Peyton Manning is not the same guy who has dominated this league through the air since being the No. 1 overall pick in 1998. Father Time, who remains unbeaten, has robbed him of his arm strength, and slowed his computer like calculations down a tick or two. There was a time you never wanted to blitz Peyton, because he would simply destroy you. Now you want to bring as much pressure as possible, because he no longer handles it well.
This is no knock on Peyton at all. He is one of the best ever. it is just the fact that if you play any sport long enough, Father Time is eventually going to kick you in the ass.
But even this late in his career, you still can’t sleep on Peyton. He can still make plays, he is still the smartest and most prepared player on the field. In last night’s win, despite having a pass returned for a touchdown for the second time in two games, Peyton threw for 256 yards and three touchdown. He drove the Broncos 80 yards in the final seconds to tie the game, and set up the game winner by their defense. And, most of all, he is still one competitive SOB. He will find a way to beat you, and he is still good enough to take the Broncos deep in the playoffs.
But, there is no question that Peyton’s skill set is eroding,
Secondly, we have seen some terrible coaching moves to start the 2015 season, but Andy Reid’s decision to hand the ball to Jamaal Charles with 35 seconds at your own 20 is not one of them. Charles fumbled the ball, and it was picked up by Denver’s Bardley Robey who ran it in 21-yards for the game winning touchdown with just 27 left.
Now, if Reid knew Charles was going to fumble, of course he would’ve taken a knee and gone into overtime.
But Charles is one of the NFL’s best backs, and he is a playmaker, a big time playmaker, who earlier in the game had a 34-yard touchdown run. It’s a good call to give him a chance to break a run, with the Broncos defense playing pass-first, in that situation. Charles could’ve easily have broken that play into a big run and put the Chiefs in field goal position.
We have to understand these coaches don’t play with the opportunity to have hindsight. They have to make decisions on the spot. Some of them, like Tom Coughlin’s decisions in Dallas in Week 1, are just horrible. This was just a great player who made a mistake that cost his team the game.