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Manning Ad Portas

by Eric Tellez for NFLMIX.COM

It's claimed that during the height of their empire the Romans would tell their children "Hannibal Ad Portas", or "Hannibal at the Gate", as a way of warning their children not to wonder too far. The Hannibal they were referring to was Hannibal Barca, the legendary Carthaginian general, and the fear he struck into the Roman citizens was unrivaled until the formation of the AFC South placed the Indianapolis Colts in the same division as the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yes, boys & girls, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has officially reached the status of being a "bogeyman."

Don't believe in the bogeyman? You're only fooling yourself, the evidence is clearly there. Since the AFC South was created, on paper in 2001, the Jacksonville Jaguars have drafted 17 defensive-ends and defensive-tackles. In the last 10 drafts they have taken at least 2 in 7 of them. I can envision the 2009 Jaguar draft room in my mind's eye till this day. "We need a kick returner Mr. Smith" to which Mr. Smith replies "Absolutely, we'll take the best one still available after we get four defensive lineman." And because the bogeyman is so ingrained in their superstitions everyone agreed. Something tells me that the people running the draft for the Jags don't do anything 18-times consecutively and don't use any products endorsed by Peyton Manning. Which is kind of sad considering that Manning endorses, well, EVERYTHING!

And this is nothing new for Jacksonville fans. It's been our philosophy since the AFC South began and we took Marcus Stroud in the 1st round of 2001 draft and John Henderson in the 1st round of 2002. Now, I'm going to be honest and admit that both Stroud and Henderson were fantastic at defensive tackle but the next 6-years produced a list as long as it is unimpressive with names like Anthony Maddox, Brandon Green, Brent Hawkins, and James Wyche being thrown around. The one recent bright spot was the 2008 draft that brought-in Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves but even their impact has been somewhat minimised.

Last year may have been the most brutal, of the four defensive lineman taken only Tyson Alualu seemed to have any sort of impact. The other three combined for only 27-tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Of coarse, Jacksonville isn't guilty of being the only team seeing Peyton Manning in their nightmares. In 2002, the Tennessee Titans took Albert Haynesworth with their 1st selection and then came back in 2004 and took 5 defensive lineman including two in the 2nd round; Travis LaBoy and Antwan Odom.

In 2006, the Houston Texans took defensive end Mario Williams with the NUMBER ONE OVERALL SELECTION and than took Amobi Okoye in the first round the following year. When asked to explain the rationale behind the Williams selection over fan favorite Reggie Bush and local hero Vince Young former Texans general manager Charlie Casserly summed it up in two words; Peyton Manning.

I can't think of any other player in history that has completely taken over the draft philosophies of his opponents the way Peyton Manning has these past 10-years. You would think that, at the very least, a team would become fed-up and just concede the two annual match-ups with Colts and try and win the other 14-games but that doesn't seem to be the case in Jacksonville.

As for me, I don't believe in bogeymen, but I like to keep a bag of Double Stuff Oreo's by my bed just in case.

email me at to talk football anytime! Love to hear from you, Et.


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