The final ESPN broadcast of the 2022-23 NFL season was on Monday night for the Wild Card playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which the Cowboys won 31-14. It was also the final ManningCast of the season, and despite the blowout, it ended up being one of the most entertaining editions of the alternate broadcast yet.

Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, and ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi were the ManningCast guests.

“Coach Prime” was the first guest, and he was livid over a roughing-the-passer call in the first quarter.

Sanders: “Don’t you [Peyton and Eli Manning] want to play right now? Tell the truth. Don’t you guys want to play right now? This is ridiculous… WHERE IS THE ROUGHING? WHERE IS THE ROUGHING? WHERE IS THE ROUGHING?… Let’s just put a flag on him, and just put a buzzer on him, and you just gotta push the buzzer and it honks.”

In the second quarter, Tom Brady threw a goal-line interception with Tampa Bay trailing 6-0. Peyton, Eli, and Deion couldn’t believe it.

Later in the second quarter, the Cowboys took an 18-0 lead. Dallas kicker Brett Maher proceeded to miss an extra point for the third straight time (no NFL kicker had ever missed three extra points in a playoff game).

A disgusted Peyton stood up and walked away, as he yelled, “You’ve got to be kidding me! Why are we kicking it?! Why are we kicking it?!”

At the beginning of the third quarter, Peyton went on a hilarious rant about how he finds halftime adjustments to be the “biggest myth in football.”

Peyton: “I don’t know if I ever made a halftime adjustment in my entire 18-year career. I think that’s the biggest myth in football- the halftime adjustments. You go in, you use the restroom, you eat a couple of oranges, and then the head coach says, ‘Alright, let’s go!'”

Campbell offered a head coach’s opinion on how to handle the Maher situation if the Cowboys scored again. First, Campbell laughed for a bit after being asked if he’d go for two by Eli, before saying, “I do think at halftime, you do talk to your kicker and say, ‘Hey, listen- we’re going back to you, alright? But if you don’t make this one, that’s it.'”

Well, Maher soon missed yet again, making it 0-for-4 on extra points tries. Yikes.

Eli said, “Oh, my goodness.”

Campbell said, “Just got the shanks a little bit.”

And Peyton just shook his head, while looking like he wanted to fire his football across the room. Perhaps he was having Mike Vanderjagt flashbacks.

Finally, Maher made an extra point on his fifth attempt.


There wasn’t a whole lot of meaningful football action to talk about in the fourth quarter of this blowout, but the Mannings still had a fun time chatting with Bruschi (former Brady teammate on the New England Patriots), and they were in awe of his mullet in college at the University of Arizona.

Additionally, Eli revealed (after being asked about it by Peyton) that he’ll be in Philadelphia for the playoff game between the Eagles and the New York Giants on Saturday night.

Eli: “I was gonna keep that quiet, but I said when I retired that I would never go back to a football game at Philly, but I think I have to break my promise. I think I have to go there. I can’t wait to see the amount of double birds I get. Could break a record.”

The ManningCast is set to continue at ESPN through at least 2024.

[Photo Credit: ESPN2]

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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