How to beat Peyton Manning, by the numbers

The last time the Ravens beat a Peyton Manning led team, Elvis Grbac was under center for the home team. Since then, number 18 has won nine straight verses Baltimore. But he can be beat, especially come January where Peyton has lost 10 playoff games in his career.

In Manning’s 10 playoff losses, here are some key stats:

24.7 points allowed, 14.2 points scored, 58.1% completion %, 259.3 passing yds per game,  .9 tds , 1.0 int, 1.3 sacks.

Sounds about right. 24+points is usually good enough to win, 14 points usually isn’t. 58% is a bit below Peyton’s 65.2% career completion percentage. More INTs the TDs slightly. Taking some sacks, all a recipe for losing football games.

In the Ravens last nine losses to Peyton, here is how Manning has fared against them.

2012 DEN  34-17   60.7%    204     1 td    0 int    2 sk
2009           20-3     68.2%    246    2 td    1 int     2 sk
2009           17-15    71.0%     299    1 td    2 int    0 sk
2008           31-3     67.9%     271     3 td    0 int    2 sk
2007          44-20   76.5%     249    4 td    0 int    0 sk
2006           15-6     50.0%     170    0 td    2 int    2 sk
2005           24-7     58.3%     254    2 td    0 int    0 sk
2004          20-10   60.6%     249    1 td    0 int    0 sk
2002          22-20   75.0%     284    1 td    1 int     5 sk
25.2 points for Manning, 11.2 points for Baltimore, 65.4% Completion %, 247.3 passing yard per, 1.7 td, 0.7 int, 1.4 sacks

Obviously 11.2 ppg isn’t going to be good to enough to beat many NFL quarterbacks, much less beat arguably the best in Peyton.

The closest the Ravens have really come to beating Peyton Manning was the playoff game in 2006 and the regular season match up in 2009. In those games they followed the apparent blue print for beating Manning, as the Ravens held him closer to the 14 ppg he gets in playoff losses than the 25+ he gets in wins. Also in both games Manning had more INTs than TDs. A couple sacks in the 06′ game as well. The Ravens just let him off the hook. Couldn’t deliver the knockout punch either time.

Another way to look at it, Peyton has thrown more than one TD just once in his ten playoff losses. Three TDs versus the Chargers in 2007. So holding Manning to one or less TDs pretty much gets you a win. However, more often than not, five out of nine times, Manning has not thrown multiple touchdowns against the Ravens. The defense did their jobs quite a few times and again, the offense generated nothing.

Even in the Ravens most brutal beating, 44-20 in 2007. Manning only threw 17 passes, but notched four scores off of five early Ravens turnovers. I was there. It was not pretty, but it was the end of the Kyle Boller era. Troy Smith entered and scored his first NFL TD.

Looking at more recent history, here’s how Manning fared in the three games he lost this regular season.

Atlanta Falcons:               27-21, 64.9 completion %, 241 passing yards, 1 td, 3 int, 3 sacks
Houston Texans:              31-25, 50.0 completion %, 330 passing yards, 2 td, 0 int, 3 sacks
New England Patriots:    31-21, 70.5 completion %, 337 passing yards, 3 td, 0 int, 2 sacks

Looking at those numbers, he played flawlessly against the Pats. The Texans held his completion % under the 58.1% noted before and sacked him three times. The Falcons forced him into three INTs, just the one TD. Joe Flacco is not Tom Brady, meaning the defense can’t allow Manning to have a flawless game.

Here’s a stat line to keep an eye through out the game that should put the Ravens in a decent spot to win.

Peyton Manning: 18 of 32 (56.3%) 241 yards passing, 1 td, 2 ints, 2 sacks.

If Peyton completes a lot of passes, it means he’ll rack up the 1st downs and wear out our defense. If he racks up the yards it means they are giving up the big plays or blowing a late lead. The more turnovers than touchdowns seems to be pretty consistent with his opponents having success. Get him dirty. Make him a little uncomfortable anyway.

Manning’s teams have allowed 24.7 points per game in his ten playoff losses. Manning scores 25.2 ppg in his nine straight wins versus Baltimore. In 12 of the Broncos 13 wins in 2012 they scored at least 26 points.

Look for a race in this one. Call it first one to 26 points wins the game.

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About the author

Mike Randall   

Ravens Analyst

Mike was born on the Eastern Shore, raised in Finksburg, and currently resides in Parkville. In 2009, Mike graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. Mike became a Baltimore City Fire Fighter in late 2010. Mike has appeared as a guest on Q1370. Now a Sr. Ravens Analyst for BSL, he be reached at

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