• Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star had an exclusive interview with Peyton Manning. The ailing Colts quarterback said he’s had minimal contact with new general manager Ryan Grigson, and the decision regarding his future with the team is one that will be made by Jim Irsay. Manning also said that he’s not in an ideal environment to heal right now because of the tension around the Colts facilities after last week’s firings.
  • The term “scapegoating” dates back to Old Testament times, and Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky explained its sustained relevance. Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams played their part, but Sunday’s losses were team losses in a team sport. As Petchesky writes, the act of pinning the responsibility for a result solely on two men is an effort to “preserve something deep and primal: hope.”
  • The practice of targeting an opponent’s injury has existed in football ever since the shape of the game’s ball was designed. If it’s a leg, shoulder, or arm, trying to aggravate the injury is viewed as one of the sport’s unspoken and accepted norms. But the head feels different, because it should feel different, and there’s something grimy about how open the Giants were when discussing their strategy to target Williams’ head because of his concussion history.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw‘s near fumble has been somewhat overshadowed by Williams’ gaffes, and yesterday Jim Harbaugh compared the ruling on the play (that Bradshaw’s forward progress had been stopped) to the tuck rule.
  • Jerry Jones is Eli Manning’s newest fan.
  • Somehow we doubt that Jones follows or cares about ESPN’s Total QBR, and by that metric Manning barely outplayed Alex Smith┬áthis weekend.
  • Brendon Ayanbadejo won’t be watching the Super Bowl because the two best teams aren’t playing.
  • When you’ve been nearly perfect and live a charmed life, pushing to be even more perfect and charmed can become difficult. As Dan Wetzel writes, Tom Brady has found a way, and that push has become his existence.
  • Bruce Arians‘ retirement wasn’t really a retirement, at least not in the sense that the former Steelers offensive coordinator actively chose to end his career. He likely would have stayed on board, but he wasn’t offered a contract, so then his decision to fade away was easy.
  • Rob Rang watched Monday’s Senior Bowl practice, and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins was the standout.
  • Watch Rob Gronkowski‘s face as this ESPN Desportes reporter speaks to him in Spanish. His eyes widen, and he’s straining to understand, even though he knows an English translation is coming. Wanting to make a contribution in the reporter’s native tongue, Gronk finishes with “I am party.”

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