Anybody who watched Thursday Night Football last week saw what I saw.
Sure, he was able to lead the comeback to tie the game in the final minute, but let’s not kid ourselves, the Peyton Manning we are going to see throughout this season is a shell of the Peyton Manning we are used to seeing.
I did not watch the Denver Broncoes’ first game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens, but I did watch highlights and read more analysis than necessary about what we saw out of Peyton Manning.
For anybody who does not recall, neither team scored an offensive touchdown during that game. In fact, neither team was even in the red zone until the Ravens managed to get inside the 20-yard line on their final drive of the game.
In short, it was a horrendous offensive game which is not something we’ve come to expect when Manning is involved.
Curious to see if all this criticism of Manning was deserving, I tuned in to NFL Network on Sept. 17.
What I saw legitimately made me sad.
Multiple throws, throws Manning used to be able to make with relative ease, were dead ducks.
It was so shocking and so far from the Manning I have come to know that I literally could not believe it.
Almost any sort of out route and any time Manning was even remotely on the move, his throws came out wobbly or errant.
Looking at his stats for that game, you will see Manning passed for 256 yards and 3 TDS. And to somebody who did not watch the game, it would appear Manning is as good as he has ever been, but I promise you he is not the same.
Before the 2015-16 season started, my dad and I bought tickets to the Detroit Lions game against the Broncoes this coming Sunday night. I figured it was my last chance to see Manning live so I had to jump at the opportunity.
I had hoped to see the Manning I grew up watching. Barring Manning’s arm suddenly becoming 10 years younger, I will not be seeing that quarterback.
It’s honestly just sad.
I know it may seem weird to have that feeling towards a player I seemingly have no connection with, but I just know that’s what I felt.
I never even really liked Manning, honestly. Being from Michigan, my favorite quarterback is Tom Brady.
But, from my point of view, watching the (arguably) greatest quarterback of all-time falling off so quickly is tough to see.
I want Manning to go out battling for a Super Bowl, like he did last year. The Broncoes may be able to get him there, but it will not be on his arm; that I know for sure.