After a poor outing from Peyton Manning on Monday Night, some are wondering if the game has passed him by and if he can no longer play at an elite level that he has always been capable of doing. That answer to this rather silly question is simply no. Manning has all the tools he's always had (obviously) and not playing for a year will take anyone, no matter who you are, time to get back to their form. I want to present logical explanations as to why Manning is not past his prime.
1. New Offense and Players
Look, Manning already knows how to run an offense and is very vocal on the field calling audibles and switching up plays. The only thing that's different really is the receivers. He's not working with the likes of a Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne, (but he already has some chemistry with Brandon Stokley, so he's already got that going for him.) Nonetheless, Manning will quickly need to and will adapt to a new supporting cast of players.
2. May be rusty and a little time to get back to form
The big picture that people clearly overlook at is that Manning has been in fact out of action for over a year. This may be one of the main reasons people think he doesn't the capability to perform anymore, which couldn't be further from the truth. Think of it this way; say you have been lifting weights for a certain number of years, and then suddenly you get yourself into a situation where you are unable to lift for awhile. When you are able to go back and start lifting again, you're not going to be able to perform at the level you were before the accident. So what do you do? You slowly work your way back up to that level, and an advantage you would have over a beginner would be that you already established the strength for your muscles beforehand, therefore you will be back to the same level of performance because of muscle memory. In short, before Manning had his neck surgery he was playing at a level that was elite, and now that he is back after a long absence, It will take him time to be at the same performing level he was before the surgery, and with this analogy, a rookie quarterback is the beginner in lifting weights, where as Manning is the experienced lifter who is back in action and will be able to adjust to the game again quicker due to his "muscle memory"
3 His Poise
Alright so Manning is arguably one of the best at doing so. But I think Manning may have been (and still be) a little eager to get back on the playing field again after his long absence and may continue to be that way for a bit. I think part of the reason Manning threw three interceptions may have been because he wants to get back out there and do what he normally does by running the offense and making big plays. So yes, Manning already has great poise, he'll just need to make sure his nerves and eagerness are taken down a notch so he can can get back to business and do what he does best.
4. Mannings Experience
This sort of goes back to issue number two when talking about needing time to play at the level he has always been capable of. Manning's body and mind will need time to quickly adjust to the game again, but with his experience, he will have no problem doing it in just a short amount of time.
5. Manning is still a leader
Despite coming up short of a comeback bid Monday Night against the Atlanta Falcons, Manning led the Broncos to two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to six. This shows that Manning can execute in the clutch and is capable of scoring when it matters most, even if it's in a game where statistically he's playing poorly.
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