Maybe it's just a Manning thing, but neither Eli or Peyton want to acknowledge the importance of Super Bowl 50's outcome and the impact on the Bronco quarterback's legacy. From washed up to back-up to AFC Champion, that's been the long and strange journey that has brought Peyton to football's promise land.
Now the question remains, can he seal the deal?
It won't be easy.
The Carolina Panthers ran roughsod over the NFL, suffering just one regular season defeat and breezed through two rounds of the playoffs. Cam Newton is playing some of the best football of his career and an opportunistic and ferocious pass-rush has been wreaking havoc on opponents. Everything has been going right for Carolina and it has a team of destiny feel surrounding the club.
Manning on the otherhand had his Broncos out to a fast start this year at 7-0, but injuries took their toll and forced him to miss six games, while backup Brock Osweiler took over the reigns of the offense. Manning didn't regain the starting job until Week 17 when he took over for Osweiler in the second half and led Denver to a 27-20 win over San Diego to clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.
Manning let the good times roll eeking out a win over the Steelers in the Divisional round and pulling a stunning upset over the Patriots in the Championship game to punch his team's ticket to Levis Stadium.
Whether it's Peyton's last game or not, it's hard to argue that one of the all-time greats needs to go out on top in order to cement his legacy as the best to ever play the position.