Peyton Manning Excels Despite Criticism


As the blog world continues to extend its tentacles more and more away from conventional journalism, it bears mentioning that Twitter and other instantaneous reaction social media platforms give an audience to anyone with a strong opinion.

Yes, as I’ve amassed my thousands upon thousands of followers on Twitter (for which I am truly humbled and grateful) I’ve found that if you want instant reaction and sports salaciousness (let’s be honest, ignominiously, “sex sells”) negativity and snap judgments are the swiftest way to obtaining such.

Nevertheless, as was the way in the old days where there was no Twitter or anything like unto it, the best way to do things has not changed: do your homework and check for results without casting judgments early on. Just because you’re the first to report or declare something doesn’t necessarily make you right. It is perhaps, in this matter, that the best thing to do concerning Denver Broncos signal-caller Peyton Manning, is to look at the results.

Much has been said about Manning’s declining skills and even pocket awareness and yes, I sense he is eroding from where he once was. In that vein of thought, as I’ve often noted when tweeting during live games, it’s almost as if he defies logic, even belying the nature of the games he’s played, still finding magic when it matters most.

This is why he continues to excel and overcomes all hurdles placed in his way, notwithstanding his 39-year-old frame being constantly beleaguered and bruised by the defenses of the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions he has faced in the first three weeks.

It appears that unlike one-time Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, current head coach Gary Kubiak is open to compromise as in the game against Detroit Sunday, Manning completed a season-best 73.8 percent of his passes for 324 yards, 2 TD’s and an interception which only occurred because veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata made a tremendous play.

Kubiak had been hoping to have Manning line up under center as has been customary for his offensive methodology in previous stints not only with the Broncos but as head coach of the Houston Texans and offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.

Nevertheless, the pistol, which has been extensively pioneered by current Kansas City Chiefs consultant and legendary Nevada head coach Chris Ault, is something that has helped Kubiak and Manning compromise and perhaps it’s better for the Broncos moving forward.

Despite the success that was experienced against the Lions Sunday, the Broncos failed to score on every possession, causing many of the mentally deficient supposed Broncos fans and analysts to have more things to complain about.

Nevertheless, as was confirmed by veteran Denver sportscaster, Ron Zappolo of KUSA-TV Channel 9 in the city, the Broncos, despite having problems, such as a running game that is 31st in the NFL in averaging only 57 yards per game, at 3-0, many NFL teams would gladly trade places with them.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that as the season goes along, the Broncos will begin to click on all cylinders offensively as the Kubiak methodology is alien to this current squad despite his extensive history in Denver as both a player and a coach and will only get better with time.

For the time being though, under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, another man with extensive ties to the Broncos in bygone eras, the defense is #1 in yards surrendered  per game (259.0), #1 in passing yards surrendered per game (176.3) and #3 in scoring defense (16.3).

While the offense isn’t that great in yards amassed, it is in the upper half of the NFL in scoring offense, 13th overall at 24.7 points per game.

This goes along with the Manning notion that while things may not be pretty always, when the game’s on the line, he has made big plays in the passing game to turn the tide toward the Broncos’ favor.

As with many other components of life, the Denver Broncos warrant a closer look than many are willing to invest the time and effort into but that’s where you’ll find the truth.

Next: Broncos Top 10 players on Pro Football Focus