Peyton and Eli Manning are two of the most successful NFL quarterbacks of all time. They’ve combined for three Super Bowl titles and more than 110,000 passing yards and 700 touchdowns.
Those are absurdly impressive numbers.
This season, however, the Mannings have struggled a bit.
We’ll start with Eli. The youngest Manning has had quite a career in New York, leading the Giants to a pair of jaw-dropping Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots. Still, he’s made the playoffs just once in the last five years and has made bizarrely bad fourth-quarter decisions in each of the Giants’ first two games this season – decisions that cost the G-Men the victory.
How do you explain that?
“Good question,” Hall of Famer and CBS NFL announcer Dan Fouts said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I wish I could jump into Eli’s head and figure out what was he thinking. I’m sure everybody else is, too, but obviously that can’t continue. There’s just got to be better communication as he leaves the sidelines with the coaches, just going over each and every detail, about timeouts, how many (timeouts) do you have, how many timeouts the other team has. That’s the biggest thing – just knowing every possible situation. And regardless of how many years you’ve been in the league, you still each and every time have to know what’s going on.”
Peyton, meanwhile, has helped the Broncos to a 2-0 start, but they could very easily be 0-2. Denver didn’t score a single offensive touchdown in its win over Baltimore in Week 1 and needed two late touchdowns to beat Kansas City in Week 2. Ultimately, can Peyton flourish in Gary Kubiak’s offense, or will he have to revert to shotgun to give Denver a chance to win each week?
“That’s a good question, too,” Fouts said. “Obviously once Manning suffered that injury last year to his thigh, it affected his arm. I think it strained his arm enough to where, at his age, it just won’t be normal again. It won’t be the same as it was. The big question for Kubiak is obviously if things aren’t going well with the original game plan, the ace in the hole is Manning, but that ace in the hole isn’t as good as it used to be. It’ll be interesting to watch the Broncos.”
Especially given the division in which they play. Yes, while Eli still has a chance in the woeful NFC East – Washington is somehow a legitimate threat to win it – Denver plays in the far more difficult AFC West. The Chiefs gave Denver all it could handle. The Chargers – and even the Raiders – might be able to do the same this year.
“It’s going to be a tough division,” Fouts said. “The Raiders are vastly improved after what they did to Baltimore last weekend. Kansas City is a team that always plays Denver tough and the Chargers are a team that’s right in that mix, too. The AFC West is going to be a challenge for the Broncos this year.”