Peyton Manning still has a pain in the neck
September 07, 2015 7:32 AM
by Mark Mayer
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 29th of 32 NFL capsules in 32 days leading up to the regular season opener Sept. 10. On deck, Tennessee Titans.
• 12-4 last season
• 13-10 to win NFC East (2nd)
• 14-1 to win Super Bowl (Westgate)
• over/under 9.5 wins
Peyton Manning still has a pain in the neck, but it’s now coming from cynics saying he’s too old at 39.
The Denver Broncos scored 482 points last season when Manning was 38. Only the Green Bay Packers (486) had more. John Unitas, Billy Kilmer and George Blanda didn’t have a problem with age in their careers.
That said, the Broncos are going to hear about age week after week because the media will dissect every throw and interception Peyton makes. It would be fairer to focus on the team and whether the rest of the AFC West is catching up.
Denver was 12-4 last year due largely to a perfect 8-0 mark at home. That unbeaten record will be put to the test in Week 1 when the Baltimore Ravens come to town as 4.5 point underdogs.
The big offseason loss was tight end Julius Thomas signing with Jacksonville, but the Broncos are well stocked in the receiving corps with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as bookend threats. C.J. Anderson leads the running game by committee, but that formula has worked for years since Terrell Davis retired. John Elway was the QB back then and now he’s running football operations.
The big addition was hiring Gary Kubiak as head coach replacing John Fox now at Atlanta. Kubiak spent most of his playing career with Denver as Elway’s backup. It should be a comfortable fit.
Which again brings us back to Peyton. His play was especially criticized in the playoffs when he was off his game at New England in the cold, windy conditions.
This will be an ongoing storyline throughout the year. The Broncos are very happy with Peyton’s backups Brock Osweiler and preseason standout Trevor Siemian. But it’s Peyton’s Place and we all will be watching closely.