Peyton Manning was sick. I know it, you know it, and everyone in San Diego knew it. The Denver Broncos were able to come away from their game against the Chargers with a win, and another AFC West division title. This is all very good. The first step in accomplishing the ultimate goal is complete. The key is to keep winning.
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Winning is always the goal, and it should never matter what the win looks like, but Denver has not been winning the way that Broncos Country has been accustomed to since the arrival of Peyton Manning. The running attack has been the center piece the last few weeks, and the defense has shut teams down. Bronco fans are happy.
Well, happy, but also a little concerned. A few weeks ago I wrote about Manning’s fluttery ball that gets tossed around in the wind. His arm strength has never been his calling card, and so the flight of his ball has not been a concern. However, the last few weeks, the football has looked slow out of Manning’s hands.
His touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas wobbled over like a Feeble before DT took it and ran for the score.
Manning gets the ball out quickly. There is no questioning that. The issue I am seeing is the lack of zip on the ball has gotten worse. He looks like he has a dead arm. In the second quarter against San Diego Manning threw a ball to Julius Thomas for a big gain along the sideline. The ball looked like it was tipped the way it tumbled through the air. His touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas wobbled over like a Feeble before DT took it and ran for the score.
The Broncos have shown they can overcome a less than Manning like performance. The running game has been good recently. However, the Broncos need to be able to attack through the air. It seems as if Manning needs to be on a pitch count. With two games left, the Broncos only need one win to guarantee a first round bye. If they get it next week against Cincinnati, it might not be a bad idea to rest Manning against the Raiders in the last game of the season.
Of course, convincing Manning to sit out a rivalry game could prove to be more difficult than turning on the TV without seeing one of his commercials.
Dec 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) scores on a 28-yard pass play from quarterback Payton Manning in the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Right is San Diego Chargers defensive back Jahleel Addae (37). The Broncos went on to a 22-10 win. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) passes during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports