The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs produced one of the craziest regular season games we have seen in recent memory. Despite an abysmal start by Peyton Manning which included getting sacked twice and throwing a pick-six, the eventual Hall of Fame quarterback played exceptionally the rest of the way.
Proving once again people’s tendency to overreact after one week of football, Manning looked as sharp as he did the first half of the 2014 season. Finishing with 256 passing yards and three touchdowns, Manning led the Broncos back from two deficits (14-0 and 24-17) to help them improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Even with the defense forcing turnovers and playing tremendously, the Broncos have barely squeaked out victories in these first two games. While the offense isn’t clicking on all cylinders, the Broncos’ front office can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they can temporarily avoid questions of replacing Manning with Brock Osweiler.
The scary thing for Broncos fans is that what we witnessed Thursday night might be the best version of Peyton Manning we will ever see again. Struggling to throw the ball more than 15 yards in the air, one has to wonder if Peyton Manning is just trying to help fantasy football owners in PPR formats.
With speed that anyone in the NFL (coach, player or owner) can match, Manning’s lack of athleticism is now even more on display with his loss of arm strength. Any quarterback pressure causes him to crumble to the ground, indicating that the offensive line will need to be the best in the league if Peyton is to lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl.
As sad as it is to watch Peyton no longer be the same player he once was, we still see glimpses of the past. The accuracy with each pass and the on-field play-calling adjustments remind us that he will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
Peyton will likely lead his team to an AFC West division title once again, and then fall short of capturing that elusive second Lombardi Trophy.
But rather than point how far past his prime is, let’s just enjoy the last few ‘Omaha’ yells before they are gone forever.
Photo Credit: New York Post