Known for His Mind Games Peyton Manning Once Got Tricked by Former DPOY, Giving Away His Tell

Published 07/07/2023, 3:20 AM EDT

Follow Us

Peyton Manning made a career out of tricking defenses. The 2x Super Bowl Champ and one of the greatest players of all time had a habit of torturing opposing defenses with his cruel mind games, as he would constantly trick defenders with his clever fakes and unparalleled vision. But even the greatest players ever meet their match, and for Peyton Manning, it was Ed Reed.

Reed, a Super Bowl Champion and a 9x time Pro Bowler retired from the league as one of its greatest defenders. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 and to the NFL 100 All-Time Team. It was during his induction into the latter that Reed revealed his classic play that left one of the greatest QBs of all time dumbstruck by the way he had been tricked. 

Peyton Manning falls victim to his own game


Article continues below this ad

During a career that spanned nearly two decades, Manning made a career out of playing mind games with opposing defenses with subtle fakes, manoeuvering the defense at will. But Ed Reed did not make the Hall of Fame by standing around and watching. Reed’s plan was cunning, to say the least. He knew that Manning, being the meticulous student of the game that he was, would study game tapes, looking for any vulnerabilities in the defense.

Reed purposely baited Manning, playing the wrong coverage in those early games. Manning undoubtedly took note of Reed’s “mistakes” on film. Little did Manning know that Reed had a grand plan in motion. When the fateful day arrived, and Manning’s Colts faced up against Reed’s Ravens, Reed unveiled his brilliance. During the match, Manning saw Reed play the same coverage as before, as the Safety dashed toward the middle. 


Get instantly notified of the hottest NFL stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

“If you look at the play, you’ll see Peyton actually pump that way first, and then he looked back and then when he look at me, I look like i’m going middle. But I know when he pumps, he’s going back,” Reed said while recalling the story.

But just as Manning began to throw to the other side after his first fake, Reed changed course and made a beeline for the airborne ball. Manning was left stunned, as he could only stand and watch the pigskin get ripped out of midair by Reed, en route to a spectacular interception. 


Article continues below this ad

Manning’s toughest opponent

While Reed’s play left Manning’s jaw on the floor, the Safety still didn’t make it to the top of Manning’s list of his toughest battles. Reed was undoubtedly one of the toughest defenders that Manning had to face during his career, but according to the QB, his worst nightmare was actually Reed’s teammate, Ray Lewis. 

via Imago

Lewis was a linebacker for the Ravens, and he had some spectacular duels with Manning’s Colts over the years. During the pandemic, Manning recalled some of his toughest battles in the league and named Lewis as the defender who gave the QB the most trouble. Over the years, the Ravens’ defense, helmed by Lewis and Reed, eventually led them past Manning’s Colts in the 2013 AFC Championship game, en route to their iconic Super Bowl victory 2013.


Article continues below this ad

Watch This Story: Will start filling my own cup: Aaron Rodgers Reported Ex-Flame Reflects on the Importance of Self-Love


Written by:

Armaan Gupta


One take at a time

Armaan Gupta is an NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass Media and Communication from a prestigious university. Gupta's love for football spans different leagues, from NFL to College Football to XFL.
Show More>

Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai