Reggie Wayne, one of Peyton Manning’s favorite receivers during their time with the Indianapolis Colts, offered a sobering assessment of his former quarterback, who faces Tom Brady for the 17th time in the AFC championship game Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a great legacy quarterback and I’m part of that, also,” Wayne said on “NFL GameDay Morning.” “And when it comes to the postseason, he struggles. There’s a lot of one-and-dones in there. I just think this is a bigger — it’s bigger for him to get this. Seventeenth time going up against Tom Brady. If you look at the wins versus losses, it favors Tom Brady. So I think it’s a bigger situation for Peyton.”
Peyton’s brother, Eli, has beaten Brady twice in Super Bowls, so there’s a family legacy at stake, too. Add to that the fact that, for Manning, a loss would mean questions about the end of his career and his time with the Denver Broncos.
“It’s a huge legacy for Peyton Manning because as we all know, he’s on the back-end of his football career,” Wayne said. “And then he’s going against his arch-nemesis Tom Brady. The schedule during the regular season is built around these two great quarterbacks, and so now they’re in the playoffs. So if Peyton can’t beat Tom Brady, the stigma will be, well, he’s one of the greatest regular-season quarterbacks to ever play the game.”
Brady has passed for more touchdowns in Denver this season — three — than Manning, who has tossed only one. Wayne also took he opportunity to explain just what Manning’s “Omaha” call means. Don’t expect it to help the New England Patriots, though. He also guaranteed Manning has changed it up, given that the QB expects his receivers to memorize four pages of signals before every game.
“Omaha means he’s going the other way,” Wayne said. “If it’s a run to the right, if it’s dive right, Omaha is gonna be dive left.”
Or it used to be.