Did you want to hear Peyton Manning talk about the big-game-to-be last night, right after the big-game-that-wasn't?
You were out of luck. And will be until Wednesday, at the earliest.
Manning was asked about his and the Denver Broncos' big, nostalgic matchup next Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts — the first time Manning will go "home" to play as an outsider — less than an hour after the Broncos struggled to put away the winless Jacksonville Jaguars.
The media should have known, but the result was predictable. Nary a mention of "Colts," "Indianapolis," or even its bastardized version, "Indy." Nada.
“I think the good thing about this game today is that we will come in (Monday), meet with the coaches, and really try to correct the mistakes from this game," Manning said, according to media-distributed transcripts. "We’ve got some injuries that we’ve got to wait and see on. I think we’ll use tonight and tomorrow to really clean up this Jacksonville game and start on the next opponent later on in the week.”
And boy, did it need cleaning.
But, hey, Peyton, anything on the Colts for us? They were your former team for a few years? When will you start thinking about them?
“With this game today, we need to come in tomorrow and grade this film and correct some things," Manning continued in classic Manning fashion. "We have some things we have to correct, and see where we are physically — see who our right tackle is. I thought [offensive coordinator] Adam [Gase] did a good job calling plays with [guard Louis] Vasquez — I’m not sure he’s ever played right tackle before. It kind of changes the way I think about audibles and things like that when you’ve got a new right tackle. I don’t know, Tuesday, I guess? Kind of like I do any other opponent.”
Tuesday. Manning will think about the team he spent 14 years and 227 games (including playoffs) with on Tuesday. And he'll talk about them ... when?
“I’ll probably cover that on Wednesday," Manning said, then looking over to a public-relations employee. "Do I have to talk Wednesday still? Okay, I’ll do all that Wednesday. I’m going to enjoy this victory and we’ll be ready to play come the rest of the week.”
So there you have it.
This is not to knock Manning at all, and he did nothing rude or out of the ordinary. In fact, Manning opened his media session Sunday night by apologizing to everyone for taking longer than normal to speak because he had spent too much time in the cold tub. He's one of the most media-friendly superstars we know today. You have to respect Manning wanting to honor the game he just played and put that baby to bed before waking up the next one.
The starting quarterback typically doesn't talk about the next game immediately following the last one, and they almost always talk the Wednesday in a group session. Everything is regimented with these things.
And yet this week is not like your typical week. Not for the Broncos, not for the Colts, not for Manning. We'll have to wait a few days to hear what he and they think of each other.