Peyton Manning and his naked bootlegs

That headline almost sounds like a story put out by the National Enquirer. Fortunately for those of us with eyes, Peyton Manning is not a public cross-dresser, at least not to my knowledge. The only bootlegs he dons are the ones that kick his opponents' butts.

Yesterday, Manning ran for 27 yards with a little over a minute left in the game against the Raiders. No one on the o-line knew it was coming and even though Manning was just a hair faster than the fat guy on the Patriots who returned a kickoff for 71 yards, he did it like a pro. In fact, Manning should get an Oscar nod for best actor in a non-acting role:


According to the Indianapolis Star, Manning said he would have made the touchdown if he wanted to. So, he really was just being a classy, smart guy. Yes, the touchdown would have put the Colts up a 2 score lead, but taking a knee and running out the clock not only prevents unnecessary injury, it also absolutely destroys any glimmer of hope, no matter how small, of a Raiders' comeback. I also want to point out what a great job Dominic Rhodes did hustling from the backfield all the way to be there to help Manning block.

Even though you rarely see Manning breaking out his inner Michael Vick, this 27-yarder was not the longest Manning has ever run.

His longest run came on the same play in 2001 against the Buffalo Bills. He faked the handoff to Rhodes (coincidentally, the Rhodester was also the running back in the bootleg play yesterday) and ran 33 yards for a touchdown.

The Colts pull out this play every few years and each time, it's always a wonder to watch. Manning did it against the Jaguars for a touchdown back in 2006:

Credit: IndianapolisColt

My favorite Manning bootleg, however, came during his college career in the 1995 Tennessee-Alabama game:

Credit: USAFVol

Manning doesn't run pretty or even fast, but he gets the defense, and even his own offense, to bite on his bootlegs.

Go Colts!


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