Can Peyton Manning Repeat His Magical 2013 Season?


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Kevin Roberts of You can follow Fantasy Football Overdose on twitter, and for more information on the NFL visit Fantasy Football Overdose – your online source for anything about fantasy football.

It’s not even officially in the books yet, but you know everyone is wondering the same thing: Is there any chance at all Peyton Manning repeats his insane 2013 season?

Most NFL analysts will scoff at the crazy idea of a soon to be 38-year old quarterback putting up anything close to 5,477 passing yards and 55 passing touchdowns again. After all, both are brand new NFL records and Manning isn’t getting any younger.

But in the fantasy football realm, you always have to consider the impossible.

Unfortunately, the realistic answer is it can’t happen. Manning will inevitably drop off to a certain degree, defenses will adjust, and there will not be a repeat of what was truly a magical season from all perspectives.

Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno could potentially leave via free agency, injuries could strike the Broncos, and Manning himself could understandably regress slightly as he advances in age.

But even beyond the logical points, coming anywhere close to these insane numbers just doesn’t seem very likely.

A good way to begin to attempt to project Manning’s 2014 numbers is to take a look back at past career years – specifically in the touchdown department. Dan Marino’s old single-season touchdown record stood at 48 when Manning broke it the first time back in 2004, while Tom Brady broke Manning’s original mark with 50 only a few years later.

In the follow up season to Manning’s 49 touchdown passes, his passing yardage dropped from 4,557 yards to 3,747 and his touchdowns went from 49 to 28. Brady’s season after the 50 touchdowns isn’t fair to analyze, as he lasted just 11 passing attempts due to a knee injury.

Knee injury or not, however, Brady only tossed 28 touchdowns and had nearly 500 less passing yards in his next full season, while his highest touchdown amount since that record 2007 season was 39.

The moral of the story? The elite quarterbacks who set/broke the records stayed elite, but they found it difficult to stay on the exact level that got them the records.

One could argue that Manning has the offense to propel him to another amazing season. Considering his first season back from a neck injury got him almost 4,700 passing yards and 37 touchdowns a year ago, I wouldn’t disagree.

However, history suggests that reaching ridiculous production in back to back seasons isn’t really in the cards. With that said, Manning might be the last player I’d be willing to bet against doing just that.

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