With the Kobe Bryant farewell tour in full effect many fans are wondering if the same thing is happening with Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. He is still injured, this time with a foot injury that will keep him out for about 2 weeks. The problem is that even when he is in the lineup he is greatly diminished from what he used to be. He has the mental awareness and smarts of a HOF but he lacks the physical abilities to execute like he used to. With rival Tom Brady having an MVP caliber year at a similar age, it’s quite hard to look at Manning and not see a major difference in skill levels.
But the problem with the Manning situation is that he doesn’t realize that he’s done. The league sees it, rivals see it, and even his own organization sees it. Yet Peyton seems to have the optimism of a young bright eyed QB that has just entered the league. Brock Osweiler has filled in for Manning and is doing an adequate job of controlling the ship. It wasn’t too long ago that Peyton was pulled from the starting lineup against the Kansas City Chiefs after having one of the worst games of his career. The game resulted in a loss, and later in what many figured was a PR spin, the Broncos announced that Manning was injured. To make matters worse, in that same game when Osweiler came in the team scored immediately. Osweiler continued to play well and led the Broncos to a win against the struggling Chicago Bears. It’s not often that a HOF QB loses his position to a sideline clipboard holder, well that’s unless your name is Brett Favre.
If this is indeed Manning’s farewell tour then someone should inform him quickly, as HOF QB’s that aren’t ready to hang them up yet can be the most stubborn brats in sports. If it turns out that he doesn’t finish the season as a starter, then look for Manning to look for another team rather than being sent into forced retirement. At this point pride will take over common sense and probably lead to a short resurgent season with another team, which still won’t get him his final ring. He’ll still go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, the question is if he will be able to do it without being carted off the field.
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