John Elway. Brett Favre. Joe Namath. Peyton Manning. They sound good together, right? All of those names are hall-of-famers or certain inductees.
Though Manning will likely be remembered in the blue and white of his first team, he is certainly carving his own memory in the hearts of Broncos fans.
Currently, Manning’s QBR of 79.5 puts him in second amongst this years’ QBs. That is a testament to his abilities, considering there are multiple Canton hopefuls in the top 10. Never mind that he is barely a year removed from one of the most intense surgeries a quarterback can undergo.
I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t preoccupied with the possibility of Manning getting one good hit and being out for the season; I was worried. However, I have always carried an unfailing affection for the Manning brothers-so I was faithful.
This season, Manning has fulfilled and greatly surpassed expectations, currently on a 6-game win streak and putting the Broncos offense at 3rd in the league, up 22 slots from last season.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Tim Tebow, and would never insult what he did for us last season, but Manning gives his team the upper hand only an elite quarterback can bring.
Thanks to the addition of Manning, John Fox is 16-11 as Broncos head coach, got revenge on his old team (how’d that taste Cam Newton?) and is firmly in the running for a first Super Bowl.
“What Peyton is doing, in my brain, is not just remarkable, it’s freaking historical,” Fox told the Los Angeles Times. “He’s doing it in a completely different part of the country, with a completely different organization. I’m loving it, but I think about it and I’m like, ‘This is kind of bizarre.’”
Right you are Fox, and the football world couldn’t be happier. You don’t have to be a Denver fan to be a Peyton fan. In 2011, the NFL was bereft of not only a stellar player, but also an addicting personality.
Even though Tom Brady’s QBR is higher than Manning’s, a SportsNation poll showed that fans across the nation favored Manning as the QB to remember 57% to 43%. Brady does not have Peyton’s likability; that butt-chin is the face of pretentiousness among the NFL-sorry Mr. Ugg boot.
Anyway, besides all of those intangibles like countless, side-crampingly funny SportsCenter commercials and memorable nights hosting SNL, Manning’s numbers this season speak for themselves.
At age 36, with an 8-3 record in his first season back, 26 TDs, 3,260 yds, a 68% completion rate and a career 426 TDs (second only to Favre)-it isn’t hard to see why his nickname is PFM.
If I were the rest of the NFL, I would look out, because this man is on a mission, and he won’t quit until it’s accomplished. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought New Orleans would be gorgeous in February…