A Manning impressed

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

Archie Manning was a busy father Sunday afternoon.

For the early games, the former NFL quarterback was keeping tabs on the New York Giants where one son Eli was the backup to quarterback incumbent Kurt Warner.

Below him on the RCA Dome turf, other son Peyton was preparing for an afternoon to remember with his Indianapolis Colts.

And on the Green Bay Packers sideline across the field, Manning had a soft spot for the quarterback wearing green.

Brett Favre grew up in Kiln, Miss., idolizing the senior Manning, who was a star quarterback some 50 miles away for the New Orleans Saints.

That was the beginning of a connection between the two families that has flourished over the past five years, though never so publicly as in Sunday's 45-31 Colts win.

No surprise that the Manning patriarch made post-game visits to both locker rooms following the game.

"Hey, I love you man," Archie said during a quick visit with Favre before hustling off to see Peyton.

The first memorable face-to-face connection with the Mannings and Favre took place when Peyton was a sure-fire first-round NFL prospect at the University of Tennessee.

Being the reigning king of the quarterbacks at the time, a big U.S. magazine flew Favre to Manning's campus for a photo shoot with the hotshot prospect.

Peyton expected a quick meet-and-greet with the guy whose style he was determined to emulate. Instead, he got a lot more.

"He was supposed to fly in and then fly right out," Manning recalled after Sunday's game. "But he stayed, said he wanted to play golf, have dinner.

"I was like, 'Wow, Brett Favre is hanging out in Knoxville.'"

Manning was anything but in awe on Sunday -- he was too busy throwing five touchdown passes, including four in the first quarter.

You can be sure he noticed out of the corner of his eye what Favre was doing on the other side, tossing four of his own.

In a league where play-callers are sometimes more in vogue than play-makers, the prospect of Favre and Manning meeting on Sunday was salivating.

That the main course was even tastier resulted in an afternoon both families won't forget for a long time.

"Besides throwing for four touchdowns in the first quarter?" Favre said with a grin when asked for his thoughts on Manning's performance. "Other than that he was average."

In reality, it may have just been a one-week special. Yes, Manning likely will throw a couple dozen touchdown passes or more before the season is done. But it's unlikely he'll put it in the air for the first 22 plays of a single game as he did against the Packers.

Colts coach Tony Dungy was confident Green Bay's secondary was ripe enough to be squished and he gave Manning the go-ahead.

It won't be so easy next week against the surprising Jacksonville Jaguars, who may as well be from another league given the pounding defence they play.

The Jags, who at 3-0 have a leg up on the 2-1 Colts in the AFC South, haven't faced an offence like the one Manning directs and could be in for a surprise of their own.

Dungy knows that if his team is to reach its ultimate goal, it will have to play some defence.

So, it's pretty safe we won't see a combined nine touchdown passes. Not in this game and not likely again this season.

At least for one delightful Sunday, football was a quarterback's game.

Which explains the smile on Archie Manning's face long after the game was over.


Videos

Photos