Byline: David J. Neal
MIAMI _ Peyton Manning's arm hadn't finished the follow-through on his 10th touchdown pass before the analysts began devaluing NFL 2004 passing stock.
He wouldn't have done it in the old days. Aren't they going too far with this no-touch football downfield stuff? Defensive backs can't cover anybody. Too many cheap touchdowns, nowadays.
A five-touchdown pass game, once about as rare as steak tartare, now is as weekly as Time. Former Green Bay All-Pro Sterling Sharpe laughed on Thursday's NFL Playbook that he would have caught 200 a year under these rules.
All this creates the impression that Manning is just the biggest glutton in a season of free yardage and easy points. That he somehow won't deserve full credit for erasing Dan Marino's 1984 totals of 48 touchdown passes and 5,084 yards from the record book.
That's balderdash. I spent some post-Thanksgiving full-stomach …