Found November 10, 2012 on BroncoTalk:
Broncos coaches John Fox (left) and Mike McCoy (right) are googly over quarterback Peyton Manning (center), who owns more wins than any other active quarterback in the NFL. (Image courtesy of The Globe and Mail) One man can make a difference. When it comes to the difference between winning and losing, the Denver Broncos have found their man in quarterback Peyton Manning, who owns the fourth-most regular season wins (146) by a quarterback in NFL history. During the offseason, much was made about the fact that Denver’s John Fox owned a 38-3 coaching record when teams under his command have scored 26 points a game.  Hoopla abounded in Denver as Manning had averaged 26.7 points per game during his time in Indianapolis, foretelling a successful marriage to come with Fox and the Broncos’ offense. Manning, not one to disappoint, has been near perfect since arriving in Denver, scoring 26 points in five games, winning all five of them.  The Broncos have actually scored 30 points in three consecutive games (five times total this season), going 5-3 with losses to only Atlanta (8-0), Houston (7-1) and New England (5-3). In all but one of Denver’s losses the team has fallen by six points or fewer, with Manning managing to post remarkable numbers each week.  Owning the NFL’s highest competition percentage (69.5%), yards per competition average (8.2), and passer rating (108.6), Manning ranks in the top five of every major passing statistic this season. The NFL’s active leader in nearly every major passing category, Manning is also on pace to top franchise records — set by the great John Elway and others. During his phenomenal sixteen year career, Elway never threw for more than 27 touchdown passes in a single season.  Years later (2004), Jake Plummer matched Elway’s 27 mark and in 2008, Jay Cutler came close with 25. Midway through the 2012 season, Manning has already thrown for 20 touchdowns, well on his way to smashing Denver’s single season record of 27. Manning is also on pace to break Elway’s record of 4,030 passing yards in a single season, set in 1993.  With 2,404 yards, Manning is primed to surpass 4,800 yards on the season. If Manning squeezes in an extra 200 yards somewhere along the way and reaches 5,000 yards, it would mark just the sixth time in NFL history a QB has conquered the 5K milestone. We know the story of Denver’s courtship of Manning and we know that Manning has excelled under Fox and Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy this season. But how have Peyton and Co. been scoring 26 points a game, and how is Manning completing such a high percentage of his throws?  We’ll briefly examine some of Manning’s methods below: The Broncos’ favorite offensive formation has been a three wide receiver, one tight end, one running back set (pictured above).  Using that alignment, Peyton has excelled in quickly getting the ball into receiver’s hands, allowing them to make plays. In the play below, Manning sees that the cornerback is blitzing and makes a hand signal (and perhaps verbal communication) to wide receiver Brandon Stokley, informing him to cut off his route early, knowing that Stokley will be uncovered for a brief moment. As the play develops, Stokley simply runs a short dig route, opening his chest to Manning just moments after the snap of the ball.  Before the cornerback can even reach Manning, the football is in Stokley’s hands. Stokley caught the ball in space, made a quick cut inside and ran for a first time, moving the chains.  Manning tried to execute a similar audible with Matt Willis several weeks ago against San Deigo.  On the play, Willis wasn’t on the same page as Manning and Peyton’s pass was intercepted and returned for a score. Stokley has more experience with Manning than Willis and remains Denver’s best slot receiver.  As the season has progressed, Stokley’s fellow receivers have started to develop a similar understanding of Manning’s pre-snap adjustments. In the play below, Manning reads a multiple defensive back blitz and signals to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to cut off his route at the first down marker, right behind the blitzing cornerbacks. Knowing that the middle linebacker (blue) has the flat responsibility and the non-blitzing cornerback (green) will be preoccupied by the far receiver running a fly route, Manning puts Thomas in a situation to be wide open, making a completion easy. As Manning expected, the two defensive backs rushed and Thomas easily beats the middle linebacker to the flats, leaving only the non-blitzing cornerback as a possible defender.  Getting the ball into Thomas’ hands before the rush reaches him, Manning helps Denver move the chains once again. By the time the cornerback sniffs out the play, Thomas has already caught the ball with forward progress and a first down.  Meanwhile, the Mike linebacker still hasn’t reached the flats — as Manning released the ball before the linebacker could get into position to make a play. Both plays diagrammed above came on third downs and resulted in first downs. After evaluating how Manning reads defenses and gives his teammates opportunities to make plays, it’s not surprising to see that Peyton leads the league in completion percentage (69.5%) and in the top ten in first down percentage (38.7%).  Dubbed one of the league’s smartest quarterbacks, Manning certainly hasn’t disappointed thus far. If he consistently reads—and defeats—defenses as the second half of the season rolls on, Manning and the Broncos up-tempo offense will continue to evolve into a nightmare for opposing defenses.  Which would be a dream come true for Broncos fans. Jon Heath is a Social Media Manager at BroncoTalk and a Featured Broncos Columnist for Bleacher Report. Heath has covered the Denver Broncos since 2008 and can be found on Twitter, @JHeath_DEN.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Manning, Broncos cruise by Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Peyton Manning made sure John Fox's return to Carolina was a successful one, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos to a 36-14 win over the Panthers on Sunday. Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass to move into a tie for second place on the NFL's all-time list with Dan Marino. He trails only Brett Favre (508). Manning had...

