Through the first 3 games of this NFL season Peyton Manning’s neck seemed to be affecting his play. He was seen grimacing on the field and the usual zip he has on his passes was faded. The Broncos were 1-2 and Manning had 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Those are not typical Manning numbers. People started to wonder if the 5-year 95 million dollar contract the 36 year old signed was worth it.
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Ever since their 1-2 start Manning and his Broncos are 4-1 with their only loss against a dominant Patriots team. Manning has 15 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions over the stretch. He has been very efficient with a completion percentage of 75% and a QB Rating of 88.175. Manning has been the most dominant quarterback in the league during this stretch and looks like the Manning of old. He is calling audibles at the line, eyeing down defenses, and scoring touchdowns.
Manning has already passed for 700 more yards than Tebow did all last year, and he has done it in 8 games. The people benefitting the most from this are Manning’s top two receivers. Eric Decker has 583 yards and 7 touchdowns already this season. He is on pace for a career year and has become Manning’s safety net. Most of all, Demaryius Thomas has emerged as one of the best wide receivers in the league. He has the fourth most receiving yards at 756 and also has added 4 touchdowns. He is Manning’s go to guy making him dangerous every time the Bronco’s offense takes the field.
While Manning is putting up amazing numbers there are other factors that are contributing to their recent success. In the last five games Willis McGahee has 407 rushing yards and 153 receiving yards adding up to a total 560 yards. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, the two leading pass rushers on the team, have a combined 11 sacks in the 5 game-stretch.
Manning just won offensive player of the month and doesn’t seem as though he is slowing down. This being said, we have to ask ourselves, is the old Peyton Manning back? Can he win another MVP trophy at the age of 36? Can he lead the Broncos to the playoffs? All of these questions are up in the air for now, but at this pace I don’t see why not all of them can’t come true.