural athlete in his youth and excelled at the position of quarterback thanks in large part to his father, New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning. A star athlete in high school, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee to play football there. He was later selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 National Football League Draft.
Manning performed well in his rookie season, breaking five rookie records and establishing himself as one of the top young players in the game. Still, his career got off to an inauspicious start overall, as the Colts went just 3-13 in his inaugural season. Manning continued to steadily improve and emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League, winning his first MVP award in the 2003 season before following up with another during the 2004 season. Although the Colts became consistent playoff contenders during this period, their dreams of Super Bowl glory were stymied by the New England Patriots and Tom Brady, who soon became known as Manning’s top rival in the league.
Fortunately for Manning, all of that changed in the 2006 season when the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears to win the Super Bowl, earning Manning his first Super Bowl ring as well as MVP nod for the game. Manning captured yet another MVP award in the 2008 season and another in the 2009 season, also reaching the Super Bowl that year. However, they were unable to replicate their previous success and fell to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a thrilling game.
Manning underwent neck surgery in 2011, costing him the entire season. He left the Colts and signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012. During the 2013 season, Manning shattered quarterback records and won another MVP award and Super Bowl berth, only to fall to the Seattle Seahawks in an embarrassing blowout. Undeterred, Manning soldiered on.
Speculation abounded in the 2015 season as retirement rumors swirled. Suffering from injuries and a decline in performance, Manning missed several games and served as backup quarterback for the first time since his college days during the regular season finale, but later entered the game to help the Broncos win and secure the top seed in the AFL. Not looking back, Manning led the Broncos to victory over his old rivals, Tom Brady and the Patriots, and later defeated the Panthers in the Super Bowl to earn his second ring. Shortly after the season, Manning officially retired.
Throughout his storied career, Manning has shattered records and became known as one of the all time greatest quarterbacks. His multiple Super Bowl wins, countless records and relentless determination make him one of the top quarterbacks of all time.