All things being equal, the vast majority of NFL teams (minus the Indianapolis Colts) would likely rather have Peyton Manning competing for them and not against them.
The Denver Broncos know the feeling. In the nine games Manning has played against the Broncos (not including a game at the end of the 2004 season where his day was done after one drive), he has amassed a sensational 66.1% completion ratio, 24 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Manning also averaged 276 yards per game and a 95.2 averaged quarterback rating. Oh yeah…he went 8-1 as a starter against the Broncos during his career with the Colts.
Obviously Manning consistently dominated the Broncos, especially in the 2003 and 2004 wildcard games when he would turn into something superhuman from a comic book.
With Manning making the switch to the AFC West, it is worth an analysis of how his numbers stack up against the Broncos’ divisional opponents. His career numbers are, well, consistent.
The statistics stand out in two ways: First, Manning has taken to winning big against the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. Since 2006, he has gone a perfect 6-0 against these two teams and is 10-3 against them since he entered the NFL in 1998. Winning percentage will always be the hallmark of a quarterback no matter what kind of numbers he is able to accumulate in games. Secondly, the numbers reflect well against his career totals. A 62.9% completion ratio against Oakland and Kansas City versus a 64.9% career completion ratio, 268 yards per game versus 263 yards per game, and an 89.9 averaged quarterback rating versus a 94.9 career averaged quarterback rating.
But every Superman has his krypotnite…and that kryptonite might just be Philip Rivers‘ San Diego Chargers. Prior to the Rivers era in Southern California, Manning was had a 56.6 percent completion ratio, 315 yards per game, and 6 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Not outstanding figures, but the 3-1 record made up for the lack of sparkle in the numbers. Since 2006, when Rivers was made the starter in San Diego, Manning has gone just 1-4 against the Chargers. What’ s even more cause for concern is that Manning’s numbers begin to decline – and the reason is obvious: interceptions. Manning still has an impressive 65.1% completion ratio and 316 yards per game versus the Chargers since 2007, but the problem is that in 5 games he only has 10 touchdowns to 13 interceptions which has led to a very un-Manning like 78.0 averaged quarterback rating. These numbers will have to improve if the Broncos hope to stave off the Chargers and stay atop the AFC West.