Peyton Manning, in case you’ve missed it, is having a very un-Peyton-Manning-like year. He’s completing just 61.6 percent of his passes – his lowest since his rookie year, in 1998 (56.7 percent) – and he’s thrown for just seven touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
To put those numbers in perspective, Manning had just 10 interceptions in the entire 2013 season – when he threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns.
So yeah, Manning, at 39, appears to be slowing down. Nevertheless, the Broncos are 6-0 and atop the AFC West.
That’s the good news.
The bad news? Assuming the Broncos make the playoffs, all of their playoff games – whether they’re in Denver, Foxboro or Cincinnati – will be played in cold weather. How might the Broncos adjust what they’re doing based on Manning’s age and diminishing arm strength?
“Well, I think they’re already adjusting to his age,” former three-time All-Pro LaVar Arrington said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think he still has arm strength. I just think it comes down to what will his durability be? That would be whether we saw him throwing bad balls or not. He’s just getting up there in age. As long as this defense stays healthy and they’re able to play at the high level that they’re playing at, you’d have to assume that they’re going to have a good chance to win games – the better majority of them, even getting into the playoffs.”
Arrington said he would not consider giving Manning games off – neither to rest him, nor to necessarily see what Brock Osweiler has.
“You don’t bring (Manning) back with that type of money connected to him to see what Osweiler has and to kind of, I don’t know, experiment through the season,” Arrington said. “Either you can play or you can’t play. If you get to the end of the year and you’re in a position to have the top rank where you get a bye week and you get a home game, then sure, you rest him. But I think the rest takes place during the course of the week in practices and him taking care of himself in the training room. But as far as tampering with anything that would take place on Sundays or any game day, not at all.”
Manning, for what it’s worth, should get plenty of rest this week during the Broncos’ bye. – and he’ll need it. Denver hosts Green Bay (6-0) on Sunday Night Football on Nov. 1 in what could be the game of the year.
Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.