Colts owner Jim Irsay raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday with some of his comments about his former quarterback Peyton Manning‘s career in Indianapolis.
Speaking to USA Today’s Jarrett Bell, Irsay talked about Manning’s playoff success with the Colts, and compared it to other teams that were able to win multiple championships since 2000.
“[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three [rings],” said Irsay. “Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated. You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this.”
Manning is now the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, who at 6-0 with an average of 44.2 points scored per game, are among the three-best teams in the NFL. The 38-year-old quarterback leads the league in passing yards (2,179), touchdown passes (22) and completion percentage (74.2).
On Tuesday evening, Broncos head coach John Fox responded to Irsay’s comments while talking on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“I saw the comments [from Irsay] and to be honest with you I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot,” Fox said. “To me, in my opinion, they were disappointing and inappropriate. I mean, Peyton would never say anything. He’s too classy to do that. But they sounded a little ungrateful and unappreciative to me for a guy that has set a standard, won a Super Bowl, won division titles, won four MVP awards. I’d be thankful with that one Super Bowl ring because there’s a lot of people that don’t have one.”
Fox does have a point, A lot of owners would love to have just one Super Bowl ring and enjoy the amount of winning that Manning brought to the Colts for over a decade. It’s rare in the salary cap era for teams to be among the top Super Bowl contenders for more than five years.
You can bet that this war of words will provide plenty of motivation for Manning when he travels to Indianapolis for the first time as an opposing player in Week 7. It’s a huge game for both teams, as Denver aims to keep pace in the AFC West with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, while the Colts attempt to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the San Diego Chargers on Monday night.
Sunday’s matchup will be must-see television.