FanPost

Greatest game by an Alabama opponent ever?

I have always reflexively answered "Archie Manning" when asked who was the greatest football player I have ever seen, and would easily mark the calendar at October 4, 1969 for the greatest game an opponent has ever had against Alabama. But Johnny Manziel gave Archie his stiffest competition yesterday in what was surely the best performance a player has turned in against Alabama since then, and now I'm not so sure that November 10, 2012 might not be muscling that old date aside.

Here are the stats:

1969 - Alabama 33, Ole Miss 32 - Manning: 33-52 for 408 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 pick - 15 carries for 104 yards and 3 TDs

2011 - Texas A&M 29, Alabama 24 - Manziel: 24-31 for 253 yards passing, 2 TDs, 0 picks - 18 carries for 92 yards

Obviously Archie's stats are a bit more impressive, and having watched both games, there's no way you can say that Manziel dominated Alabama yesterday the way Manning dominated Alabama in 1969. But here's the thing: the best adjective you could hope to apply to Alabama's defense in 1969 was mediocre, whereas this year's Alabama defense, despite having just given up 46 points (total) and over 400 yards (each) in back-to-back games, is surely one of the best defensive units in the nation. It's just a unit that has had the bad luck to run into atomic buzzsaws of quarterbacks two weeks in a row.

Manziel was amazing yesterday. Some of his escape performances were the stuff of legend, and certainly bring to mind the multiple pass-rushers pinballing off a twirling, dipsy-dooling Manning in 1969. A couple of his passes were slightly off, but the great majority of them were dead-perfect, including two deep daggers to Alabama's heart in the 4th-quarter TD drive that proved to be a game-winner.

In the last few years, Nick Saban's Alabama has eaten stud running quarterbacks for breakfast. Yeah, Cam Newton had a good 4th quarter and eked out a lucky win, but he was severely limited that day and if Alabama had not choked he would have gone home with an L and a mediocre stat line. Tim Tebow had one pretty good game against us and one pretty bad game. Denard Robinson was shut down. Tyrod Thomas was shut down. Jordan Jefferson was humiliated, and there are many more examples.

Looking at it that way, I'm tended to say that Manziel's performance stood out more from what other similar QBs have done against this team than Manning's performance stood out against what other QBs had done against that team. I have to stew this one over a bit, but my initial reaction is that Manziell's performances is at least comparable, and it's no longer a no-brainer to say Manning's performance was the greatest ever by an Alabama opponent.

I think Archie has some competition. What do y'all think?

FanPosts are just that; posts created by the fans. They are in no way indicative of the opinions of SBN and the authors of Roll Bama Roll.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Roll 'Bama Roll

You must be a member of Roll 'Bama Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Roll 'Bama Roll. You should read them.

Join Roll 'Bama Roll

You must be a member of Roll 'Bama Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Roll 'Bama Roll. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker