The Colts’ offensive line struggled and headcase Mike Vanderjagt will be remembered as the obvious goat in Indianapolis this morning (forget about a field goal, the Canadian’s final kick was barely a rouge).
But Peyton Manning should know this much after walking off the field Sunday: He lost another big game, he and he alone, even when the Steelers demanded time and again that he be given extra chances to be the hero.
For all the yards and all the touchdowns and all the nifty audibles during the regular season, Manning has never won a championship game at any level — high school, college or pro. And while being Mr. October is great if you’re Reggie Jackson, it’s a lousy moniker if you’re Peyton Manning.
YEAR OF THE SNAKE
You have to give Jake Plummer credit.
Even if he didn’t exactly beat the Patriots Saturday night, (197 yards, one touchdown, one interception) he didn’t lose the game. And with Jake, that’s not half the battle, that’s the whole enchilada.
If you had Pittsburgh at Denver as your AFC title game, I’d like to talk to you about the lotto numbers for next Saturday.
Have you ever seen Lute Olson as upset as he was during the final seconds of Thursday’s loss at Oregon State? For a split-second, I could have sworn I saw a hair out of place. If he had known the Wildcats were going to tank at Oregon Saturday as well, Lute might have saved a few blood vessels for Eugene.
• Of all the Coyotes’ victories since the team moved to Arizona in 1996, rallying from 3-0 down in Toronto on "Hockey Night in Canada" — with Wayne Gretzky’s team teetering on the brink of implosion — has to rank pretty high on the "best" list.
• No takers on Petr Nedved? Imagine that.
• Well, now we know Arizona State won’t go winless in the Pac-10 this year. So, the Devils have that goin’ for them.
• At the close of business Sunday, the Suns (24-12) had the fourth-best record in the NBA and three games behind Western Conference-leading San Antonio (28-9) in the loss column.
I think they might make the playoffs, folks.
• Not one running back got close to 100 yards in any of the four NFL divisional playoff games this weekend.
• The best player still standing among the four Super Bowl contenders? Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith.
• You’ve got to figure the two road teams will be getting plenty of betting attention in next week’s championship games. Neither opponent looked invincible in victory.
• Yes Bears fans, defenses win championships. But championship defenses don’t give up 30 points (OK, 29) on their home turf in the playoffs.
• I’ll bet the writer who gave Walt Weiss a Hall of Fame vote thought "Gigli" was hosed at the Oscars a few years ago.