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Peyton Manning planned his self-sack, but he's still embarrassed

SB Nation 2016 NFL Playoff Guide

Peyton Manning, like the wily opossum, kinda played dead on Sunday against the Steelers. And it worked!

He saw a sack coming, so he went to the ground. Nobody touched him, so he hopped right back up and threw a critical 34-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders.

Manning's been doing this.


It's a totally understandable move for a guy whose body can't withstand hits the way it used to, and, as seen above, it can turn into a great strategy if it freezes the opponent. Peyton's not proud of this moment, but that didn't stop him from alerting his teammates. Via PFT, Manning says he'd love to destroy the tape of that play, but he knew well enough to warn Sanders before the game that it might happen:

"I don't really want to analyze this play too much," he said. "I'd kind of like it to go away, if it could. I was stepping up. When you fake that way and kind of get your head around, I felt that guy closing, so I stepped up and kind of leaned forward. My momentum kind of just took me down, I guess. I didn't think that he had touched me. I told Emmanuel just to kind of be alert in case I fall down, get back up to be uncovered."

That's veteran savvy! Wise enough to recognize an opportunity, competitive enough to exploit it, proud enough to resent it.

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