The Mannings are back to try to save a far-from-marquee Monday Night Football matchup

ESPN struck gold with this pairing.

ESPN struck gold with this pairing.
Photo: Getty Images

The Manning brothers took a one-fifth season hiatus, but they were back yesterday for the fourth Manningcast of the 2021 NFL Season. Eli and Peyton returned to their respective dens, or basements, or whatever on ESPN2 providing their commentary on a low-scoring Saints-Seahawks Monday Night Football matchup in which New Orleans slipped by, 13-10.


Peyton and Eli’s deal calls for 10 games this season. There had not been a Manningcast since Week 3, when Alabama coach Nick Saban made me personally feel quite broke by revealing that because he has put so many players into the NFL, it is someone’s job to keep track of how all his former players perform each week.

Surely ESPN did not expect Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to miss this game with a fractured index finger in his throwing hand, but they can take solace in the fact that Sunday Night Football also got screwed with that in Week 6’s punt-a-palooza overtime Steelers’ victory against the Seahawks. Fortunately for ESPN, the Mannings could not have returned from hiatus at a better time. Jameis Winston vs. Geno Smith turned out to be a snoozefest — the QBs threw for 222 and 167 yards, respectively, with 1 touchdown each — the Manningcast had a star-studded guest list with Marshawn Lynch, Tom Brady, Sue Bird, and Drew Brees.

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And ESPN certainly got its money’s worth when Lynch dropped a big ol’ F-bomb on national television:

Peyton experienced firsthand the joy of spending time with Lynch when he visited him in Oakland in the Season 2 premiere of the ESPN+ program Peyton’s Places. During that episode, Lynch told the story of when he took the injury cart for spin on the field while in college at California, and revealed his pregame superstition of taking a shot of Hennessy.


With six teams on a bye this week, including the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, and Buffalo Bills, the Week 7 witching hour was less than stellar, and the most competitive late window games a nine-point Los Angeles Rams’ victory against the winless Detroit Lions.

If there were ever a week to watch Peyton and Eli make good bad jokes and not know when commercials are coming, this was probably the week.

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