Manning, defense lead Broncos over Panthers 36-14

Peyton Manning made sure John Fox's return to Carolina was a successful one, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos to a 36-14 win over the Panthers on Sunday. Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass to move into a tie for second place on the NFL's all-time list with Dan Marino. He trails only Brett Favre (508). Manning had plenty of help from...

Peyton Manning keeps the Broncos on track in blowout win

I thought the Broncos would be one of the league's toughest teams this season, but early on, they looked slightly out of sync, and it led to some early season losses. With their win today, however, the Broncos are on track for a comfortable playoff birth, and no team looks more dangerous right now. Peyton Manning quietly put together a 300+ yard game, throwing just one touchdown...

NFL Rumors: Could Peyton Manning Or Adrian Peterson Win NFL Comeback Player Of The Year And NFL MVP?

Both Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson are having spectacular NFL seasons in 2012, as both continue to defy the odds and the detractors by proving to modern day medical mysteries. After playing all 13 NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning and his former team parted ways after the veteran signal caller missed all of 2011 with neck and back problem. After multiple surgeries...

Week 10 Fantasy Football Preview: Broncos at Panthers

Week 10 the Denver Broncos go to Carolina to meet the disappointing Panthers.Are there any Panthers who are worth a spot on your fantasy football lineup?Do you dare bench any Broncos?Let's alleviate your fantasy football worries.Quarterbacks:Peyton ManningManning has thrown for three touchdowns five times in five games. Last week in Cincinnati he compiled 291 yards, with three...

Manning moves past Marino in win

Peyton Manning made sure John Fox's return to Carolina was a successful one, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos to a 36-14 win over the Panthers on Sunday. Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass to move into a tie for second place on the NFL's all-time list with Dan Marino. He trails only Brett Favre (508). Manning had plenty of help from...

Peyton and Colorado Both Celebrate 420

On Sunday, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass, moving him into second place behind only Dan Marino for the most all-time.  Earlier in the week on Election Day, Colorado citizens voted in a landmark bill that would allow for the full legalization and sale of marijuana. Coincidence? I think not...

How bad is Curtis Painter?!

Even the greatest quarterbacks can’t overcome bad teams, especially not in their rookie year. It’s something that I have always believed and will continue to believe until forever. Look at Peyton Manning, one of the most prolific passers of our time, and a number one overall draft pick. He came into a team that was legitimately terrible in 1998, and the Colts were capable of...

ESPN Fired An Intern: When Did Matthew Stafford Get Replaced By Peyton Manning?

That was a helluva efficient day from Peyton Manning, the quarterback of the Detroit Lions. No INTs? This guy is on a roll. Anyway, the Broncos are 6-3 and should go 6-1 to finish the season. Yet to come on the schedule: Chiefs (twice) and Browns. More NFL tidbits: How many weeks until Andy Reid is fired? No way he gets through the end of the season. The Bears are the biggest frauds...

NFL News: NFL Milestones that can be reached this week

The NFL 2012 regular season has already been filled with a wide array of records, and more can be set this weekend. Television viewership is setting all time records while the league is setting a variety of records each and every week with new stars entering the league. However, some veteran players could find themselves moving up in the record books after this weekend’s slate...

Colts Are Legitimate Playoff Contenders as NFL’s Cinderella Story

The Indianapolis Colts have been at the epicenter of NFL headlines all season long. First, everyone wanted to know how the team would fare in the Andrew Luck era after seeing the success that Peyton Manning brought. Then, first-year head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and after responding with a win against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 7, the team became the NFL’s...

Fox: Dumervil “day-to-day,” Williams returns

(AP Photo/Chris Schneider) On Monday, Broncos Coach John Fox made two positive announcements when meeting with the media at Dove Valley. First, Fox noted that defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday and had an MRI this morning, did not suffer a tear.  ”(The) MRI proved negative. It’s a muscle strain.  So that was good news,” Fox told the team’s...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.