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Peyton Manning More Man Or Computer?

Posted Jan 8, 2013

Bernard Pollard called Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning 'The Macbook.'

Credit Bernard Pollard for being original.

The Ravens safety came up with a new nickname for Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

He called Manning “The Macbook.”

We’ve got the MacBook that’s going to be under center,” Pollard told ESPN. “That dude is a freaking computer, man. He’s one of the best in the game.”

While Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh called it a great analogy, he wasn’t exactly buying into Pollard’s nickname.

“He’s not a computer; that’s for sure,” Harbaugh said Monday. “He may have a computer for a brain, but he’s a man.”

Manning got the nickname because he calls a lot of audibles and checks at the line of scrimmage to try to counteract what the opponent is doing. The heady quarterback did it frequently against the Ravens on Dec. 16, who were operating without their own mental strategist in the middle, Ray Lewis.

“It’s just one of those chess matches,” Lewis said. “He knows me very well. I know them very well.”

The Macbook has had the edge over the years. Including the playoffs, Manning has won nine straight games against the Ravens.

But the machine hasn’t always performed seamlessly.

Manning hasn’t topped 300 yards passing in his last three games versus the Ravens.

While Denver put up 34 points on the Ravens in their last meeting, Manning had his lowest passing game of the season. He threw for 204 yards and completed 17 of 28 passes.

In 2009, Manning threw for 299 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the regular season. In a playoff meeting later that season, he completed 30 of 44 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The computer has also had issues “freezing” up.

During his postseason career, Manning has performed far better in the confines of a dome (which he saw often in Indianapolis) or in warm weather.

Manning is 3-6 in nine career postseason road games. He threw eight touchdowns to 11 interceptions. In cold weather playoff games on the road (New England twice, New York Jets, Baltimore, Kansas City), Manning is 2-3 with four touchdowns and nine interceptions. He posted a combined 60.6 quarterback rating in those games.

The forecast for Saturday in Denver is currently 21 degrees, with a low of 10 degrees, and a 20 percent chance of snow.

Still, the Ravens know they’ll have to battle one of football’s sharpest minds.

Harbaugh said the Ravens are going to need to “try to” confuse Manning. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said the Ravens need to make sure they get in their playbooks.

“Definitely, a great challenge,” Ngata said. “He is one of the great quarterbacks in the history of the league. But if we can do our job, do a lot of studying, and get a great week of practice in, then we can go in there and get a win.”

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