EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — All year long it was about Peyton Manning. Leading the highest-scoring team in the history of the league, he threw an NFL-record 55 touchdown passes. It was suggested that he enjoyed the best year in the history of the quarterback position. He was Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year,’’ and garnered 49 of 50 first-place votes in MVP balloting.
And so we came to New Jersey for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate and all the talk was about Manning. Again. Super Bowl XLVIII was going to cement Manning’s legacy as the greatest quarterback ever.