October 10, 2013

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Is Peyton Manning the Greatest of All Time?

By: Matt Bowen

Something is happening in Denver that has never be seen before—Peyton Manning is torching defenses at an all-time clip. Right now the Denver Broncos look indestructible behind their quarterback and Manning looks 27 and not 37 years old.

Peyton Manning is wreaking havoc on the NFL so far in 2013.

Who needs defense when you have Manning running the show?

His 1,884 passing yards through five games is tops in the league and a somewhat remarkable 162 yards ahead of New Orleans Saints gunslinger Drew Brees. It may not seem like a ton of yards, but that’s about one-half of production ahead of the next best. Brees is no slouch and Manning is even leaving him in the dust.

Through Week 5, Manning is averaging 376.8 yards/game. This puts him on pace for 6028.8 yards for the entire season. Considering the all-time record for passing yards/season is 5,476 by the aforementioned Brees in 2011, Manning is on track to blow it out of the water.

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age of 5,000-yard passers Manning’s career-best is 4,700 in 2010. This year it appears he’ll have little trouble toppling the passing mountain and planting his flag at its highest peak.

For whatever reason you may dislike Manning, but you can’t disrespect him, he’s simply too good. No one in the history of the NFL has called a game at the line of scrimmage like he has. Watching him audible before the snap is like watching a conductor direct their orchestra in perfect harmony—no one misses a beat.

This year in Denver, Manning has an offensive cast that will send shivers up your spine.  Two young receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker that are super talented, even without the added boost of Manning. Denver also has a relatively unknown tight end in Julius Thomas that seems to be the cherry on top for what could go down as the highest scoring offense ever.  They have a resurgent running back in Knowshon Moreno who provides just enough of a threat to keep defenses honest. Last but not least, receiver Wes Welker makes this team unstoppable. With the Thomas’ and Decker roaming about, Welker will always be open underneath to provide enough yards to extend a drive until the end zone is found. Ridiculous.

The lowest point total for the Broncos this year has been 37. They have already scored 50-plus twice. Through five games they have scored 230 points. To be honest, that’s realistically more than their Week 6 opponent the Jacksonville Jaguars will score the entire season. Their scoring output through five games is miniscule 51 points, and that includes a robust 20 in Week 5 against the St. Louis Rams. Before you think Manning may throw for 1,000 yards against the Jaguars, expect the Broncos to pad the stats then sit Manning for the fourth quarter.

Manning is Manning, he’s a spectacle. He’s 37 years old looking like he’s got enough gas in the tank to play until he’s 47. His 61,371 career passing yards are second all-time behind Brett Favre’s 71,838. The way he’s playing that’s only a couple of more 4,000-plus yard seasons to be the best. He’s currently 52 touchdowns behind Favre, which is only a couple of seasons away. Through Week 5, he’s on pace for 64 touchdowns, which is far ahead of Tom Brady’s 50. There’s nothing stopping him here—the records, all of them will be his.

Another Super Bowl ring and he’ll be considered the best. Right now, that seems like a done deal. Be sure to check out greatness while he’s still around. When the books close, Manning will be atop the list.

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