Manning and Pennington: Both brains and talent

Vince Lombardi once said that the game is played from the neck up. If that is true, then Monday night’s meeting between the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins gave us two of the best and brightest quarterbacks in the game.

Colts QB Peyton Manning seems to always be playing with house money since graduating Cum Laude (with distinction) in three years while attending the University of Tennessee. His performance on Monday night served as a clear display of his ability to gather and process information at the line of scrimmage, then execute the game plan with flawless precision.

Dolphins QB Chad Pennington owns the NFL’s all-time completion percentage record, hitting his intended target 66 percent of the time. Such accuracy can be attributed to good decision making and the ability to quickly process large quantities of information, then act at a moment’s notice. Pennington’s credentials includes a Rhodes Scholar candidacy while attending Marshall University, revealing his brain to be his greatest asset.

Someday, Pennington will make a great coach. For now, we should appreciate him more for giving Manning all he could handle on a warm and humid night in south Florida. Manning will one day be in the Hall of Fame, but don’t sleep on Pennington. Like Don Shula, Tom Landry and Tony Dungy, his brains are destined to take him much further than his brawn ever could. And like the others, who’s greatest achievements came long after their playing careers had ended, Pennington could eventually show us all that he and Peyton’s true talents are more alike, especially from the neck up.

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