Peyton Manning's best moments

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Peyton Manning is expected to announce his retirement on Monday, ending a legendary career that included four Super Bowl trips, two titles, 539 touchdown passes and more wins than any quarterback ever. Manning played a DiCaprio-like starring role in the NFL for 18 years -- he always seemed to be in the middle of everything -- creating countless memories along the way.

The Around The NFL team looks back at Manning's incredible run and shares some of the most memorable moments authored by The Sheriff.

Peyton accepts supporting role with class


Manning's final chapter was a tale of delicious irony. The Sheriff faced steady criticism during much of his career for being a great talent who almost never managed to get his team over the hump. But in 2016, the script flipped. Manning's best days were long behind him (you can argue he was an outright liability), but now it was his greatly talented teammates who helped carry him to that elusive second ring. Manning never hid from that reality, either. In interviews during Denver's championship run, he often called attention to his teammates while acknowledging his supporting role. Some legends wouldn't have the stomach to put their ego through the meat-grinder, but Manning kept his eyes on the big prize and ended up with a perfect goodbye. -- Dan Hanzus

Manning shows human side in farewell to Colts


Peyton Manning is a Hall of Fame certainty and a living legend. For me, though, it wasn't the pre-snap magic or the countless on-field victories that rank at the top. I connected most with Peyton when he showed an ounce of raw emotion during his farewell press conference with the Colts. The town of Indianapolis always embraced Manning with open arms, and he responded by turning that once-moribund franchise into an annual winner. Peyton delivered a Super Bowl title and deserves plenty of credit for the raising of Lucas Oil Stadium. All that aside, I won't forget Manning choking up as he pondered the end of his Colts run -- and his uncertain future. He's always struck me as something of a vanilla robot off the field, making that moment of genuine emotion all the more rare. -- Marc Sessler

Manning insists he isn't a robot


"I throw a lot of wobbly passes. .. A lot of wobbly touchdowns too."

Peyton Manning was mowing down NFL records and playing with supreme confidence when I encountered him while covering Super Bowl XLVIII in New York and New Jersey. My lasting memory is Manning insisting "I am not a robot" while an image circulated of the venerable quarterback scanning his iPad during a treatment session in the team's swimming pool.

Manning had no "off" switch. Allergic to controversy, Manning too often came across as brain-washed, homogenized, indoctrinated and overly scripted in his dealings with the media. From a football angle, nobody was ever more maniacally prepared on game day. Compensating beautifully for waning arm strength, Manning proved during that magical 2013 season to be the most astute pre-snap quarterback in NFL history, translating opposing defenses at the line of scrimmage, quickly and reliably processing information in the pocket and consistently squeezing accurate passes into small windows. At his peak, Manning was a gridiron cyborg sent to destroy opposing secondaries. -- Chris Wesseling

Peyton Manning was the Pro Bowl mayor


Manning's love of all things Hawaii during Pro Bowl week always struck me as La Reveal Magnifico of Manning's character, in the best way possible. Some quarterbacks make up a new injury every year to avoid the league's all-star game. Manning, on the other hand, loved soaking up the company of the other greatest players in the world. He talked about how cool it was to befriend other players and learn what makes them tick. He tried to learn everything he could from them. He roasted his fellow players, and he mentored players like Andrew luck.

Manning was often coming off a brutal playoff loss, yet there was nowhere he would rather be than in the company of other football greats. He was the mayor in Hawaii, bled football, seemingly aware that his time in the NFL was relatively short and he should soak up every moment. It's the same attitude that leads Manning to write letters to great players and coaches when they retire. He loves football, and he wants to share that love. -- Gregg Rosenthal

Manning leads Colts to 2006 AFC Championship


The highest summit in Manning's career is unquestionably The Sheriff raising the Lombardi Trophy in the Miami rain back in 2007. But my most vivid memory of the famed quarterback came two weeks earlier, when Manning finally took down Brady, Belichick and the Pats in the AFC title game. It certainly wasn't easy. The Colts were down 18 points in the first half before Manning mounted a furious comeback capped by an 80-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes. When the Colts' defense held in the final minute, Manning looked like he was in a hazy bliss. A personal Valhalla. He'd finally done it. It was Manning's Super Bowl before the Super Bowl.-- Dan Hanzus

Manning's Thanksgiving debut


A Week 12 game in 2004 seems a bit obscure, but for those of us who came into football around the same time that Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, there is something to be said about a first Thanksgiving performance. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that your family is involved, and greatness is being explained to you. Greatness is on display.

And on Thanksgiving '04, Manning was absolutely incredible. In a game against the hapless Lions, Manning tossed six touchdown passes, which is more than his incompletion total for the night: five. It was Manning's fifth game in a row with four or more touchdown passes and it pushed the Colts to 8-3.

For me personally, this was the advent of my fantasy football experience, and this season -- this particular stretch -- took on a mythical status among our friends as we scratched out point totals on the back of our printed matchup forms. Back then, Live Stats cost money. But back then, you didn't need live stats to know that Manning was automatic, and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. -- Conor Orr 

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