Peyton Manning is one of the most intelligent and skillful players to ever grace an NFL Field. But All-Pro DeMarcus Ware figured out a way to control the future HOFer.
Peyton Manning had one of the most prolific careers in NFL history. His accumulated list of accolades is lengthy, but includes items like 5x MVP, 7x first team All-Pro, and 14x Pro-Bowler. And perhaps his best quality was his deatil oriented ability to change plays after lining up and calling an audible.
Peyton Manning is one of 10 QBs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!
🏆 2x Super Bowl Champion
🏆 5x NFL MVP (’03, ’04, ’08, ’09, ’13)
7x First-Team All-Pro, 14x Pro Bowler
🏆 Set single-season NFL records for pass yards (5,477), pass TD (55) in 2013 pic.twitter.com/KXFZK6Huas
— NFL (@NFL) December 28, 2019
DeMarcus Ware is a definite future Hall of Famer. He’s a 9-time Pro Bowler, a 4-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl Champ, a member of the HOF All-2000’s team, and will likely go down as one of the greatest LBs of his generation. And he needed all his experience to outwit the Colts QB in 2006.
DeMarcus Ware faked Peyton Manning and then wrecked him.
In an interview with the Players Tribune, DeMarcus Ware had an interesting story about Peyton Manning.
“When he was in Indianapolis, he had all these audibles and signals — you know, Omaha! and all that stuff. But what most people don’t know is that half of Peyton’s calls were fake. They were just dummy calls so he could see if the defense reacted to them, or just to give the defense something else to think about.
That was his deal.
He wanted to trick you.
Well, in 2006, when we were playing the Colts at old Texas Stadium in Irving, I decided to try and be a trickster myself.
On one play, I was split out covering a wide receiver in the slot. Now, when I covered out in the slot, I never rushed the quarterback. And I knew that Peyton watched more film than anybody, so I knew that he knew that I never rush in that situation, too.
So I faked him out.
I went out into the slot, and I didn’t even look back at Peyton, because I knew that if I looked back at him, he might expect me to motion back in and rush. So I kept my eyes locked on the slot receiver until the very last second, after Peyton had made all his calls and adjustments. And as soon as he was about to hike the ball, I started cheating inside. Since he had expected me to be in coverage and he thought there was no rusher coming off the right side, he had audibled to a play away from me, thinking his blind side would be clear.
Which means nobody was there to block me.
When Peyton hiked the ball, I made a dead beeline straight to him, and … boom! I blindsided him and knocked the ball out.
We didn’t recover the fumble, but we won the game, and I learned that to beat Peyton Manning, you have to beat him at his own game. It’s easier said than done, but you have to play the mental game with him. You gotta fake him out.”