Manning the magnificent

Eager to stop the master and commander of the Denver Broncos’ potent offense, Philadelphia Eagles defenders on Sunday apparently tried to fluster Peyton Manning by shouting “Papa Johns! Papa Johns!” and waving their arms in Manning-like fashion while he was calling audibles.

To use a Sarah Palin line: “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”

The Broncos beat the Eagles 52-20. Manning threw four touchdowns and had no interceptions. He marched his team up and down the field at will and rarely even faced a third down.

You can’t blame the Eagles for trying something different. No defense yet this year has been able to halt Manning and the Broncos. At 37, Manning is playing the best football of his career — perhaps the best any quarterback has ever played. He is surrounded by what may be the most talented receiving corps in the NFL and an offensive line that is a fortress.

For his part, Manning on the field appears as calmly efficient as the CEO of a successful corporation in the boardroom. He could come out in a tuxedo, carrying a baton, the way he conducts activity during a game.

Only one thing is likely to fluster Manning and Broncos fans: if they aren’t playing their final game of the season on Feb. 2 at the Meadowlands.


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