The Armchair Quarterback Take Of The Week
Peyton Manning Is Having The Best Season Of Any Player In NFL History
Through four weeks of the NFL season, one thing has become crystal clear. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are in a league of their own. I’m not traditionally a Peyton Manning fan. I’ve always leaned towards Tom Brady because he’s put up staggering numbers AND been repeatedly clutch in the post season. However, I am not telling you that Peyton Manning’s career is better than any other QB in history. I am telling you that so far this season Peyton Manning is playing quarterback at a level that we’ve never seen before in the history of the NFL.
I’m certainly not a Broncos fan. However, because the team I follow is in the AFC West I have tuned in to some of their games in hopes that they would stumble and show some kind of “chink” in their armor.
That hasn’t happened.
In fact, what I’ve come away thinking is that if Peyton Manning and his offensive weapons all stay healthy, this team is going to rewrite the NFL record books.
The first game of the season against the Ravens, I remember thinking that Manning still looked like his velocity was down from his “pre neck surgery” days. I initially thought that this would lead to some interceptions as the ball hung in the air for that split second longer, giving defenders more time to break on the ball. Usually in the NFL, that split second is the difference between a completed pass and a batted ball or interception. However, that night there would be no interceptions. Four games have now passed and there still have been no interceptions.
The reason for this is that Manning is placing the ball with the most pinpoint accuracy I have ever seen over an extended time. Yes, I have seen great QBs make multiple pinpoint throws in one game. I’ve even seen QBs have an entire game where their accuracy was spot on. I have never seen four of those games in a row.
This is not a just a little hot streak.
Peyton Manning has thrown 156 passes already. He’s completed 75% of them. What’s even more impressive is how many of those other 25% have been drops or intentional throw aways.
ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer often refers to QBs as “surgeons” for the way they cut up a defense. Frankly, it usually annoys me because he’ll use it to describe any QB that makes a few good throws in a row.
With Manning, the term applies perfectly. I actually think Peyton’s injury may have made him even more accurate in the long run. It appears to me that since Manning has realized he doesn’t have the arm strength he used to, he set out to get even more accurate in the range he can still throw the ball. Everyone knows that Manning’s work ethic is off the charts. I believe he’s upped his focus even higher than what was already the best in the league.
Don’t believe me that Peyton is playing better than any QB we’ve ever seen? Check out these numbers.
Manning has completed 75% of his passes. The season record is 71.23% by Drew Brees in 2011.
Manning is on pace for 5,880 yards. The season record is 5,476 yards by Brees in 2011.
He is on pace for 64 TDs. The season record is 50 by Tom Brady in 2007.
He currently has a QB rating of 138.0. The season record is 122.5 by Aaron Rodgers in 2011.
His current pace would put him at a +64 TD to INT differential. The best ever differential was Brady’s +42 in 2007.
His current TD to INT ratio is 16 to 0. The NFL record is Tom Brady’s 36-4 (or 9-1) in 2010.
So basically, Manning is beating out all of the other best historical QB seasons in every category at the same time.
If possible, the numbers he’s lead the Broncos to put up are even more impressive. The all time record for most points scored by a team is 589 by the Patriots in 2007. The Broncos are on pace to score over 716 points. That’s right, they’re on pace to beat the Patriots record by 127 points. The Broncos 44.8 PPG is 12.8 more than the #2 team, Green Bay. The difference between the #1 Broncos and #2 Packers is actually greater than the distance between #2 Green Bay and #23 San Francisco.
I’m not saying that Denver and Manning will keep this pace up all season, but everyone should take time to sit back and enjoy this unparalleled level of play while it lasts. It truly is a historic run and we should all appreciate it (and this is coming from a KC fan).
Now on to this week’s predictions……..