Kurt Warner believes Peyton Manning’s recent struggles are due to a rhythm issue. The team is determined to run the ball more so Warner thinks this is putting Peyton in a weird spot. His freedom to change the play at the line is a bit more limited as the Broncos try to put some toughness in their offense with a running game. The playoffs will reveal if this is a good plan for the Broncos or not.
The team did well most of the year as has always been the case with a Manning led team. The regular season has never been an issue. The playoffs are where the guy has seen his struggles come to light. Maybe a bigger dedication to the rushing game will help the guy in a team effort. But he certainly can’t throw four interceptions like he did against the Bengals last week on Monday Night Football. A 200 yard rusher won’t overcome that kind of turnover debacle by the quarterback.
There is little doubt that Manning can still beat teams with his arm and will likely have to do so at least once during the post season. A team can’t hide behind a running game alone anymore. This is not 1998. But even the regular season contests against the best teams have shown the Broncos are not quite good enough this year. With losses to Seattle and New England, it is obvious that they need to do more to get back to the Super Bowl and actually win it.
Some of Peyton Manning’s best games have come after getting way behind and bringing his team back from the jaws of defeat. He’s done it in the regular season more times than I can count. His greatest comeback was against the Patriots in the AFC Title Game in 2006
The guy can throw with the best of them and his struggles the past few weeks are not from him aging ten years overnight. He is likely banged up a bit from a long season, but he is still the same guy he has always been, with a slightly weaker arm admittedly. If he can avoid the costly interceptions though, Denver should be fine with the new running game they have found. Will they be good enough to beat the Patriots in Foxboro? They better find another gear for that. The Patriots are on fire and already whipped them once.
Peyton is considered to be one of the best QBs of all time and I would certainly put him in the top ten. But the best of the best work with what they have. John Elway had to bend to a system that featured the running game with Terrell Davis. His greatness wasn’t diminished by Denver’s running game at the time. It was enhanced as he made the plays when needed and let Davis do his thing. If Peyton follows the same blueprint that Elway did, perhaps he can get another Super Bowl Trophy. A rushing game is a good thing. Ask any QB who is more concerned with wins than stats.
I know Manning is a control freak, but he needs help to get back to the big game. His backs are playing at a high level. He just needs to flow with the game plan now. We all know how good the guy is. He has nothing to prove in the stat department. He needs another Super Bowl win to cement his legacy, however. A big-time rushing game is in place to help him along.