How Much Does Peyton Manning Really Have Left In The Tank?
Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) signals at the line of scrimmage in the second half against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Peyton Manning is approaching the age in which if your NFL career hasn’t already been over for 8-10 years, it’s finally got to be coming to a close.
Turning 38 this year, Manning isn’t exactly what you’d consider a ‘QB of the future’ for the Denver Broncos, but I think there’s been way too much talk about the fact that he is ‘done’ or ‘on the decline.’
Obviously, Manning won’t be with the Broncos much longer, but he signed a five year contract in 2012, and unless he wins a Super Bowl and wants to go out on top, why would he hang up the cleats at this point?
Manning is on top of his game, the toughest position of any in professional sports, and at 37 years old, he just completed the single greatest season anyone has ever put together as a QB in the NFL.
So he should quit? He’s only got one year left?
The only evidence we have that Manning is almost done is age. He isn’t going to be in the NFL forever, but I definitely think he has more in the tank than many are leading on.
Here are the facts.
– Manning has shown no signs of decline since returning from his neck injury that kept him out of the 2011 season.
– Manning has been MVP runner up, and MVP since joining the Broncos.
– Manning immediately helped the Broncos to a second and third consecutive division title
– In his first year with the Broncos, he threw more TD passes (37) than he had since 2004 when he had 49
– He set an NFL record with 55 TD passes in 2013
– Since joining the Broncos, he’s thrown for 10,136 yards, more than any two-year total he had with the Colts
– Manning shattered a career high by attempting 659 passes in 2013
– His completion percentage of 68.45 since joining Denver is the highest 2-year average in his career.
– His yards per attempt is the highest it’s been since 2005
– His 12 games with 300 yards or more in 2013 was the most ever in his career.
Do you get the picture here?
Manning is not slowing down. He’s speeding up. Manning’s body is not wearing down — he’s in the best shape of his life.
I’m not going to sit here in denial and say that Manning is going to play for the Broncos well into his 40s, but he’s certainly looking more like he’s going to finish out his five-year contract rather than cut it short.
The only reason I would consider retiring if I were Manning, as good as he is playing and as dominant as he is, is if the Broncos win the Super Bowl.
And if that’s the case, everybody wins.