BOSTON (CBS) – Football is a team sport, but once again Peyton Manning failed to deliver on the big stage.

#18 accounted for three turnovers on the night, and led the highest scoring offense in NFL history to just 8 points against the vaunted Seahawks defense.

“The game is based on its biggest moment, and it’s that game. Whether right or wrong you’re forever known by that game,” said Scott Zolak Monday morning.

When it comes to former NFL quarterbacks and their assessment of Peyton Manning, Zo might stand alone. Other members of his brethren came to Manning’s defense for his poor performance, starting with Troy Aikman during the broadcast.

“Peyton Manning, whether this is his last game or he plays two or three more years, he’s going down as a top five quarterback. I don’t think this means one thing to how he’s remembered and the impact he’s made on this league,” Aikman said as the Broncos were down by 35 points late in the fourth quarter.

Gresh & Zo: Patriots Wouldn’t Have Lost By 35 Points To Seahawks

Hall of Famer Steve Young also defended Peyton Manning on ESPN following the game, as did Trent Dilfer.

“Peyton Manning changed football. He dragged offensive football forward, usually it’s commissioners, owners and coaches that do that…that’s the legacy, this game does not change that,” said Young.

Boomer Esiason agrees – he told Toucher & Rich this morning that Manning’s offensive lineman are most at fault with losing that game.

We were able to find one critic though. Deion Sanders wasn’t nearly as apologetic on the NFL Network.

“Unfortunately a few of us up here have gold jackets, and we hold people to a criteria unlike others. This is not good. What we saw tonight is not good. I can’t even tell you one thing that I saw that I could take home and say ‘Man, that was alright’ – this was horrible, and it started from the first snap. We praise Peyton Manning for calling everything, and being that intelligent guy that broke every record known to man and we give him all the credit. So now when they lose it’s not his fault? Whose fault is it?”

This led into a big debate between Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak about the culpability of Peyton Manning and how much of the blame he shoulders. Listen below for the full discussion:



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