Manning excels while blitzed

Peyton Manning terrific under blitz pressure; Matt Ryan struggled in 2011

Originally Published: September 16, 2012
By Sam Monson | Pro Football Focus
Peyton ManningJustin Edmonds/Getty ImagesPeyton Manning is a master at getting the ball out before the rush arrives.

Anyone can play quarterback in the NFL if they're given time in the pocket and don't have to worry about the rush. Take pressure out of the equation and Rex Grossman looks like Tom Brady.

But the way players react to pressure can be the difference between an All-Pro and a marginal starter. It's the difference between being able to play in this league and being just another in the long line of college greats who couldn't cut it.

Monday night's game will feature two quarterbacks whose play under pressure is part of what defines them. Matt Ryan earned his nickname ("Matty Ice") for his cool play under fire, and Peyton Manning's return gives us another glimpse of one of the best the game has ever seen.

But what happens when pressure actually gets to these two players, and therefore who is likely to have the edge on "Monday Night Football"?

Play under pressure

The key to success in today's NFL is disrupting the passing game, and the best way of doing that is to pressure the quarterback. Pressure negatively affects even the best quarterbacks, so the real question is: By how much?