QB with most to prove this year? Peyton Manning?

Quarterbacks are continually on the hot seat. Which is about as obvious as saying that Duke’s basketball team is rather polarizing. But which quarterbacks are on the hottest seats?

NFL Network analysts Jamie Dukes and Trent Green kicked around some of the more obvious names. Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Tony Romo, Eli Manning and Jay Cutler. There are obvious questions about all of them, of course.

But nobody wants to mention Peyton Manning here? Like not even a little? Doesn’t he have to live up to his billing as NFL Network’s eighth greatest player of all-time?

Because, once again, NFL fans were able to set their calendars to one of the league’s newest traditions — the Colts being bounced from the playoffs early. With Manning celebrating his 35th birthday today, you have to wonder how many more opportunities he is going to get to win another Super Bowl.

For some reason, Manning escapes this scrutiny, although he has as many Super Bowl wins as Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson and Mark Rypien. Not that Manning isn’t among the game’s elite right now. I just don’t expect the eighth-greatest player in NFL history to walk out on the losing end of a playoff game against a team quarterbacked by Sanchez.

If Manning is going to be considered among the greats such as Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas, or even ahead of his peers such as Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees, he needs another Super Bowl win.

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