Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/20/12

When word got out last year that Peyton Manning was not going to play in 2011, I for one was devastated.  I'm not a Colts fan just a huge NFL fan that knew I would miss the man, if for anything, his pure passion and knowledge of the game.

I'm not going to throw a bunch of stats or anything to really make you think in this article, anyone who is a football fan knows, his stats are impressive, but that is not what makes Peyton Manning exactly who he is. Instead, I am going to write a brief summary as to why I am so glad Peyton Manning is back this year, playing in the NFL. 

Peyton Manning was one of those guys that caught my eye when he played for Tennessee in college, I knew he was something special and because of that, I have kept my eye on him and paid attention to everything he has done since then. 

Peyton Manning has made a difference in the NFL since the moment he took his first snap for the Indianapolis Colts.  I have never seen a Quarterback with such deep knowledge of the position, ever!   Manning has stood behind center with such a presence, such poise and such passion; it is something that makes me want to watch over and over.  

I also have admired Brett Favre and his passion for the game as well, but he played it entirely different than Manning has. Yes, they both share a fierce passion of the game that is extremely rare, but to compare the two of them is impossible as it would be comparing a professor to the rebel drop out in school.

What I am trying to say is I appreciate guys like this, guys who play with everything they have; living and breathing the sport that is the core of who they are, the core of FOOTBALL.

When Manning had to step away from the field last year, I was crushed, especially when I had heard he may never play again due to the serious nature of his neck injury. The Colts decided to give up on him as well, they pretty much "Sucked for Luck" and ended up with the worst record in the NFL without Manning and were awarded with the first pick in the NFL draft; choosing the highly anticipated Andrew Luck from Stanford.  Manning was released and signed with the Denver Broncos. 

Going into 2012 there were mixed reviews by all of the experts as to how Manning would do this year. Manning opened up the season with such an impressive win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He stepped on to the field like he never left.  Week two for Manning seemed more challenging, on the road against the high flying Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.  Manning started out the game less than impressive, throwing 3 interceptions in the first quarter!  

Many fans wondered if week 1 was a fluke, but anyone who has watched Manning as long as I have, knew that there was more to come.  Manning played his own game, calling his own plays and ruling the field.  Yes, the Broncos still lost, but they came withing a touchdown after being left for dead in the first quarter.  Manning took a 4th down play and called a gutsy audible, a running play, result; touchdown. 

Again, yes the Broncos lost, but Manning, after having a year off with a serious injury, played Monday night on the road, stunk it up early and recovered, giving the Broncos a chance up until the final seconds of the game. 

Manning is just so impressive and so fun to watch.  He is the professor, he is the one guy that can make anything happen when the cards are stacked against him.  I for one, am so very excited and happy to have Peyton Manning back in the NFL because he makes the game more intelligent and fascinating to watch when he is in it.  Welcome back Peyton Manning.....welcome back!



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